Ontario’s Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Lisa MacLeod has apologized for accosting Senators owner Eugene Melnyk at a Rolling Stones concert last weekend about the team’s poor record in recent years. Melnyk recounted the event to the Ottawa Citizen:
“So I’m just there, we’ve got families and friends in a small group and I’m surrounded by people from Ottawa — and I see from the corner of my eye somebody trying to bust through,” Melnyk said in a phone interview Thursday.
“I’m thinking, ‘OK, might be a crazed fan and that’s fine. I’ve gotten used to it. And all of a sudden it’s this woman and she yells at me, ‘Do you know who I am?’
“I can’t place her so I said, ‘I’m sorry. No.’ And she yells, ‘I am your minister and you’re a fucking piece of shit and you’re a fucking loser’.”
(The report in the Ottawa Citizen has the swear words censored. We’ve removed them for your convenience.)
Melnyk claimed that he didn’t immediately recognize MacLeod when she was yelling at him. However, he did recognize Susan Truppe, MacLeod’s director of public affairs and deputy chief of staff, standing a bit behind her. Before he was able to ask the woman if she was MacLeod, she told Melnyk “fuck you” and walked away. Truppe apparently threw her hands up, shrugged and followed the minister.
Since news of the incident broke, MacLeond has publicly apologized to Melnyk for her “blunt” approach.
On Friday, she mentioned that she had actually reached out to Melnyk while apologizing once again.
MacLeod is no stranger to being in the news for the wrong reasons. She’s best known for mishandling Premier Doug Ford’s changes to the Ontario Autism program, and allegedly threatened therapists who worked with autistic children if they did not support those new changes.
But her political record just drives home the point that it’s not that she was wrong about what she said, it’s that she was an asshole about how she confronted an owner who’s helped drive his franchise into the fucking dirt after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals just a few years ago.