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McGuinty alleges "out of control" Tory MP berated him 

[PoliticsWatch updated 5:40 p.m. May 16, 2007]

OTTAWA  — Liberal MP David McGuinty says a "clearly out of control" deputy speaker of the House of Commons crossed the floor of the House on Wednesday and verbally berated him while he sat in his seat during question period. 

The incident, which was witnessed by Liberal MPs sitting around McGuinty and even reporters who were sitting in the press gallery, came after the MP asked a question about the Conservatives' commitment to official languages.

Before he entered politics, Tory MP Royal Galipeau was among those who led the charge to save Ottawa's French-language Montfort Hospital from closing. 

During his question, McGuinty specifically mentioned Galipeau's name in criticizing Tory MPs for remaining silent as their government cut the Court Challenges Program. Supporters of the Montfort Hospital used the program in their battle to save the hospital. 

After McGuinty's question, Galipeau left where he was seated on the government side of the House and approached McGuinty on the opposition benches. 

"After I finished asking my second question in the House of Commons, Mr. Galipeau ran up to me, crossed the floor, stood over me, grabbed me by the left shoulder and was screaming at me," said McGuinty. "Telling me I was a coward that I did not give him a chance to defend himself."

"I looked at him. He was enraged. Clearly out of control."

McGuinty said he has asked Commons Speaker Peter Milliken to investigate and review parts of the confrontation that were caught on tape. 
 
"The problem is as deputy speaker of the House of Commons ... his obligation is to uphold a certain decorum and a certain standard of practices as an MP."

Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla who sits two seats away from McGuinty witnessed the confrontation. 

"He had his hand on David's shoulder and was basically berating him," she told PoliticsWatch. "I could hear him sitting at my seat and yelling at him for asking the question."

"He kept on raising his voice louder and louder. It was the first time I ever saw during question period an MP coming over to our side."

Galipeau later did not deny the confrontation with McGuinty and admitted to being "pretty upset" because of his attack on his reputation. 

"I was surprised that an MP I always treated with respect should attack me."

"I might have crossed the floor, but he crossed the line."

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