09/26/2014 03:29 EDT | Updated 09/26/2014 03:59 EDT

Things Tory MP Paul Calandra Has Actually Said In The House Of Commons


It's been a strange week for Paul Calandra.

On Tuesday, the Conservative MP for the Ontario riding of Oak Ridges —Markham sparked controversy by ducking an NDP question about Iraq with a non-sequitur about Israel. Calandra's response was widely mocked and led some pundits to wonder if question period serves any point at all any more.

But Calandra took to Twitter to double-down.

On Wednesday, Calandra attempted to defend his question period performance on CBC's Power & Politics, sparking an epic facepalm from an NDP rival.

On Friday, Calandra tearfully apologized for his behaviour but conceded there will probably be other times he answers questions in a manner that upsets some of his colleagues.

"I don’t think this will be the last time that I’ll get up and answer a question that doesn’t effectively respond," he said.

As the prime minister’s parliamentary secretary, Calandra earns $16,300 on top of his base MP salary of $163,700 — good for $180,000 a year. His main responsibility, seemingly, is to field queries on behalf of the government during question period.

Last year, that meant responding to some tough questions about the Wright-Duffy affair and Senate expense scandal. But his answers – which often included insults hurled at rivals and personal anecdotes about his family life – spurred criticism he was wasting everyone's time. Though not exactly a household name, a website was created just to mock him.

Here are some of Calandra's more memorable quotes from the House.

  • On New Democrats...
    The Canadian Press
    "New Democrats are like a stinky skunk in a corner. They are the shadow of what they used to be; a party that used to stand for something in this place, that on occasion used to fight for the things they actually believed in. Now they are like a scared little skunk in a corner, ready to spray that smelly spray one last time before they go into oblivion." April 1, 2014
  • On Flowers and Lemonade...
    "I do like flowers and, of course, with lemons I like to make lemonade. My two daughters, this summer, actually had a lemonade stand where they sold lemonade for 5¢ on the street. They did very well. I am very proud of them." November 26, 2013
  • On Knowing Where You Live...
    The Canadian Press
    "One of the first things I taught my daughters when they could speak was their address, so that if they got lost, they would know to tell the police or anybody where they lived." October 30, 2013
  • On His Father's Pizza Shop...
    The Canadian Press
    "My father owned a pizza store. He worked 16 to 18 hours a day. I can tell the House what my father would not have done if he saw somebody stealing from his cash register. He would not have said 'You are suspended, but make sure you come back every two weeks and collect a paycheque'. What he would have said, 'You're fired, leave', and he would have called the police." October 29, 2013
  • On Eugene...
    "Mr. Speaker, just to conclude that story, we also had a driver, Eugene. He was a Philippine immigrant and he used to deliver pizzas. Part of the agreement was that he would provide receipts for gas. Could Eugene have provided extra receipts? He could have, but he did not. He was honourable." October 29, 2013
  • On How Good It Feels To Be A Tory...
    The Canadian Press
    "Thank goodness Canadians elected a strong, stable, national Conservative majority government, led by the best Prime Minister in the world, flanked by a Minister of Finance who has won awards, with the strongest cabinet in Canadian history, and Conservative members of Parliament working all over the country to hope for hope, jobs, and economic prosperity. Those are the reasons I represent." October 21, 2013
  • On His Daughters' Allowances...
    The Canadian Press
    "I have two daughters, a seven-year-old and a five-year-old, two beautiful girls, Natalie and Olivia, and each week I give them an allowance. Part of that allowance might be for cleaning their rooms. Both Natalie and Olivia know that sometimes their mother might clean their rooms. They both know that they should not ask for an allowance because they did not actually do the work." October 30, 2013
  • On Santa Claus...
    The Canadian Press
    "I ask the Liberal Party to join with us in protecting the citizenship of Santa Claus, join with us in making sure the North Pole remains part of Canada. For all of those kids around the world who are depending on Santa Claus, I ask them to abandon their ideas and stick with us, and keep Santa Claus Canadian." December 10, 2013

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