House of Commons Speaker Greg Fergus says video couldn’t prove whether MP Ken McDonald recently made a rude gesture toward the Conservative side of the House.
The MP for Newfoundland’s Avalon riding was accused of giving “the finger to all Canadians” by Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay during a Monday vote to exempt all home heating fuels from the federal carbon tax.
McDonald, who has voted with the Conservatives on the carbon tax in the past, voted against the motion and was accused of flip-flopping by a voice from the Conservative side of the House. He then scratched his head with two fingers — a gesture Findlay perceived as giving the middle finger.
Speaking in the House on Wednesday, Fergus said video of the incident was inconclusive.
“Faced with two versions of the same event, the chair must take the members at their word,” Fergus said, who deemed the matter closed.
McDonald said later it showed he did nothing wrong. He also said that he and his constituency staff have faced threats of violence at his Avalon office, spurred by videos of the incident posted by Conservative MPs on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“I have also received death threats. Speaker, this is not OK. My staff are scared, members of my family are scared, and this is all because the Opposition mislead this House and mislead Canadians because they were unhappy with the way I voted.”
McDonald then asked Findlay to apologize. She did not.
Andrew Scheer, the Opposition House Leader, then rose to say that people can see what McDonald did despite the inconclusive ruling.
“The voters in Avalon can make their own determination whether or not they think it’s appropriate,” he said.
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