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Canadian MP Apologizes for 'Diseased Homosexual Faggot' Remarks

The New Democratic Party of Canada released a 16-year-old videotaped recording on Thursday in which Saskatchewan MP Tom Lukiwski was heard making racist and homophobic slurs. The New Democrats asked the prime minister to remove him from the party caucus.

LukiwskiAccording to the Toronto Star, "The video captures a group of party workers including Brad Wall, now premier of Saskatchewan, and Senator Eric Berntson. It was shot on the night of a leaders' debate during the 1991 provincial election campaign at party headquarters. Some workers are drinking. There is a lot of profanity. Lukiwski, who was a 40-year-old Tory organizer at the time, appears on screen saying 'I may be old, but I'm f---ing A, eh.'"

Lukiwski then went on to explain: "Let me put it to you this way — there’s As and Bs. The As are guys like me. The Bs are homosexual faggots with dirt in their fingernails that transmit diseases."

According to CANOE, "Pat Atkinson, the Saskatchewan NDP’s deputy house leader, said the tape appears to have been made during the 1991 provincial election campaign. Lukiwski was a Tory organizer at the time and Wall was a ministerial aide. Her party found the tape after moving into Opposition offices last fall following a loss to Wall’s Saskatchewan Party. She said there were also remarks on the video directed at the provincial Liberal leader at the time, Lynda Haverstock, about her gender. The federal Liberals demanded that Lukiwski be stripped of his parliamentary secretary status. "

Lukiwski apologized to reporters after the revelation. Said Lukiwski: "If I could take those comments back, I would. I would give anything to take those comments back. They do not reflect the type of person that I am. I can only say that on behalf of myself, my family and my children, I am sorry. I am ashamed."

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

(clip via Queerty)

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Comments

  1. Oh he doesn't come across in the clip so much as just homophobic, but a drunk asshole.

    And if every tape of every asshole who chose to immortalize their idiocy for all time were to surface, we'd all still be viewing in 3000 AD...

    Of course, this does nothing to dispel the common belief that Conservatives are selfish nasty minded slugs, but I digress..

    Posted by: protogenes | Apr 4, 2008 8:55:05 AM


  2. Sorry, but being drunk doesn't excuse comments like that. I've been drunk off my ass before (many times, actually), and it has NEVER caused me to say things like that. I find that alcohol removes inhibitions and reveals the true nature of a man... and this appears to be his true nature whether he's willing to admit it or not.

    Frankly, I'm kind of happy to see that the United States isn't the only North American country with dicks like this in elected office. I was beginning to wonder.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Apr 4, 2008 9:11:13 AM


  3. Lukiwski says he unequivocally apologizes if anyone was offended. Why isn't everyone offended? Why not just leave it at "I unequivocally apologize"? The subtext is that lots of people agree with his racism and homophobia, including much of his constituency.

    Posted by: Jeff Atwood | Apr 4, 2008 9:19:53 AM


  4. Lukiwski says he unequivocally apologizes if anyone was offended. Why isn't everyone offended? Why not just leave it at "I unequivocally apologize"? The subtext is that lots of people agree with his racism and homophobia, including much of his constituency.

    Posted by: Jeff Atwood | Apr 4, 2008 9:21:35 AM


  5. I'm shocked! I'm just shocked that a member of the Canadian version of the Republican Party is a racist, sexist, homophobic jerk. Who could have ever thought that was the cased based on the anti-immigrant and anti-gay rights platform of the Tories in the 1990s?

    The guy is only sorry that he got caught and that his real opinions are made public. This guy will just say his apologies and continue just as any Republican in the U.S. who gets caught doing similar has this stuff roll off his back.

    If anyone thought that Canadians were free of racist, sexist, and homophobic idiot, then welcome to the real world.

    Posted by: noah | Apr 4, 2008 9:43:21 AM


  6. While our Canadian Conservatives come in a much 'milder' form than the ones you Americans have to put up with - ours have learned not to be overt about their homophobia and thus quite dangerous (though this video is a welcome public display of their private feelings).
    Many people (Canadians included) seem unaware that the reason same-sex marriage became a reality up here was because of court decisions. These legal battles were paid for by something called the' Court Challenges Program'. The idea behind the CCP was that in order for minority groups to actually fight for their rights, as promised to them by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms (America's promises 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and Canada's promises 'peace, order and good government'), they would actually need to PAY for those legal battles.
    Anyway the current Conservative government gutted and ended the CCP last year.
    As an aside, many in the gay community here know that our Conservative Prime Minister's right-hand man is a homosexual (he's not 'in' but he's not 'out' either). Hs name is John Baird and while he voted against a Conservative attempt to end SSM - he did vote in favour of ending the CCP.
    The papers up here talk about how he takes out the PMs wife all the time (hint, hint! They talk about shoes!).

