No Nazi salute in House of Commons, says Easter

Ryan Ross
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Wayne Easter

Despite an accusation from a Conservative cabinet minister, no opposition MPs gave Nazi salutes during the omnibus budget vote in Ottawa Thursday, says Malpeque MP Wayne Easter.

In an interview, Easter said he only pointed toward Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Conservative MPs applauded during one of the votes.

"There was no salutes from our side," Easter said.

The issue came up after MPs had already spent hours in the House for a marathon session of 160 votes on amendments to the government's omnibus budget bill.

At one point in the proceedings Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver rose on a point of order to address what he said was a Nazi salute two opposition members made in Harper's direction.

Oliver said he didn't want to mention who the opposition members were.

"I just think this is intolerable behaviour and it should never happen again," he said.

Liberal MP Denis Coderre and Bloc MP André Bellavance rose to address Oliver's accusation, saying he was blaming the entire opposition side by not naming specific MPs.

Easter also rose to say he had only pointed.

In addressing the issue, deputy speaker Denise Savoie said she didn't see the gesture and told the MPs to move on.

During the session Harper got into a routine of standing and bowing, with the Conservative members applauded each time he did.

In speaking with The Guardian, Easter said he pointed at Harper because the prime minister was bowing like he was an emperor.

"Why don't you go over and shine his shoes and why don't you salute him," Easter said he shouted to the Conservatives.

He also said Oliver not naming anyone creates a controversy.

"We really don't know for sure who he was talking about," Easter said.

The incident happened after some of the MPs had been in the house for almost 30 hours so tempers were getting a little frayed, Easter said.

"Especially when some of the shenanigans were going on so people get frustrated and maybe think they see something they didn't see."

Easter said he was "peeved" about it at the time.

"I was kind of insulted of that accusation, whoever it might be," he said.

Organizations: House of Commons, Bloc MP André Bellavance

Geographic location: Ottawa

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Recent comments

    June 19, 2012 - 12:38

    Perhaps all the animalistic behavior and antics in parliament and in the PEI legislature should be addressed and outlawed.

  • Don Aja
    June 17, 2012 - 23:14

    Of course! It never dawned on me before, but Garth Staples is posting such Tory drivel because he is bucking for a senate job. He sees what Mike Duffy got - a very cushy job for great pay and the only thing he has to do is kiss Harper's boots and Staples wants in on the action. Well, at least he has the bootlicking down pat.

  • Bill Bradley
    June 17, 2012 - 16:05

    This is a joke. If these members did give a Nazi salute, perhaps it is indicative of the form of governing that the current government is exercising. Too bad they didn't have the balls to admit it, by balls I mean baseballs or bowling balls; whatever you may want to think. I for one thought that the Harper regime was doing a much better job than I originally thought when first on the scene. That was, of course, until they garnered a majority government; now I am seriously getting concerned about the future for all Canadians and our global impression that we are leaving. Harper is ruling like an emperor and every Canadian should be very aware of this and realize that the Conservatives they are voting for are not the traditional Progressive Conservatives, Peter MacKay made sure that Joe Clark got sold out to the reform/Conservative alliance. It should also be understood that the voters that thought they were voting for the Western Reform party are not voting for whom they originally thought either, that party threw Preston Manning to the curb in favor of a younger, richer, more diverse demographic. The governing party of Canada now, is a much bigger nastier, more scary entity than we all originally thought we could see come to power in our peace loving country. It is too bad that Mr. Layton was called away from us much too soon, otherwise he most certainly would have been our next governing leader. As for our future, we should all take stock and really be sure of what we truly want before we cast our next ballot. I, for one, am very concerned where this government is taking this country.

    • Townie
      June 18, 2012 - 11:54

      There is no comparison that justifies this type of action. It is not funny and it is a very very inappropriate way to make a point (if it did in fact occur).

  • scott
    June 17, 2012 - 15:18

    I find it very interesting that every media article reflecting upon the liberals, Garth Staples is upon us beating the tory drum. However, everytime there are media reports reflecting the Harper government, Garth is strangely silent.,as evidenced by the report of Mp Gail Sheas office behind the scenes tactic of having protestors barred from delivering a harmless letter. Given the fact that everyday,a new report on some sort of Harper misdeed seems to be in the media, it would seem we will be hearing less of Mr Staples. I geuss every cloud does have a silverlining.

