In a gaffe worthy of the Vice President of the United States, it happened not once but twice. If that wasn't bad enough, both speakers are honourable members of Parliament. And both are members of Harper's Conservative Party of Canada.
Harper has never been called a cannibal before, at least in public. But both incidents took place two days apart while the PM was on a tour of the north. As the Toronto Sun reports, Harper was on a tour of the north that included stops in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and northern Manitoba. Harper's tour of the north has been an annual event since he first came to power in 2006.
On Monday, the prime minister attended a barbecue just outside Whitehorse in the Yukon. He was introduced by Ryan Leef, the local Conservative backbench MP, when the obviously nervous politician referred to his boss as "the prime minister of cannibal."
Harper laughed it off and was quoted by CBC as saying, "You confirmed some rumours about me."
A mere two days later, it happened again. As Yahoo News reports, Harper was in the Northwest Territories with Environment Minister Peter Kent where an announcement about a new national park was made. Kent, who was a veteran national broadcaster before entering politics, also referred to the PM as "the prime minister of cannibal." The minister quickly corrected himself.
Kent blames his gaffe on the fact he had just been told about Leef's reference to cannibalism on Monday and was thinking about it when introducing Harper.
Once again, Harper was quick with a comeback. He is quoted by CBC as saying, "So I see my reputation precedes me."
It was never made clear exactly what was being cooked at Monday's barbecue.