An MP from central Alberta is apologizing for using his middle finger during question period on Friday.
Blaine Calkins, the Conservative MP for Red Deer-Lacombe, was participating in QP remotely. He was talking about the effect of Liberal policies on things like oil extraction in the province and said the federal government hasn’t done anything for farmers and producers in a time of need.
“Mr. Speaker, why doesn’t the prime minister just show the West what he truly thinks of us, just like his father did?” he asked as he made a gesture with his right middle finger up.
A short time later, the Liberal MP for Longueuil-Charles-LeMoyne, Sherry Romanado, requested an apology.
While Calkins said it was not uncommon for people to be able to wave or use hand gestures in the House of Commons, he did apologize.
“If there is a particular hand gesture that I have used that has been offensive to someone then I unreservedly withdraw that gesture.”
While the speaker was explaining the order of decorum is expected to be upheld regardless of whether the MPs are in the house or online, MP of Saanich-Gulf Islands Elizabeth May called Calkins’ apology a “non-apology.”
“I took offence. I think a lot of us took offence. So if someone took offence — withdrawing the gesture, I think that that doesn’t qualify as an actual apology.”
When the speaker went back to Calkin to see if he had a further apology, Calkins repeated “I unreservedly withdraw the gesture.”
This wasn’t the first time someone has suggested a Trudeau has given the middle finger to Western Canada.
While participating in a town hall in Winnipeg in January 2017, Justin Trudeau was caught off guard by a student’s question.
“Why did your dad give everyone in western Canada the middle finger?” the student asked.
Rather than delve into Pierre Trudeau‘s alleged role in fostering western alienation in Canada, Justin Trudeau defended his father for doing the best he could.