Leef scraps with critics over Goguen’s rape joke

Yukon MP Ryan Leef took to Twitter this week to counter criticism of a Conservative colleage's joke about gang rape by attacking Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Yukon MP Ryan Leef took to Twitter this week to counter criticism of a Conservative colleage’s joke about gang rape by attacking Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

The exchange was sparked by comments made by Conservative MP Robert Goguen during a committee hearing on the federal government’s new prostitution bill.

Goguen asked Timea Nagy, who was trafficked into sex slavery, whether her freedom of expression would have been breached if police came to rescue her during a gang rape.

That prompted Ben Sanders, a candidate for the Liberal nomination in the next election, to tweet at Leef on Thursday: “It’s unrepresentative of your caucus … but with comments like these, Goguen should not still be in it.”

Leef responded that Sanders should also call for Trudeau’s resignation, “given his admiration of China’s dictatorship.”

He followed that up with missives about Trudeau’s comments on the Boston Marathon bombers and his joke about being more worried about Russia’s mood after losing in hockey than its involvement in the Ukraine.

The twitterverse responded.

“Not sure what Trudeau has to do with your colleague laughing about a woman’s gang rape,” one person asked.

Leef denied Goguen had laughed.

When one constituent tweeted “If the best your party has got is, ‘Well, they’re doing it too!’ you’re not fit to govern,” Leef replied that people were missing his point.

“Didn’t say, ‘Well they did it too.’ I said equalize your call for accountability. Hold everyone to account equally.”

After much back-and-forth over whether Goguen was laughing, Leef said he agreed the question “was poor” and “would say an apology would be in order.”

Goguen later phoned Nagy to apologize.

Nagy told a news conference she understands why Goguen came across insensitive. She agrees other women may have been offended, but only because the comment was taken out of context.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Two people walk up the stairs past an advance polling sign at the Canda Games Centre on April 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
April 12 is polling day: Here’s how to vote

If in doubt, electionsyukon.ca has an address-to-riding tool

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read