Toronto may be the city that some Canadians love to hate but it seems at least one MP has had enough.
Liberal Adam Vaughan rose in the House of Commons Friday to defend Canadaâs largest city and throw some subtle jabs at a Conservative leadership candidate who has been accused of inferring Torontonians arenât neighbourly.
âInsulting people because of where they come from is not just bad manners, itâs wrong,â Vaughan said in a memberâs statement. âSo, why are people of Toronto treated this way?â
The Trinity-Spadina MP bemoaned how the words âBay Streetâ are tossed around in the Commons like an insult, when itâs also the home of seniors, unionized workers and shopkeepers.
Vaughan then targeted a strange matter involving Tory MP Kellie Leitch andâŠ sugar.
The Conservative leadership hopeful told the Collingwood Connection in 2011 that she left the big city because it had âno sense of community.â
As an example, she said downtown Toronto wasnât the kind of place where youâd knock on a neighbourâs door to ask for a cup of sugar.
"Insulting people because of where they come from is not just bad manners, itâs wrong."
Leitch, best known for her proposed policy of screening newcomers for âanti-Canadian values,â said much the same in a recent Toronto Life story.
A popular Toronto Star columnist responded last month with a piece proclaiming that Leitch was âdead wrongâ about Toronto and its people. An online campaign â "Send Kellie Sugar" â is now urging Torontonians to mail Leitch sugar packets.
Vaughan did not call out Leitch directly but left little confusion about who he was referencing when he charged that a member of the chamber had suggested Torontonians are bad neighbours.
âThatâs mean. Itâs silly. And itâs wrong,â he said. âNobody in this House should look down their nose at people just because of what part of the country they come from, regardless of whether itâs a town, a region or a province.â
Kellie Leitch arrives at the Conservative summer caucus retreat in Halifax on Sept. 13, 2016. (Photo: Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)
Vaughan said Toronto is actually full of good people.
âEven if all you need is a cup of sugar, trust me, knock on the door next door, you will find some sweetness,â he said. âInsulting people because they come from Toronto is not just bad leadership, itâs bad politics.
âAnd if someone is giving you that adviceâŠ oh, sorry. I wrote this last night.â
While the end of his speech may have seemed like a flub, it was likely referencing the fact that Nick Kouvalis, the mastermind behind Leitchâs controversial, populist campaign, quit Thursday night.