Transport Minister Lisa Raitt Suggests Liberal MP Compared Her To A Dog (VIDEO)

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Transport Minister Lisa Raitt accused a veteran Liberal MP of comparing her to a dog in the House of Commons on Thursday. (CP)
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt accused a veteran Liberal MP of comparing her to a dog in the House of Commons on Thursday. (CP)

Things got heated in the House of Commons on Thursday after Transport Minister Lisa Raitt suggested a veteran Liberal MP compared her to a dog.

All because Ralph Goodale said she had been wearing a "muzzle" when it comes to an issue frustrating many in Western Canada.

The deputy Liberal leader and Saskatchewan MP rose in the House to challenge Raitt on the backlog of grain shipments Prairie farmers fear could result in the loss of billions of dollars.

Goodale urged Raitt to implement an emergency solution under the Canada Transportation Act before the House rises for a two-week break on March 7.

"Why is the minister failing in her responsibility to Western Canadian farmers?" he asked.

But instead of hearing from Raitt, Tory MP Pierre Lemieux, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of agriculture, responded in her place.

Unsatisfied, Goodale then took to Twitter to suggest Raitt was shirking her responsibilities.

But after Raitt responded to another backlog-related question, Goodale tried his luck again.

"Mr. Speaker, it is good to see the minister of Transport has finally doffed her muzzle and is prepared to answer some questions about Western grain transportation," he said.

Goodale said that while Raitt has accused the opposition of "empty rhetoric" on the issue, he is concerned about "empty rail cars, empty ships, empty terminals and empty bank accounts" for farmers.

"There is a $5 billion hole in farmers' bank accounts this winter. The government said it is going to act. When will that be? Before the weekend?" he asked.

CBC News' Rosemary Barton predicted Raitt wouldn't like the muzzle quip.

"Mr. Speaker, I am sure that honourable member didn't try to call me a dog in the House of Commons by assuming that I have a muzzle or anything like that," Raitt replied.

A few shouts of "shame on you" were exchanged on both sides of the aisle. Raitt continued, saying the government has concerns about the movement of grain.

"We are at a point when we understand that action must be taken, and that is what we will do," she said.

Goodale later retracted his words, which Finance Minister Jim Flaherty called misogynistic in a point of order shortly after question period.

This isn't the first time the word "muzzle" has been tossed around in question period.

Back in November, Tory MP Paul Calandra used the word to mock Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

"He seems to have a muzzle," Calandra said of Trudeau. "In fact, he is not even allowed to talk about policy until 2015."

This also isn't the first time a male MP has been accused of comparing a female colleague to a canine.

In 2006, Liberals claimed Tory minister Peter MacKay referred to former Grit MP Belinda Stronach, his ex-girlfriend, as a dog in the House of Commons. MacKay vigorously denied the accusation.

Former Liberal MP Mark Holland told CBC News that during a debate about the impact of pollution on humans and animals, a colleague shouted out: "What about your dog?"

Holland alleged MacKay gestured toward Stronach's empty seat and said: "You already have her."

The very next day, Goodale brought the issue up in question period.

"Is it acceptable to this government for a senior minister to depict another member of this House as his dog?" Goodale asked.

What do you think? Was Goodale's muzzle quip inappropriate? Tell us in the comments.

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