Justin Trudeau apologizes for ‘failing to live up to a higher standard’
A repentant Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Thursday morning for the third time in two days for a physical encounter with two opposition MPs that resulted in a melee on the floor of the House of Commons the day before.
“I apologize to my colleagues, to the House as a whole and to you, Mr. Speaker, for failing to live up to a higher standard of behaviour. Members, rightfully, expect better behaviour from anyone in this House. I expect better behaviour of myself,” the prime minister said in the Commons after he apologized directly to two opposition Mps.
Trudeau’s apology came as members of Parliament debated a privilege motion by Conservative MP Peter Van Loan on “the physical molestation” of a female MP in the House of Commons.
MPs agreed as debate resumed after question period to send the matter to a committee — a decision supported by Trudeau hours earlier.
On Wednesday, Trudeau walked across the aisle and into a clutch of NDP MPs where he took Conservative Party whip Gord Brown by the arm, elbowing NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau in the process. The prime minister “unreservedly” apologized for the physical contact which he said was “unacceptable.”
The incident took place just as some MPs were trying to stall a contentious vote to limit debate on Bill C-14, the government’s assistance in dying bill.
“No amount of escalation or mood in this House justifies my behaviour last night. I made a mistake, I regret it. I am looking to make amends,” Trudeau said on Thursday.
“I fully hear the desire… of a number of members across the House including the leader of the Official Opposition that we take concrete measures to improve the way the tone functions in this House and the way this government engages with opposition parties as well.”
“I am apologizing and asking members to understand how contrite and regretful I am over my behaviour,” Trudeau said again later.
“I wield full responsibility for my poor choices last night, and I ask for Canadians’ understanding and forgiveness.”
The prime minister spoke Thursday after Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose said in a scathing statement in the Commons that Trudeau’s behaviour was “out of line” and “unbecoming of a leader.”
“He had no business on this side of the House, he had no business anywhere but on his own seat. Everything he did from the moment he rose from his seat was unnecessary and unsettling,” Ambrose said on Thursday. (Source: CBC News)