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