Ottawa

MPP Lisa MacLeod reportedly swears at Ottawa Senators owner in public berating

The Ontario Liberals are calling on Premier Doug Ford to suspend Ottawa-area MPP Lisa MacLeod from caucus after a report that she swore at the owner of the Ottawa Senators NHL franchise during a Rolling Stones concert.

Ontario Liberals urge Premier Doug Ford to suspend MacLeod from cabinet

Lisa MacLeod, then the minister of children, community and social service, makes an announcement about Ontario's autism program at Queen's Park in March 2019. (Tijana Martin/Canadian Press)

The Ontario Liberals are calling on Premier Doug Ford to suspend Ottawa-area MPP Lisa MacLeod from caucus after a report that she swore at the owner of the Ottawa Senators NHL franchise during a Rolling Stones concert.

In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, Eugene Melnyk said he was with a group of people at the show near Barrie, Ont., on Saturday night when he saw someone "trying to bust through."

"I'm thinking, 'OK, might be a crazed fan and that's fine. I've gotten used to it.' And all of a sudden it's this woman and she yells at me, 'Do you know who I am?''' Melnyk recalled.

"I can't place her so I said, 'I'm sorry. No.' And she yells, 'I am your minister and you're a f--king piece of shit and you're a f--king loser.'"

Melnyk and the Senators have not responded to multiple requests for comment from CBC News.

MPP Lisa MacLeod reportedly had harsh words for Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, with some Ottawa residents split on whether or not the interaction was justified. 0:56

MacLeod says she apologized

On Twitter Friday morning, MacLeod wrote that she gave Melnyk some "feedback" at the show on Saturday, and that she apologized to him "for being so blunt."

She did not go into detail about what she said, writing only that she has "serious concerns about the state of our beloved Ottawa Senators!"

She tweeted again on Friday evening and said she regretted her remarks and has offered to meet with Melnyk. 

MacLeod, who represents the riding of Nepean, has not responded to requests for comment.

Following MacLeod's tweet, the Ottawa Senators released a statement saying Melnyk "stands firmly by his recounting of the exchange."

The statement goes on to say that Melnyk received a phone call from Premier Ford.

"[Melnyk] is grateful for the leadership the premier showed and was impressed with how he approached this difficult situation," the statement reads.

'Conduct is inappropriate and unbecoming'

Later Monday, Liberal MPP Michael Coteau called on Ford to remove MacLeod from cabinet and suspend her from caucus pending further training.

"For months now, parents, professionals and concerned citizens have warned the minister's conduct is inappropriate and unbecoming of a cabinet minister," reads a news release issued by Coteau, referring to criticism of MacLeod's handling of the autism file in her previous role as minister of children, community and social services.

"It's clear the conduct is not changing."

It's not the first time Coteau has called for MacLeod to step down. In February, he asked her to resign after leaked emails appeared to show her ministry directed autism service providers to stop helping Ontario families on the waiting list last fall.