Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, Thursday May 19, 2016
Justin Trudeau ‘manhandled’ MP in Commons uproar, opposition says
Parliament turned downright ugly when an impatient Prime Minister Justin Trudeau crossed the aisle to drag an opposition MP forward so a vote could take place, knocking aside a female NDP MP who was so shaken she had to leave the chamber.
The encounter Wednesday led to a shouting match between Trudeau and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair after Trudeau briefly crossed the floor a second time appearing to look for someone. Mulcair can be heard on Commons video footage yelling at Trudeau: “What kind of man elbows a woman? You’re pathetic.”
The confrontation took place late in the day prior to a vote on a government bid to limit debate on its assisted suicide bill, with the opposition already furious at another Liberal move to seize control over the parliamentary agenda.
The mood was tense as each side traded insults. By the end of the day, tempers before the vote were running high. As Trudeau crossed the floor, he was allegedly overheard by NDP MPs to say “Get the f— out of my way.”
The opposition erupted in outrage as the Speaker called for order, and ordered MPs to stop taking photos. At the far end of the Commons, former prime minister Stephen Harper stood watching it unfold.
New Democrat House leader Peter Julian rose to accuse Trudeau of “manhandling” the Conservative whip, Gord Brown, and physically pushing aside the NDP’s whip, Ruth-Ellen Brosseau.
“I have been in the House now for 12 years and I have never seen what just transpired in the House of Commons,” he said.
Trudeau stood to offer an apology, saying he thought Brown, the official Opposition whip — who ensures Opposition MPs are in place for a vote — was “impeded,” causing the vote to be delayed. “I felt that this lacked in respect for Parliament,” he said, adding he “offered my arm, extended, to help him come through the gaggle of MPs standing there.” (Source: Toronto Star)