Saturday May 21, 2016
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday May 21, 2016
Trudeau apologizes over Commons scuffle as controversial motion withdrawn
The morning after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau barged swearing into a knot of opposition MPs, grabbing one and elbowing aside another to hurry up a vote, he made very public displays of personal contrition.
Trudeau appeared at an MPs prayer breakfast to read aloud a scripture of his choice, Romans 12, that counsels: don’t think you are better than you really are. Then the prime minister delivered an abject apology in the House of Commons.
Rising in the Commons after a scathing rebuke by official Opposition leader Rona Ambrose, Trudeau said he was “sorry,” “apologized,” or “regretted” his actions 16 times over the course of an hour.
The prime minister said he would willingly accept a committee’s decision on his behaviour. But he was non-committal faced with opposition fury and calls for him to withdraw a controversial and provocative motion that was the backdrop of the Wednesday night scuffle. Known as Motion 6, it would have given the Liberal government unilateral control over the parliamentary agenda as it scrambles to push through its legislation, including Bill C-14 on medically assisted suicide, before a June 6 deadline.
But by midday, Trudeau’s entire government was in damage control mode.
Trudeau’s longtime friend and House leader Dominic Leblanc withdrew the motion he’d insisted was necessary just the day before. Leblanc offered to co-operate with the opposition to extend debate time so all MPs could speak to Bill C-14, and said the government still wanted to try to meet the June 6 deadline imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada. (Source: Toronto Star)