    Posted by: UnionStayshyn | Apr 4, 2008 9:43:59 AM


  7. "with dirt under their fingernails"?

    That's so weird, so out of nowhere, it's a perfect example of how people who disdain some group or activity often link that group with the symbol of filthy sights or smells as a rationalization for their prejudice.

    We've all heard fags disparage vaginas this way, and probably done it ourselves. A classic old-time white racist trope is that blacks smell bad. And straight guys talk this way about cocks (which is sad, really, since they are alienating themselves from a part of their own bodies.)

    Posted by: Miles | Apr 4, 2008 9:44:50 AM


  8. @Protogenes: If he is a member of the NDP party... he is not a conservative. The NDP are socialist democrats, and about as far left leaning as you can get in our country without voting for the Communist Party (we have them too!)

    I am happy that he stepped down and apologized so quickly though. In all honesty, I had not even heard about the video yet and he had already done so. Once again, some American politicians (*cough* Craig *cough*) could learn a thing or two about taking responsibility for your actions.

    For me, my support for this party has not waivered. It will take more than drunken ramblings to do that...

    A few years ago, when the marriage debate was getting heated, the leader of the NDP party Jack Layton came to the Edmonton pride parade. He made a speech about how he was going to fight to stop parliament from going on their summer break before a decision about same-sex marriage had been made. He had the entire croud chanting "No Holidy Until Equality!". From that moment on, my support for the party has been rock solid.

    Posted by: Taylor | Apr 4, 2008 9:47:48 AM


  9. Ack my apologies. The NDP party asked for his resignation. I COMPLETELY misread the article.

    Early mornings are so much fun :D

    Posted by: Taylor | Apr 4, 2008 9:49:39 AM


  10. "I may be old, but I'm f*cking A."

    Uh, okay. Let's hear him out...

    "Let me put it to you this way — there’s As and Bs. The As are guys like me. The Bs are homosexual faggots with dirt in their fingernails that transmit diseases."

    So, following the formula he proposed:

    1) He's f*cking A.
    2) A's = guys like him
    3) Ergo, he's f*cking a guy like him.

    Oh! I get it! Leave the poor man alone. What he's saying, fellas, is that he's a homosexual faggot with clean fingernails screwing other homosexual faggots with clean fingernails. And his cleanliness has prevent the spread of under-the-nail bacteria during finger fucking. If only my lovers were so fastidious!

    Gay bloggers, I think we can all agree that that is a noble cause to support, however specific and bizarre...we tip our hats to you, MP Lukiwski. Godspeed in your hygienic man-loving adventures!

    Posted by: Michael | Apr 4, 2008 9:54:28 AM


  11. UNION, I agree with your post 100%. I wonder how the Conservatives (formerly the Reform party) feel about JOhn Baird, being classified as the Prime Minister's 'pitbull', and having so much power, and he is a big mo?
    As for Lukiwski, he's just sorry he got caught. Let's see if the PM kicks him out.

    Posted by: secretagentman | Apr 4, 2008 10:06:25 AM


  12. Awkward. I actually know Tom Lukiwski slightly, from past election campaigns. Nice guy, but I'm not going to excuse or defend his idiotic statement, even if it was made while under the influence. Homophobia is homophobia.

    That said I want to make a couple of corrections. First, the Conservative Party of Canada is NOT the Republican equivalent, though too many of its members would like it to be. Almost all of these are ex-Reform Party/Canadian Alliance people, members of a defunct right-wing populist movement. The Conservative Party itself is relatively new, former by the merger of Reform/CA with the old Progressive Conservative Party. It was that party Lukiwski (and incidentally I) came out of(and in my case Came Out in). Its tradition was more UK Tory or Euro Christian Democrat, or for Americans, Rockefeller Republican. That party extended the vote to women and Native Americans, appointed the first woman and black man to the Cabinet, and ended the ban on gays in the military.

    But even that party of course had its many rednecks, esp in the Prairies where Tom and I are from. That 1991 campaign in particular, in which I was an 18-year-old volunteer, was coloured by an unfortunate, desperate attempt by then-Premier Devine to court the Fundie vote(which backfired, as it usually does in Canada). I remember that as being a very homophobic time.

    Second, I have no idea whether John Baird, Federal Min of the Environment, is gay, and don't much care, but he's by no stretch PM Harper's "right-hand man." I can think of at least 6 people in Cabinet with more clout and influence, and those pale in comparison to Harper's staff.

    Congratulations on completing the Mind Reader class, btw, UnionStashyn, since you claim to know the secret thoughts of all Canadian Conservatives.

