The NDP accused Conservative minister Ed Fast of making a gun gesture with his hand towards MP Niki Ashton during question period Wednesday.
But Fast, the minister for international trade, said he did no such thing.
NDP MP Dan Harris levelled the accusation shortly after question period concluded.
"The minister for international trade made an inappropriate gesture, making a gun with his hand while saying 'boom' in the direction of the member from Churchill," Harris said, referring to Ashton. "I'm sure every member would agree that this gesture has no place in the House of Commons and I would like to ask the minister to apologize."
Fast, a longtime MP from B.C., said it was actually Harris who owed him — and the Conservatives — an apology.
"Mr. Speaker, this member is making that up," Fast said. "It's completely false. I made no such gesture, I said no such word. I'm surrounded by my colleagues here, none of them saw me make a gesture or make that kind of comment. I ask that member to apologize to me, to this side of the House."
The arguing and bickering between Fast and Harris reportedly continued off camera. Harris later told The Canadian Press that B.C. Conservative MP Ron Cannan approached him on the NDP side of the House and had to be physically restrained.
The gesture allegedly occurred after Ashton accused Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and other Tory ministers of having a "casual relationship with the truth" on Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act.
Ashton said Aglukkaq claimed Tuesday to have been in the Nunavut provincial cabinet in 2001, where she helped solve "a crisis with identification" following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
But Aglukkaq wasn't elected to the Nunavut legislative assembly until 2004.
Aglukkaq responded by saying that after 9/11, Nunavut required ID from citizens in order to access aircraft for medical purposes. She said cameras were purchased for municipalities so Nunavummiut could access ID cars to board aircraft.
"After the 9/11 incident, as we all know, the laws were changed and required identification," she said. "Yes, in fact, I was in cabinet when we purchased those cameras."
Aglukkaq's response drew big cheers from Tories, including Fast, who sits near the environment minister on the front benches.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird emphatically pretended to hit a homerun. Fast appeared on tape to point in Baird's general direction.
As a member of the NDP shadow cabinet, Ashton, the party's critic for the status of women, sits across the aisle.
Journalist Cormac MacSweeney also tweeted a screengrab capturing Fast's gesture.
In a scrum after question period, Ashton said she didn't see the alleged gun gesture.
"I sit on the very far side of the House but one of my colleagues indicated in the House that he saw it," she said.
Ashton said she was shocked and would not have interpreted any kind of gun gesture as playful.
"You know, women in this House, we often talk about the kind of harassment, the kind of — the heckling, the attitudes we see. This is beyond that," she said. "I mean this is a threat to — frankly, to security."
But Fast reiterated to reporters that Harris' accusation was completely without merit.
"I've demanded an apology from him and I expect an apology from him," Fast said.
In 2011, Tory MP Jim Hillyer sparked some controversy by celebrating his vote to abolish the long gun registry with a "finger gun" gesture in the House.
With a file from The Canadian Press
Also on HuffPost:
On April 1, 2014, members of Parliament received a 2.2 per cent pay increase, bringing the basic pay of each MP up to $163,700 from $160,200 the year prior. But while that base salary is the same for every member, certain MPs are afforded the chance to make much more. The full list of indemnities, salaries and allowances can be found <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/lists/Salaries.aspx?Menu=HOC-Politic&Section=03d93c58-f843-49b3-9653-84275c23f3fb" target="_blank">here.</a>
Member of the House of Commons
Tory MP Brad Butt (Mississauga-Streetsville) is an example of an MP who earns just the base salary afforded to all MPs. <strong>2014 Salary: $163,700</strong> There are currently 308 MPs.
Prime Minister of Canada
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, however, makes double the salary of your average MP. <strong>2014 Salary: $327,400 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong>
Speaker of the House of Commons
Tory MP Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu'Appelle) earns the base salary, plus $78,300 for serving as Speaker. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car allowance: $1,000</strong>
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair earns the base MP salary, plus $78,300 for leading the Official Opposition. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong>
Treasury Board President Tony Clement (Parry Sound–Muskoka), like other cabinet ministers, earns $78,300 on top of the base MP salary. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong> There are 39 cabinet ministers in Harper's government (including ministers of state who make slightly less).
