Tory MP Peter Goldring's bizarre rant re the guilt or innocence of Metis leader Louis Riel has kicked up a fair storm of letter writing to and editorializing in Western province media outlets.
Furthermore, the resultant controversy also appears to have dinged Winnipeg MP Rod Bruinooge, who is himself Metis. On February 21, Bruinooge stated to reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press that, though he disagreed with Goldring's tirade, he also disagreed with the private member's bill which inspired it (This bill was introduced in November by Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin; it would exonerate Riel and erect a monument to him on Parliament Hill). Bruinooge said:
...if Métis leaders don't agree on how to deal with Riel's conviction, Martin should stay out of it.
"I don't think a non-Métis politician has any business getting into this," said Bruinooge.
Whoopsie! apology time!
"Right after I told you that Pat Martin as a non-Métis politician had no business in this debate I thought to myself how I really didn`t hold that philosophy and how it wasn`t a fair thing to say," Bruinooge wrote [the Winnipeg Free Press' Mia Rabson] in an email Sunday afternoon.
As for Mr. Martin, he is happy with the apology but thinks it was coerced:
"I never question the motives of an apology but I have no doubt the PMO ripped his head off for this," said Martin. `They do not want to be on the wrong side of this. Quebec was scorched earth for the Conservatives from the day they lynched Riel until the Diefenbaker years."
I like how he prefaces his questioning of the motives of the apology by claiming he's not questioning the motives of the apology. These NDP politicians aren't so hopelessly goody two-shoed after all.