    Oh, the thing about "dirt under the fingernails" is classic hick-on-hick trash talk in SK, found on both sides of the political aisle, as each side labels the other low brow(which granted makes as much sense as a rivalry between Juneau and Anchorage).

    What's weird is how many young gays worked on that same campaign, in some cases prominently. One is now Chief of Staff to the Minister of Finance, after sitting on the Board of an AIDS Hospice for some years.

    Posted by: Clay | Apr 4, 2008 10:42:27 AM


  13. Well, Clay, I'll leave it to others to decide if Conservative Minister Baird being a hushed homo is an issue to them or not. I was merely putting it out there since it seemed relevant to the post.
    I'm assuming that one of those 6 you mentioned is our Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty? I saw him speak in 2004 in front of Queen's Park at a 'Defend Marriage' rally (it was fun - though there were only about 25 of us protesting the rally so we were greatly outnumbered and I tried to hide my fear with anger). Flaherty's a proud 'social conservative' and, in fact, our Mr.Baird supported his bid for the Ontario PC leadership.
    So when I think of Mr. Baird, I think of that rally, and that means I can't be as admirably objective as you.

    Posted by: UnionStayshyn | Apr 4, 2008 11:26:41 AM


  14. you guys really wanna crucify someone for comments he made... 17 years ago? don't you think that probably a LOT of people's views on gays have evolved since then? the guy apologized and said he was ashamed. I don't think he should be stripped of his livelihood for this.

    I think that sometimes, we are so ready to be indignant about every injustice sent our way that we lose a little bit of perspective. And, generally, we SHOULD be indignant. But I think it's also important to be able to forgive those who ask for forgiveness, and show our foes who think they know what "values" are the meaning of true compassion.

    Posted by: Danny | Apr 4, 2008 11:32:35 AM


  15. Sorry Clay, but as the saying goes, "you lie down with dogs, you're gonna get fleas". Because the Conservatives joined with Reform, they obviously tolerate the many racist, homophobic members, and doing that makes them equally culpable. As a fellow gay man from the prairies, I am saddened you would defend them.
    Gays in the Conservative party should be just as ashamed as gays in the Republican party.

    Posted by: secretagentman | Apr 4, 2008 11:41:17 AM


  16. I think it's fascinating that a conservative MP in Canada made stupid, bigoted comments about gays 17 years ago and he apologizes and there are calls for his resignation. In the US, conservative elected official Sally Kern made stupid, bigoted comments about gays, not in her youth but recently, and she got a standing ovation from her colleagues and a rally in support. There is a wide gulf between the US and Canada in dealing with gay issues.

    Posted by: sam | Apr 4, 2008 11:41:21 AM


  17. Danny, if this was just 'a guy' then I'd accept the apology, shrug it off and move on. But he's an elected government official. How do you think his gay constituents feel?
    As a 'person' his feelings on homosexuality really shouldn't concern me - as a 'Canadian MP' they should (particularly given similarly homophobic remarks made by other members of his party in the more recent past).

    Posted by: UnionStayshyn | Apr 4, 2008 11:53:57 AM


  18. He should totally step donwn, if he hasn't already. Like I said elsewhere, he's not just homophobic but xenophobic as well. He insulted the Ukrainian-Canadian community in the same video I believe(even though The Star referred to the comments as "racist", well duh, Ukrainians aren't a different "race"), but yeah! Glad that MP Bill Siksay, who is also gay has asked the government to “take proper action”.

    Posted by: Shabaka | Apr 4, 2008 12:10:58 PM


  19. Shabaka, "race" has several definitions. I think the one most people use defines race as a group of persons related by common descent or heredity.

    Posted by: RJ | Apr 4, 2008 1:04:40 PM


  20. SECRETAGENTMAN, you clearly have no idea what you're talking about. Ignorant people should keep their mouths shut from time to time. I think Lukiwski's fuck up is ample demonstration of that.

    UNIONSTAYSHYN(just noticed the Ukrainian pun there, unless I'm mistaken), you've overstated your case, though you're not fundamentally wrong. Proof of Baird's sexuality or its relevance, please?

    Flaherty opposes gay marriage. I disagree with him. There are gay activists who oppose gay marriage too, from the Left. His social conservatism boils down to being pro-Life. The guy has an Out gay Chief of Staff, whom he valued enough to steal back from one of Canada's richest law firms.

    Lukiwski explicitly he's "ashamed" for saying what he did. He's publicly flagellated himself. This excuses nothing, but it's a clear acknowledgment of how grossly inappropriate his words (17 years ago) were. Was he sincere? No idea, but the earlier poster nailed in via the Sally Kern contrast: it's proof that such statements are outside the limits of Canadian politics, including inside the Conservative party.

