He said “tar baby”? Who else did?

Today in the house, Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said,

“On that side of the House, they have the man who fathered the carbon tax, put it up for adoption to his predecessor and now wants a paternity test to prove the tar baby was never his in the first place”

This caused a stir on the opposition benches and caused Liberal House leader Ralph Goodale to ask Poilievre to withdraw and deemed the term “racist”.

Here are some recent uses of the term by journalists including Chantal Hebert.

“The nasty legal squabble over who owns the cash-strapped Phoenix Coyotes and whether they can relocate to Hamilton is hardly the first such tar baby the NHL has dealt with, and it won’t be the last.” (John Mackinnon, Edmonton Journal, May 18, 2009).

“It’s a Tory/Liberal tar baby and I’ve lost faith that they can do anything but keep changing the minister and pretend everything’s under control.” (Ralph Surette, Halifax Chronicle Herald, February 14, 2009).

“At this stage, the McTeague bill looks more like a Liberal tar baby than a party brainchild.” (Chantal Hebert, The Toronto Star, March 12, 2008).

“Along the way, Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois has got herself in trouble with the usual suspects as she fumbles with the language tar baby and prepares for one of those gawdawful national council meetings the PQ caribous use to exasperate and humiliate the unfortunate chief of the moment.” (Norman Webster, Montreal Gazette, February 17, 2008).

“Marois’s effort to shake off the referendum tar baby is good news…” (Editorial, Cynical PQ bid to rebrand party, The Toronto Star, Friday, March 7, 2008).

“Same-sex marriage has generally been treated like a political tar baby over the past few years, with most parties reluctant to whip up highly sensitive arguments touching on religion and deeply rooted social values.” (Susan Delacourt, Martin could exploit gay-marriage gift, The Hamilton Spectator, Friday, December 10, 2004).

“Nobody is saying you toss over your U.S. relations. Of course you don’t. But it doesn’t mean to say you have to become slavishly connected like some kind of tar baby with them.” (Lloyd Axworthy, Canada’s new leader to improve U.S. ties, Detroit Free Press, Thursday, December 11, 2003).

h/t: David Akin

  • Jen

    I guess GOODALE was angry at Polievere for insulting the 'OIL SANDS by calling it 'TAR BABY' when there is no TAR in the 'Oil Sands'

  • Liz J

    Yeah, that was an offense to women apparently, and when Peter alluded dogs were more loyal, in reference to his main squeeze betraying him was another pathetic display of fake outrage.

    It will be interesting to see if this tar baby nonsense has a longer life than Ruby's nannygate fiasco.

  • Surecure

    Thank you for proving my point.

  • TongueUntied

    He said: “paternity test to prove the tar baby was never his…” This is clearly a racial epithet. Not used in the same manner as the adjacent illustrations show. CONTEXT!

    –tummler10 on twitter

  • east of eden

    Have you ever noticed that the people who most loudly proclaim racism are white anglo-saxons? I think they're just trying to appear “inclusive” and, in doing so, create a problem where no problem exists. It's usually good old white charlatans who cry racism or human rights. The real victims of racism or discrimination usually have no voice and the outrageous white folks who talk about anti-racism and human rights are the same type who would not even shake hands with the real victims. Hypocrites and liars. Who do they think they're fooling? Certainly not the real victims.

  • east of eden

    You are the very first LIberal supporter I've ever heard to say one nice thing about McCain. The rest of your gang has called him every name under the sun.

  • east of eden

    I remember some years ago when Ralph Klein was accused of being racist against Aboriginal people…and then somebody pointed out the heritage of his wife. The ones who scream racism usually either don't know what they're talking about or they are overcompensating for their own prejudices. I thought it was very ironic that Mrs. Klein just happens to be Aboriginal. Talk about egg on the accusers' faces. I loved every second of that one.

  • George

    “the man who fathered the carbon tax, put it up for adoption to his predecessor and now wants a paternity test to prove the tar baby was never his in the first place”

    adoption of a tar baby? paternity test of a tar baby?
    sounds like he's describing a baby that is dark skinned.

    this is why it's racist… it's not TERRIBLE, but it's not appropriate either.

    if the member doesn't apologize, fine, it's not a biggie.
    it does, however, demonstrate his character and lack of class.

    Why is it so hard to simply say “I apologize for comments that people may construe as racist”?
    Oh, because a member of a different party is asking, and he doesn't want to look like he's taking orders.

    GROW UP!

  • Richard Romano

    Call yourself waaaambulance. As you can see, others have used the term freely without people like you screaming for a retraction.

    You're invoking the racism here, not the Tories. Take your own advice, Grow up!

  • Richard Romano

    Call yourself waaaambulance. As you can see, others have used the term freely without people like you screaming for a retraction.

    You're invoking the racism here, not the Tories. Take your own advice, Grow up!