|New Democrat MP Dany Morin arrives to speak to the media at Parliament Hill Oct 15, 2012, in Ottawa, Ontario. (ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY)
Editorís Note: Kerry-Lynne Findlay said Monday that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has spoken many times about respect in the Commons and that, "all adults, all Canadians need to model good behaviour and respect for one another." The quote was wrongly attributed in an earlier version of this story. QMI Agency regrets the error.
OTTAWA - NDP House leader Nathan Cullen accused a Conservative MP of bullying in the Commons Monday - the same day MPs debated a motion calling for a national anti-bullying strategy.
Cullen said Tory MP Laurie Hawn referred to Quebec NDP MP Christine Moore, a former member of Canadian Forces, as "pathetic" as she asked a question about Afghanistan in the House.
"Mr. Hawn decided to yell out, in fact bully her, yelling at her that she is pathetic ... it is a bit of a tragic irony on a day we were debating a motion talking about co-ordinating strategies on anti-bullying," Cullen told reporters afterwards outside the House. "It is hypocritical."
Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay said the prime minister has spoken many times about respect in the Commons and she agrees "with that totally."
"All adults, all Canadians need to model good behaviour and respect for one another," she said. "Nathan Cullen is fond of pointing out some lapses on one side of the House, never the ones from his own caucus."
Cullen, who has been outspoken about House decorum, said he isn't going to claim "perfection" on the NDP's part. But he said everyone deserves respect.
MPs were debating an anti-bullying motion on Monday put forward by the NDP's Dany Morin. The Quebec MP and bullying victim wants the feds to establish a special committee to develop a bullying prevention strategy.
Morin's proposal will face a vote at a later debate but Conservatives suggest the issue is best dealt with "at the local level" through educational, legal and medical professionals.
The government also says anti-bullying resources are provided by some federal departments, including the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Dr. David Smith, a bullying researcher at the University of Ottawa, said current federal initiatives tend to be "relatively small scale" and they do not make a significant impact.
"We need national leadership on the issue," Smith said.
The B.C. RCMP announced last week it would investigate the circumstances surrounding the highly publicized suicide of 15-year-old Amanda Todd.
Todd documented her personal struggles on a YouTube video prior to her death. About 20 RCMP officers have now been asked to investigate her case.
On Twitter: @kkirkupKristy.Kirkup@sunmedia.ca
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