It seemed like an innocuous remark. During question period on Wednesday, Environment Minister John Baird gave a little shout-out to an aboriginal delegation in the spectators' gallery, who had been on hand earlier in the day at the announcement of a big conservation project in Canada's North.
But that's a big no-no. Only the Commons Speaker can recognize visitors in the gallery, and MPs who have done the same in the past have been banned from speaking in question period for 30 days. Baird got off with a warning, though.Even more extraordinary, however, was how that remark provoked Stéphane Dion. The Liberal leader started wildly waving to the aboriginal delegation, pointing to his own chest with both hands and arguing that Baird was trying to take credit for
something he himself had done when he was environment minister. "It was me," he shouted upward to the aboriginal leaders, who looked a bit perplexed by all the gesturing. Then Dion started barking at Baird, saying all the work on the conservation project had been done before Conservatives came to office and "you only had to sign your name." Observers on both sides of the House averted their eyes at the outburst.
Is this a prime minister?