Trudeau Grabs, Elbows Fellow MPs in Rowdy House Fracas

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A veritable hockey scrum broke out in the House of Commons Wednesday, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lost his cool during a vote, grabbed one MP and accidentally elbowed another, before engaging in a shouting match with NDP leader Tom Mulcair.

In the video, Trudeau can be seen striding down the Commons aisle and grabbing Opposition Whip Gord Brown by the elbow before forcibly “manhandling” him back to his seat so a vote on C-14, the government’s assisted dying bill, could proceed.

While grabbing Brown, he accidentally elbowed NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau, causing her to leave the room and miss the vote.

“I was trying to start the vote, the prime minister grabbed my arm. I immediately told the prime minister to let go of me—now,” Brown later said in a statement. “Immediately afterward, the prime minister went back down the aisle of the House to confront other members of opposition parties.”

Brosseau, for her part, said that she had been “elbowed in the chest by the prime minister.” She was so upset by the incident she had to leave the Commons and ended up missing the vote.

A shouting match ensued between Trudeau and Mulcair, with Mulcair screaming: “What kind of man elbows a woman? It’s pathetic! You’re pathetic!”

Trudeau responded to the melee by apologizing “unreservedly.”

“I want to take the opportunity…to express directly to [Brosseau] my apologies for my behaviour and my actions, unreservedly. The fact is, in this situation, where I saw…I noticed that the whip opposite was being impeded in his progress, I took it upon myself to go and assist him forward, which I can now see was unadvisable as a course of actions that resulted in physical contact in this House that we can all accept was unacceptable.” The Prime Minister’s physical actions brought to mind this similar rampage by the late Rob Ford, then Mayor of Toronto.

It also cast some aspersion on a quote from his “Sunny Ways” speech following his election last October. “Everybody seems to want to begin this new Parliament in a more collegial, respectful, constructive tone than perhaps the last one ended on. My hope is it can last a good chunk of time.”