While many Canadians anxiously watched the drama unfold in America after the election results, Canada’s parliament had its own stink. Conservative MP Michelle Rempel likened the job crisis in Alberta to a “fart in the room nobody wants to talk about.” As she was blasting her impassioned speech, she was interrupted by Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who couldn’t even bring herself to repeat the dreaded “f word” and instead spelt it out. In her rebuttal, May cited the word as “unparliamentary,” and continued to bark back at Ms. Rempel. The Calgarian MP was fuming, and refused to take what she said back, much to Ms. May’s dismay. As the leader responded to the backdraft from Michelle Rempel, she addressed the importance of decorum while in session, and called out those who tooted their distaste of her own actions.
So called “fart-gate” has now divided the members of parliament, with some saying words like that should join the banned list of phrases, and join the ranks of “Canadian Mussolini” and “evil genius.” Some even go on to say that Michelle Rempel is just full of hot air, while others praised her speech, and hailed her colourful language. Shortly after the incident, videos of the altercation started swirling around social media, and are once again reminding the world that not every country in North America is going downhill, despite Canadian politics becoming the butt of the joke for the next month. With Brexit and Trump dominating many of the world’s newsfeeds, it’s nice to see a squeak from Canada to remind the world that we are still here.
Despite her creative word choice, Michelle Rempel is definitely passionate about the people she represents, and in this case, it was wrong for Elizabeth May to interrupt her and criticize her instead of debating job markets for the working class. Ms. Rempel didn’t dance around the issue or use fluffy words, but instead addressed the issue head on, and now people are talking about it. Whether it was intentional or not, the debate around a fart is now causing many people to become interested in what our members of parliament are doing for the people, and all it took was an utterance of odour for people to look into real issues.
Personally, I am absolutely okay if the worst thing elected officials are doing is debating the use of the word fart. In fact, watching how this incident is causing a rumble throughout Canada, and seeing fellow Canadians laughing over the absurdity of it all reassures me of our peace in our socialist utopia. After watching the aftermath of a political bomb drop in the States, and watching an orange monster who is also President-elect starting even more Twitter beef with other celebrities, it’s refreshing to see my newsfeed slowly being replaced with wholesome Canadian drama. I would much rather hear about all things Canadian than listen to the roar from our rear neighbours.