Yes, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau used to be a boxer and former bar bounce and door man. He’s also demonstrated, for whatever reason, how yoga has added to his core strength in recent photos, but he’s just being Canadian with his apologies that undoubtedly were marked with a word that sounds closer to “sore” and “E.”
“Unreserved” apologies and really no business on the floor
In an effort to speed up a vote, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waded into a group of opposition legislatures with an extended arm and inadvertently elbowed Commons member Ruth Ellen Brosseau in the chest.
“I was elbowed in the chest by the prime minister and then I had to leave. It was very overwhelming,” she said. “I missed the vote because of this.”
No, she didn’t. She chose to miss a vote for a political point. I’m not excusing the elbow, just that she didn’t require medical attention and chose not to vote. It was much more a political point than a health emergency.
There is little question that she was in a fair bit of temporary pain, but c’mon. And again Mr. Trudeau, You have no business down there.
Trudeau waded into the opposition crowd, in an effort to free (in his mind) a lawmaker that he viewed was being obstructed in his ability to cast his vote.
“I admit that I came in physical contact with a number of members as I extended my arm, including someone behind me whom I did not see. I certainly did not intend to offend or impact on anyone,” Trudeau said. “I apologize for that unreservedly and I look for opportunities to make amends.”
Others see it differently, or at least see opportunity
Opposition New Democrat lawmaker Peter Julian made comments out of line with what the video that has become a bit of a Canadian sensation captured. Calling Trudeau’s actions a “pretty violent push” adding “physical force in this House is never permitted [outside of the Hockey rink, eh?].
Another party member of another opposition party had is own fun.
“He was motivated by anger and lost his temper,” said Conservative Andrew Scheer before adding that it was “very unstatesmanlike.”
Bew Democrat leader Thomas Mulcair later screamed at Trudeau, “What kind of man elbows a woman!?” Before it was largely a done deal and not unlike hockey, the benches emptied but never became something bigger than Trudeau’s unwanted presence on the floor.
Interim opposition Conservative leader Rona Ambrose was not going to fail to address the incident and cut into the support that Trudeau had from women in order to gain his present position.
“He should be ashamed,” Ambrose said in a statement.
Non-partisan support for Trudeau away from the floor
Highly respected commentator on Canadian politics Andrew Coyne took to Twitter writing. “No sane person watching that video could come to any conclusion but that it was an accident. Stupid of him to be over there, but come on.”
But that is not the end all be all, with more parties needing to have their time.
Green party leader Elizabeth May called for calm and admonished New Democrats for their obstruction.
“It was most unwise of the prime minister to attempt to move along the vote,” May said. “But the second contact with my friend (Brosseau), which is certainly the one that was the most emotional for the member involved, was clearly, from my perspective … unintentional.”
“He had not seen her behind him. That is the truth. Now you can like it or not like it,” she added.
But May quickly pointed out that an all-party committee will be convened in the near future to review the incident.