The Green Party Leader had used the opportunity of question period to address what she sees as a lack of integrity in the Prime Minister’s Office. May called the PMO an “invention,” a “partisan fortress” and the least accountable place funded by taxpayers.
“About $10 million a year disappears into the PMO with zero accountability,” she said. “The guys in short pants who run around bullying MPs, muzzling scientists and harassing civil servants report to one boss. Is it not time to have accountability out of the PMO?”
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, a parliamentary secretary to the transport minister, responded by rhyming off the “results” he says the prime minister has achieved, from economic growth to new jobs.
“Mr. Speaker, I could go on, but you would cut me off,” Poilievre said. “Why don't you let me speak a little bit longer about this incredible record?”
After some applause, Baird could be heard calling for a point of order.
“Oh dear,” said Speaker Andrew Scheer, before granting him a chance to speak.
“Mr. Speaker, I have to rise and respond to the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands,” Baird said. “She made comments with respect to young boys in short pants. We have a lot of young, talented women also working in the Prime Minister's Office. And I would ask her to withdraw her sexist comments.”
Baird’s comment was met with applause and some laughter. Baird could even be seen grinning.
But it seems May have got the last laugh.
The B.C. MP responded that she “used the term in some degree of levity.”
“I accept that there are, then, also women employed for the purpose of harassing scientists, bullying MPs, and muzzling civil servants,” she said.
“Glad we sorted that out,” Scheer added.