POLITICS
12/07/2011 04:47 EST | Updated 02/06/2012 05:12 EST

Jim Hillyer, Tory MP: Finger Shooting Move Wasn't Meant To Offend, YouTube Poster To Blame

OTTAWA - A Conservative MP who made gunshot gestures as he voted to kill the firearms registry last month says he meant no offence.

A clip of Jim Hillyer miming a two-gun shoot-out as he voted was posted on YouTube on Tuesday, which was the anniversary of the Montreal massacre.

Hillyer says if people were offended they should blame whoever posted the six-week-old video on the anniversary.

New Democrat MP Francoise Boivin says she has had tons of complaints from people appalled by the video.

She demanded an apology.

Hillyer delivered a two-minute soliloquy on the matter, never quite apologizing, but promising not to make gestures in future votes.

His rambling address came after Gordon O'Connor, the government whip, tried to defuse things on his own.

"Somebody maliciously set the video up for yesterday," O'Connor said. "However, regardless, if people anywhere are offended by this action, I apologize.'

Hillyer then plunged into his own painful explanation amid catcalls and jeering laughter.

"If I had intended to cause any offence to victims of violence or anyone else, that would not only demand an apology it would demand far worse than just an apology," he said.

"No offence was intended. No one who sincerely looks at the video and the timing of the video would think for a second that I intended offence towards victims of violence.

"The people who caused the association, the offence, are the people who connected the video at the wrong day. That is terrible."

He told Speaker Andrew Scheer he was sorry he hadn't followed a ruling against making gestures.

"I will not make gestures any more," he said. "I, uh, I have nothing but sympathy for victims of violence and I continue to remain committed to ending violence toward women and all Canadians."

Scheer quickly shut the matter down.

"The member has indicated that he will respect the Speaker's ruling going forward and certainly seems to have indicated regret that anybody may have taken offence."