Manitoba

Pat Martin's latest use of colourful language doesn't shock Tom Mulcair

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair joked that Pat Martin's salty language doesn't surprise him, as the Winnipeg Centre candidate has come under fire for saying 'son of a bitch' during an election forum this week.

Winnipeg Centre NDP incumbent under fire for saying 'son of a bitch' at downtown election forum

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair joked that Pat Martin's salty language doesn't surprise him, as the Winnipeg Centre candidate has come under fire for swearing during an election forum this week 1:36

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair joked that Pat Martin's salty language doesn't surprise him, as the Winnipeg Centre candidate has come under fire for swearing during an election forum this week.

A visibly frustrated Martin could be heard saying "son of a bitch" as he was grilled by Green Party candidate Don Woodstock during a forum on downtown issues on Wednesday evening.

Martin could also be seen saying "f---ing prick," but microphones at the debate did not pick up that remark as clearly.

NDP candidate Pat Martin can be heard saying "you son of a bitch" at the end of this exchange with Green Party candidate Don Woodstock at an election forum hosted by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. 0:54

The incident prompted Woodstock to call upon Mulcair to remove Martin, who has represented Winnipeg Centre for the New Democrats since 1997, from the party.

Speaking to reporters in Regina on Friday, Mulcair didn't sound too surprised to hear that Martin had used some choice words.

"No, really?" Mulcair joked, as others laughed. "I'm sorry, I hate to tell you — that goes more into the category of dog bites man; that's not man bites dog."

Mulcair declined to comment on the incident in question, saying he had not seen video footage of what happened, but he described Martin as a passionate, elected representative.

"I know that Pat is a very determined, very passionate man and he's done an amazing job in Winnipeg Centre over so many years. And as we all know, some of his statements have even made [the] BBC news — that's how colourful they are," Mulcair said.

At the same time, Mulcair said it's important for everyone to be respectful and careful with what they say.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair commented on Pat Martin's colourful language during a campaign stop in Regina on Friday. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

"We do have to all be careful in an election campaign. I try to be respectful of others — it's a tough job — and I want people to look at what we're doing," Mulcair said.

"I try to be respectful of others, and I expect that of people around me."

Mulcair then shifted his focus to a phrase that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper used during the federal leaders' debate on the economy on Thursday.

"Last night in the debate, for example, Prime Minister Harper talked about 'old stock' Canadians. That's very divisive language," he said.

"I think we're all Canadians and I don't like dividing people into categories like that."

On Friday, Martin declined to comment further about what happened on Wednesday night. He told CBC News he is looking forward to the next debate.

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