  • Garth Staples
    June 16, 2012 - 19:03

    I don't understand why the Grits and the Dippers don't get it. More Canadians voted Conservative than voted for the Dippers OR the Grits. According to the laid down rules/convention the Conservative Party which received more votes and elected more MP's forms the Govt. It has been thus since 1867 in Canada. Why do Dippers and Grits find that so difficult to understand? Dozens of GRIT GOVTS were formed on the same/similar results AS WELL AS NDP Provincial Govts. Grow up Grits and your lefty socialist friends. On second thought what has this to do with Easter and his defense re aledged salute?

    • Burnaby Drudge
      June 17, 2012 - 16:50

      AH GARTH, it is you who do not get it. Yes, the Tories won more seats and they elected a few more MPs than the opposition, but got less than 40 per cent of the popular vote. They formed a government with the support of less than 40 per cent of the Canadian people. They have a majority of seats, but did not win the support or the hearts of a majority of Canadians. That is what is wrong with the voting system as it stands today. Yes, Chretien did the same thing, but no past prime minister has taken Canada to where it is now until Stephen Harper. He has said that Canadians will not recognize Canada when he is through. I fear he is right. Ideologues like you see nothing wrong with what he is doing and in fact applaud it. You and Harper see no problem with hurting people, putting them out of work, ignoring the true facts and science, turning a lot of the world against us with their foreign policy. And all this is done in the name of chasing some right wing ideological dream. These right wing policies will put many thousands out of work, force people to take pay cuts of up to 30 per cent, or even move away and leave family and home. Whole communities in Atlantic Canada will be devastated with changes coming to the fisheries and EI, but you say that is OK because it is part of some grand right wing policy. The scary part Garth is that you support these policies, but because you are such a Tory partisan hack that if they were Liberal policies you would oppose them tooth and nail.

    • Piet Hein
      June 17, 2012 - 17:01

      Garth, that is true, but more people voted for the other parties than voted for the Tories, but because of the current system the Tories won a majority of seats with much less than a majority of votes. They won with less than 40 per cent of voters casting ballots for them. More people did not want Harper to win than votes cast in his favour. A large majority (60 per cent) of voters did not want to have anything to do with Harper or his band.

    • AMAZED
      June 17, 2012 - 19:44

      I think the biggest problem future Senator Staples is that all these changes to our country were not on the radar BEFORE the last election and even many people who voted Conservative deeply regret that now.They have obviously been thinking about this for a long time and just as obviously kept it under a tight wrap until they got a majority.Changes to Old Age Pensions,envirermental reviews and anything at all to do with enviremental protection!!!,changes to the Fisheries Act,changes to the Fair Wages and Labour Act,upping the dollar limit for a review of any foreign takeovers of Canadian companies,changes to EI,creating 30 new ridinngs in the west that all border on Tory stongholds,Robocalls,In and Out Scam,throwing overwhelming support to Israel and thus making a target for terrorism for no justifiable reason etc.etc.etc.You must be proud.

  • Jordan Hill
    June 16, 2012 - 15:12

    Re: clarification on Garth Staples comment above on the "freely elected [Conservative] Govt party". The Conservatives won 39% +/- of the Canadians who voted and 60% +/- of Canadian who voted did NOT vote vote for Mr. Harper's Party. A historically low numbers of Canadians voted - 61.4% of the eligible population. There is something wrong with our electoral system when a minority party wins a majority government and makes claims to a "mandate" from the people on items discussed during the election and items never discussed.

    • Townie
      June 18, 2012 - 12:01

      And by that same line of reasoning, less than 40% voted for NDP, less than 40% voted Liberal and less than 40% voted other. 70% didn't vote for NDP, 81%people didn't vote Liberal, no matter how you look at the numbers the Conservatives won. This line argument is getting old and has no point.

  • Gerry MacPhee
    June 16, 2012 - 11:54

    Yes, Harper won a majority with slightly less than 40% of the vote. How about Liberal Jean Chretien ? He won 3 majority goverments, all with about the same percent of the vote, but no lefty ever complains about that.

