The Winnipeg Centre NDP MP Pat Martin, a self-admitted “loudmouth,” claims he now chooses civility. That’s like a fox telling us he’s decided to be nice to chickens. Martin has held his Manitoba seat since 1997 and has accomplished little in Ottawa other than becoming somewhat of a media darling who can be counted on for a sound bite now and then.
Martin’s the fellow who once referred to asbestos producers as “corporate serial killers.”
On another occasion, he compared the governor of North Dakota to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, because of ND’s disagreement with Manitoba over the Devils Lake outlet. He also quoted a 1980s Alberta bumper sticker, saying we should let “the bastards [Americans] freeze in the dark.”
Martin is also remembered as the MP who attacked a Christian organization saying, “they [Opus Dei] give me the creeps.” And he stated his opposition to funding an $11 million youth center in Winnipeg being built by the social-service organization, Youth For Christ, saying they were “evangelical fundamentalists” who were “preying on vulnerable kids.”
Rancour among opposition MPs in Ottawa towards the government and Conservatives in general is palpable, and nowhere is this malicious resentfulness more noticeable than in Pat Martin. Earlier this year, he called MP Kelly Block (Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar) a “hapless dupe for a bunch of rednecks.”
The fellow is a sanctimonious blowhard and bully who uses his membership on Parliamentary committees to browbeat government representatives in a rude and disparaging manner. During his 2011 verbal assault while questioning International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda, Martin suggested Ms. Oda was a “lousy minister,” the “minister of weasel words” and that she was either a “very poor minister or equally poor liar.” This from an MP who was not even a voting member of the committee that was considering whether Ms. Oda should be found in contempt of Parliament—he had been brought in by the NDP to be their non-voting “hit man” to entertain the media and to humiliate the beleaguered minister to the full extent of his rather limited vocabulary.
As I’ve said before in this space, the man’s an odious fellow and a bit of a clown who needs to find ways to seem relevant to his constituents. He’s one of those career politicians who’s in the House of Commons because it is the best paying form of employment he’s ever likely to get—that is, for personal gain. It rankles political hacks like Martin that they will never achieve real power and influence in Ottawa and sometimes their envy and personal animosity towards those who hold power gets the best of them.
In acknowledging he doesn’t expect to be asked to show the ropes to any of the 68 new NDP MPs, Pat Martin said:
“I’m probably the wrong guy to be mentoring young MPs. It would probably be limiting to their careers to follow my footsteps.”
And all Canadians can be thankful for that.