There was almost a brawl in Parliament

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cabinet minister shouts

Funny times...

Cabinet minister Peter Van Loan ended up shouting "F-ck" at New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen because Cullen had the audacity to question the minister's political strategy.

Van Loan crossed the floor of the House of Commons, which regulations forbid, to take to task New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen by shoving his finger into his face.

Cullen had noticed that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was absent for the vote on his own budget, something that is not allowed under parliamentary rules. So Cullen asked Commons Speaker, Andrew Scheer, to invalidate the vote on the budget.

The absence of Flaherty reflected badly on Van Loan who is responsible for Government strategy in the Commons.

When Van Loan crossed the floor to go after Cullen, microphones were closed, and did not pick up a nasty word Van Loan used (which begins with the letter "f" and ends with the letter "k.") But silent video cameras were still running and showed Van Loan's hissy fit in full color and glory.

Other MPs sitting nearby easily picked up the well-known English four-letter word.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair in the adjoining seat told Van Loan to stop threatening Cullen and return to his seat on the other side of the Commons.

Defence Minister, Peter MacKay, a well-built fellow, saw Van Loan losing it and before things went any further, raced over, grabbed Van Loan by the shoulder and brought him back to the government benches.

Speaker Andrew Scheer was too busy to notice what was happening just a few feet away from him. He just kept on reading his j his decision on whether Flaherty should have left the Commons or not for a quick trip to the men's room while the MPs were voting on his budget bill.

If there was ever a time for a Christmas break before everything fell apart even more, this was it.

For their part, the Conservatives who had missed the confrontation accused Mulcair of attacking Van Loan. Luckily television cameras told the truth. Nobody paid much attention to the fact Conservative backbenchers were not telling the truth. Par for the course.

The next day at noon, Van Loan apologized for what he said was an "inappropriate" word on his part. That was an understatement, if ever.

Someone from the prime minister's office must have had a word with him overnight.

That's the way it's been in the Commons, ever since we've elected a majority Conservative government.



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