    • Jordan Hill
      June 16, 2012 - 15:23

      Firstly, my same comment about the limitations of our electoral system applies to all parties and over time. Secondly, these limitations of the system in producing good representation in governments, can in no way be used to claim mandates that exist when they don't. Mr. Harper should be more modest and gracious in his claims and make more effort to represent more of us rather than less of us.

    • Tler
      June 17, 2012 - 11:45

      Actually the NDP did all the time. Thats why most of us are in favour of voter reform like the Conservatives once were. I'll point out that the 'lefty v righty' thing you have going between the Conservatives and the Liberals ignores the two other left win parties as well as assorted die hard Reformers and the Greens.

  • Wargamer
    June 16, 2012 - 11:22

    Garth, if one is to believe the shenanigans that Dean Del Mastro has been up to (and there is no reason not to), I wouldn't be so quick to bandy about terms like "freely elected" when referring to the present government.

  • observer
    June 16, 2012 - 10:44

    Bowing in the House of Commons toward the Speaker isn't "emperor"-like, it's a regular event. Staff and MPs bow to the Speaker as they enter and leave the chamber. So does Easter think of himself as an emperor, too?

  • Kevin Kelly
    June 16, 2012 - 10:20

    It was mentioned that under 40% of Canadians voted for Harper and the Conservatives.That number is misleading as less than 40 % of those that voted did so for Harper and only about 50% of Canadians voted, so Harper is now changing Canada into the pariah of the world with less than 20% of the population supporting him. All the great things Canadians fought for are being rolled back 60 years. It used to be a proud thing to say when you travelled outside the country and told people " I am from Canada" now I am ashamed.

  • SG
    June 16, 2012 - 09:52

    What is Happening to our Nation? Who would have ever thought Canadians would be reading an article in the News entitled: "No Nazi salute in House of Commons" No wonder Canadians are dismayed and dissatisfied ! Are our Politicians not elected to Represent "We the People? " Maybe it's time to end the Dramatics and get back to "Listening to" and "Governing on" Behalf of the "Tax Payers" WHO ELECTED THEM, RE: all Levels of Government !

  • Garth Staples
    June 16, 2012 - 08:21

    Me thinks Easter points too much. Grits and Dippers just can't accept defeat at the hands of a freely elected Govt party.

    • Sam Watson
      June 16, 2012 - 09:45

      Garth, the opposition knew full well they would lose the votes and the budget bill would pass. They wanted to show Canadians how Stephen Harper is trampling democracy. He won more seats in parliament, but less than 40 per cent of Canadians actually voted for him.

  • bettie
    June 16, 2012 - 04:58

    Harper did NOT bow. I watched most of it. He stood to vote, and as he stood the MPs on his side applauded him. If you want to talk about a party that really applauded their leader, that would be the NDP. I think it's fine to criticize, but not to make things up for criticism, for instance that Mr. Harper stood and bowed. He did not.

  • kyle
    June 16, 2012 - 04:48

    There should be free and open discussion in all manners of expression in the House. That includes mocking the opposition by bowing and giving an arm salute which has a long history before Mr. Hitler's debut to history. Liberty is desirable. It includes not being prissy about modes of expression. If there is to be an intolerence of any remote indications of Nazism it should be extended to those whose outlook mimics the far worse crimes of communism and its propaganda staples. But all in Ottawa should just lighten up. This kerfluffle is silly.

  • It's Wayne Easter
    June 16, 2012 - 00:41

    Nothing would surprise. No stunt is too outrageous.

  • Piet Hein
    June 15, 2012 - 23:53

    Is there no gutter the Conservatives will not roll around in? First on Friday Gail Shea tells islanders she is their MP, but does not want anything to do with them and sends security guards down to bar them from her office and now another Tory MP is accusing some opposition members of making a Nazi salute. I would say the pressure of running roughshod over Canadian democracy is beginning to take its toll on Conservatives.

    • Townie
      June 18, 2012 - 14:34

      Technically Wayne Easter, Lawrence Macaulay or Sean Casey is their MP. Gail is Egmonts MP. All four of them are islanders MP's.

    June 15, 2012 - 21:56