    There is, sadly, homophobia within the Conservative Party, esp in some quarters. It is very much a non-mainstream POV, however. There is abundant homophobia in the other parties as well. Anti-gay bitch MP Roseanne Skoke was a Liberal, remember? Anti-gay bible thumper MP Tom Woppel is STILL a member of the Liberal caucus. There are homophobes in the NDP, when you get out into the steel mills and wheat fields wings.

    There are also gay and gay positive members of all the parties. A gay man was nearly elected Conservative Party President in 2004. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc all have Out MPs. The spectrum is broader and more complex than casual blog readers may realize.

    Posted by: Clay | Apr 4, 2008 2:53:36 PM


  21. "Flaherty opposes gay marriage. I disagree with him. There are gay activists who oppose gay marriage too, from the Left."

    Did you see what you did there? My impulse is to leave a bitchy response since your analogy is not only completely absurd, but it also reveals your own naivety about what happens when you combine homophobia with ACTUAL political power. Course, by the sounds of it, you yourself are a Conservative supporter and you seem to feel the need to justify this.
    Did I mention the rally where I watched Flaherty work up a LARGE crowd with rhetoric about stopping the 'corruption' of this country by people like me? Did I mention the end to the Court Challenges Program? Did I mention Harper's attempts a few years ago to rile up new Canadians on the issue of SSM in order to get votes?
    The list goes on. Sure, the other parties have despicable members but when they hire a guy who would love to repeal my country's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that would be Ian Brodie, only then might your pathetic analogies might start to resemble something sane.

    Posted by: UnionStayshyn | Apr 4, 2008 3:25:08 PM


  22. Kick him out of the government.He is a homophobic sob.Alcohol brings the real person out.It breaks barriers and let the real person to come out and real feelings and attitudes to surface.Is easy to apologize after the fact but the damage is already done.Is like stabbing someone to death and then all the "I'm sorry" will not bring him back.The damage is done.

    Posted by: Oscar | Apr 4, 2008 3:29:33 PM


  23. UnionStayshyn, obviously you feel the need to be as hysterical as possible about this. How rude of me to have gotten in your way, sorry. Please go right ahead and list off all the obscure Tory members who've annoyed you in some way, a'la Ian Brodie or some other desk clerk who gets your goat.

    If you have any proof that Flaherty accused gay people of inherently corrupting the country, please share it. I'm sure his Out, proud, married Chief of Staff would be interested.

    I made no analogy, absurd or otherwise. I simply pointed out that your "example" of Flaherty's homophobia was insufficient to sell that label. He may be a homophobe. He may be an axe murderer. But you've presented no proof. Same goes for John Baird's sex life.

    You've made a whole series of sweeping assertions in your comments, mostly without hard facts. CCP was a program, for example, that used taxpayers' money to fund lawsuits by lobby groups(some I support, some I don't). It's appropriate for such groups to raise their own funds and organize public support. This is a sound democratic principle.

    But don't let that or me get in the way of your frenzy. Obviously today is one of your angry days, and I wouldn't want to impose any oppressive standards of behaviour on you. After all, you're the sane one. That's why you're shrieking.

    Posted by: Clay | Apr 4, 2008 5:02:03 PM


  24. You're right, Clay . In the words of the greatest Canadian leader of all time, "Reason above Passion."

    (oh and Ian Brodie is PM Steve's Chief of Staff but why let facts get in the way of your delusions - good luck).

    Posted by: UnionStayshyn | Apr 4, 2008 8:06:15 PM


  25. Prime Minister,

    Until Tom Lukiwski declares in the national media his current thinking about "faggots," those second-class "B" people, I DEMAND that this mentally disturbed individual be removed from his parliamentary secretary post. No wonder all public relations are restricted to the PMO. But here is a dirty little past, revealing your caucus as a repulsive circus and freakshow. "Dirty nails," "disease spreaders"--what quality of individuals do you have in your caucus? He is shameful to your party, to Canada and to Canadians.

    It is not enough that he regrets that his hatemongering was captured on camera. "Regrets"--I'm sure his wallet regrets him being captured on film. The radio today satirized that native leader and accused anti-Semite David Ahenakew condemned Lukiwski for using the term "regret."

    The man needs to be fired post haste, immediately. Until that is done, Mr. Harper, you have no hope of this voter EVER voting for your party.

    Shame, shame, shame until you show some values.

    Ian
    Toronto Rosedale

    cc: Jack Layton (NDP), Bloq Quebecois, Stephane Dion Liberal Party)

    Posted by: Ian | Apr 4, 2008 10:01:32 PM


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