ALBERTA

Naheed Nenshi, Ezra Levant Spat Not Resolved By Mayor's Statement

09/09/2013 07:59 EDT | Updated 09/10/2013 02:22 EDT
CP

Calgary's mayor issued a statement Monday, addressing his use of a cliche that sparked a Twitter debate with Sun News Network's host Ezra Levant.

In a spat on Twitter over a City of Calgary contract with Pembina Institute, Mayor Naheed Nenshi asked Levant, "When did you stop beating your wife?" a term he said was referring to a cliche used to expose "gotcha" questions.

Levant took offense to the term, calling Nenshi a "filthy mouth" and accusing him of attacking his wife.

"If Mr. Levant or anyone else was truly offended by my use of this phrase, of course I apologize," said Nenshi in a statement published on his blog.

Nenshi mentioned Levant has been his debating partner for years, so he does know what the phrase means.

"I've heard him use that line in many debates himself," said Nenshi, "He now is trying to make an issue of my use of that phrase," he added.

Levant said the response was a "classic, grudging" non-apology, saying the mayor was "too vain and proud to say sorry."

He also denied ever calling anyone a "wife-beater" and said he was stunned that "Nenshi just plain stands by calling me a wife-beater and justifies it."

Nenshi also accused Levant of having a long history of exposing viewers to "misleading journalism" -- an issue he said he's tried to address before.

Nenshi referred to a letter he wrote to Sun Media regarding a column Levant wrote in 2011. He said the media organization has yet to take any action on the reported false claims.

Here are highlights of their Twitter debate. What do you think of it? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter at HuffPost Alberta:

Nenshi, Levant Argue On Twitter