Minister of State
Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre (Nepean-Carleton), like all other ministers of state, earns $58,700 on top of his base MP salary. But junior ministers do not received a car allowance. <strong>2014 Salary: $222,400</strong>
Leader of Other Parties
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and the leaders of the Green Party and Bloc Quebecois earn the base MP salary, plus $55,600 for serving as their party's top dog. <strong>2014 Salary: $219,300</strong>
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Tory MP Peter Van Loan (York-Simcoe) earns $78,300 on top of the base MP salary. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong>
Oppostion House Leader
NDP MP Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster) earns the base MP salary plus a $40,600 pay bump for serving as Opposition House leader. <strong>2014 Salary: $204,300</strong> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/21/nathan-cullen-ndp-finance-critic-salary_n_5007937.html" target="_blank">Former NDP House leader Nathan Cullen recently took a $40,000 pay cut to move from that role to NDP finance critic.</a>
House Leader (Other Parties)
Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour), earns the base MP salary plus $16,300 for serving as House leader for his party. <strong>2014 Salary: $180,000</strong>
Chief Government Whip
Tory MP John Duncan (Vancouver Island North) earns the base MP salary, plus $29,400 for serving as the Harper government's whip. <strong>2014 Salary: $193,100</strong>
Chief Opposition Whip
NDP MP Nycole Turmel (Hull—Aylmer) also earns an additional $29,400 for serving as the Opposition's whip. <strong>2014 Salary: $193,100</strong>
Tory MP Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges—Markham) is one of 31 parliamentary secretaries who gets a $16,300 pay bump on top of their salaries. <strong>2014 Salary: $180,000</strong>
UP NEXT: Pierre Poilievre Through The Years
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises in the House of Commons to apologize for making an obscene gesture yesterday, in Ottawa Wednesday June 14, 2006. (CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)
Ottawa-area Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre smiles as he talks with reporters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Tuesday Feb. 27, 2007. Poilievre referred to "extremist elements" in the Liberal party that want to ease anti-terror laws and shut down the Air India inquiry last week.(CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson) Canada
Democratic Reform Minister Peter Van Loan (right), with Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre looking on, makes an announcement on the introduction of the Accountability with Respect to Loans legislation at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec across the river from Ottawa, Tuesday May 8, 2007.(CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand) CANADA ,
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises in the House of Commons to apologize for saying in a radio interview Wednesday that native people need to learn the value of hard work more than they need residential schools compensation, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday June 12, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tom Hanson
With copies of the Conservative accountabilty booklets, Conservative M.P. Pierre Poilievre waits for the start of the Commons House affairs committee looking into allegations of Tory election spending misconduct during the last election, on Monday Sept. 10, 2007 in Ottawa. (CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand)
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks in the House of Commons during question period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday June 16, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Pierre Poilievre, parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, leaves a news conference after speaking with the media about the gun registry in the Foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday September 14, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday October 15, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Adrian Wyld
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre poses with a bust of Sir John A. Macdonald after announcing the former Bank of Montreal building would be renamed in honour of Canada's first prime minister during a ceremony in Ottawa, Ont., Wednesday January 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday February 28, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre holds up copies of legislation as he responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Friday October 19, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Pierre Poilievre is sworn in as the minister of state for democratic reform during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, July 15, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), poses for a group photo after the swearing in of the federal cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, July 15, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
Minister of State Pierre Poilievre stands in the House of Commons during Question Period, in Ottawa Friday, February 7, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Minister of State (Democratic Reform) Pierre Poilievre responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, February 27, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
UP NEXT: The Fair Election Act
"The Fair Elections Act will ensure everyday citizens are in charge of democracy, by putting special interests on the sidelines and rule-breakers out of business," says Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre. Read more about the Fair Elections Act <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/harper-government-introduces-fair-elections-act" target="_blank">here.</a>
Crackdown On Illegal Robocalls
The legislation proposes a <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-protecting-voters-rogue-callers" target="_blank">mandatory public registry</a> for mass automated election calls, jail time for those convicted of impersonating an elections official, and "increased penalties for deceiving people out of their votes."
No More 'Vouching' For Your Buddy
In the interest of cracking down on voter fraud, the bill would prohibit the practice whereby one Canadian vouches for another's identity at a polling station. In fact, voter information cards will no longer be accepted as proof of identity. <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-fair-elections-act-cracking-down-voter-fraud" target="_blank">But the government says voters will still have 39 forms of authorized ID to choose from in order to prove their identity and residence.</a>
Independence For The Elections Commissioner
The Commissioner of Canada Elections office, responsible for enforcing the elections law, will be moved under the mantle of the public prosecutor's office, not Elections Canada. Conservatives believe this will give the commissioner <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-independent-commissioner-sharper-teeth-longer-reach-and-freer-hand" target="_blank">more independence</a> as the Chief Electoral Officer will no longer be able to direct him to carry out investigations. In future, the commissioner would be appointed by the director of public prosecutions to a non-renewable, seven-year term. The legislation <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/02/04/fair-elections-act-poilievre-robocalls_n_4723565.html" target="_blank">also bars</a> former political candidates, political party employees, ministerial or MP staffers or employees of Elections Canada from being named commissioner. <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-independent-commissioner-sharper-teeth-longer-reach-and-freer-hand" target="_blank">Tories believe the legislation will give the commissioner "sharper teeth" and a "longer reach" to seek out stronger penalties for offences.</a>
More Donations Welcome
The ceiling for individual political donations would be raised to $1,500 from $1,200 and party spending limits would be increased by five per cent. Union and corporate donations are still banned, though.
The West Won't Have To Wait
A long-standing ban on the <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-fair-elections-act-respecting-democratic-elections-defending-freedom-speech" target="_blank">premature transmission of election results</a> will be lifted, meaning voters in Western Canada will get to know how things are shaping up out East before heading to the polls. Broadcasters can share results from Eastern Canada on election night, even if the polls aren't closed in the West. The government believes this change will uphold free speech.
New Rules On Political Loans
The legislation would raise the amount candidates can <a href="http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/04/conservatives-unveil-fair-elections-act-which-they-say-will-crack-down-on-illegal-robocalls/" target="_blank">contribute to their own campaigns to $5,000.</a> Leadership contestants will be allowed to give their own campaign up to $25,000.
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John Patrick Stanley