Canada

Lukiwski's anti-gay comment 'unacceptable,' but PM stands by him

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said a Conservative MP has apologized for "completely unacceptable" anti-gay comments he made nearly two decades ago and will not be disciplined.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said a Conservative MP has apologized for "completely unacceptable" anti-gay comments he made almost two decades ago and will not be disciplined.

Saskatchewan MP Tom Lukiwski came under fire last week when a 1991 videotape was discovered in which Lukiwski made homophobic slurs. He apologized twice for comments, saying they were "thoughtless" and "insensitive."

In the House of Commons on Monday, Harper said the MP has given an "unqualified" apology and demonstrated remorse for his comment.

"I believe that when such apology and remorse is sought from an individual member, the generous and high-minded thing to do is to accept that apology," Harper said in response to NDP and Liberal calls for Lukiwski's dismissal as parliamentary secretary to the government house leader.

Harper was attending a NATO summit in Bucharest last week when the tape surfaced after it was found by the NDP. In the video, Lukiwski refers to homosexuals as "faggots with dirt on their fingernails that transmit diseases."

The video was recorded during a party at the Saskatchewan Progressive Conservative campaign headquarters. It also shows now Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall making crude remarks about former NDP premier Roy Romanow and mimicking a thick Ukrainian accent.

"The member has taken responsibility for those things which he said a very long time ago. His apology and remorse are absolutely clear and heartfelt," said Harper.

With files from the Canadian Press