Brosseau on PM: ‘Do I have justify how hard I was hit in the breast?’

NDP MP says she has faced personal attacks since she was elbowed in the House by the PM



OTTAWA — Ruth Ellen Brosseau says she has faced personal attacks since she was elbowed in the House of Commons by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, including that she should be “ashamed to be a woman” and that she is “not a feminist.”

In an exclusive interview Friday with The Canadian Press, the New Democrat MP said her office has received a number of phone calls from people across the country, many of them suggesting that she is “crying wolf.”

“My office has received countless phone calls … saying it is my fault, I should be ashamed, I should resign, I should apologize, it is my fault,” a visibly shaken Brosseau said during a conversation at her Ottawa office.

“I get elbowed in the breast and it hurts. It was very painful.”

Brosseau, who used to to break up fights as a bartender prior to entering political life as the MP for a Quebec riding, said she never expected to have to deal with a situation like this once becoming a member of Parliament.

“I am a tough woman, I know how to stand up and deal with situations,” she said. “I was just shocked … I was overwhelmed.”

Footage from the Commons television feed showed Trudeau trying to pull Conservative whip Gord Brown through a crowd of MPs, including Brosseau, who were milling about in hopes of delaying a vote related to the bill on doctor-assisted dying, C-14.

In so doing, Trudeau collided with Brosseau, who could be seen reacting with visible discomfort as Trudeau pushed past her, forcing her against an adjacent desk.

New Democrats reported hearing the prime minister mutter, “’Get the f— out of the way.”’

Brosseau, who teared up several times during the interview, recalled how she felt herself beginning to cry in the immediate aftermath, and decided it would be best if she left the chamber immediately.

“I wasn’t going to go running after the prime minister,” she said. “I was shaking … it is completely inappropriate what happened.”

The prime minister had no right to behave the way he did, she said.

“The prime minister intentionally walked over, swore at us, reached between a few members of Parliament to grab the (Conservative) whip … how did he think he wasn’t going to hit anybody else?”

Brosseau said she has accepted Trudeau’s multiple apologies in the House, including in the moments immediately afterward as well as the following day, but noted that the prime minister has not contacted her directly.

On Thursday, Trudeau told the Commons he takes “full responsibility” for what happened.

“I sincerely 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,” he said.

“Members, rightfully, expect better behaviour from anyone in this House. I expect better behaviour of myself.”

Trudeau said he did not pay sufficient attention to his surroundings before making physical contact with Brosseau — something he regrets “profoundly.”

Brosseau said the scrutiny she has received since Wednesday’s encounter has been worse than in 2011, when as a rookie candidate she was publicly ridiculed for travelling to Las Vegas during the election campaign.

“I had a lot of media attention in 2011 and after that, I always wanted to just put my head down and work — and work hard,” she said.

“This kind of attention, I didn’t ask for it.”

She also said it remains painful to have to justify what she experienced, adding she feels like she is being attacked from all sides when she insists she did nothing wrong.

“If I was a man and I was hit in the nuts, would we having the same conversation? I don’t know,” Brosseau said.

“And then (people are asking), ‘Was she hit hard enough in the breast?’ Do I have justify how hard I was hit in the breast? It doesn’t matter.”

She also said she has seen comments on social media suggesting she is minimizing sexual assaults and rapes. She said she has never made such a correlation.

“Rape and sexual assault, domestic violence — those are serious, serious crimes and sadly it happens all too often to women and men across Canada.”

A Liberal-dominated Commons committee will now be tasked with reviewing the conduct of the prime minister, though Brosseau said she hasn’t given much thought to what sanctions might be appropriate.

“It is just going to be important, moving forward, what happens to make sure something like that does not repeat itself.”


Brosseau on PM: ‘Do I have justify how hard I was hit in the breast?’

  1. No one should be questioning whether she was actually in pain. That was never the issue. She should be looking at her own party for suggesting this was somehow an intentional act of violence against a woman when it so clearly was not.

    I feel bad for her because I think her party is using her to attempt to score cheap political points.

    • Agreed. Dips and Cons are being drama queens

      Did you notice one Con MP had a camera handy and filmed…..not the incident…..but the aftermath

      Cameras are not allowed in the HOC


        • You believe the Cons hypnotized Justin

          • causing him to jump out of his seat and barrel in

    • You fancy yourself a fount of legal knowledge – perhaps note up the case law on “transferred intent” before spouting off about the significance of whether Trudeau’s sharp elbow was an “intentional act of violence”.

      • Well only an idiot would think that……….oh wait, it’s you

        • Good one, Em! Word of caution, though – your angst over the fact the Chosen one fondled Ruth Ellen and not you is colouring your recent posts. I’m sure Trudeau the Lesser would be pleased to rectify this if you ask.

          • You’ve been taking those little green pills again, haven’t you….

            I warned you about those things

          • Oooo – another zinger! You haven’t lost your touch in your dotage. For the sake of us all, please resist the urge to avail yourself of the new protocol for hastening one’s dispatch. I fear the temptation is great.

          • Great Ball of Earwax. ….you have long since let your partisan hatred overcome any common sense you might have once had, so I don’t even try reasoning with you

            Same with Weetabix

            Why aren’t you two going to separatist meetings like you used to?

            Remember, I’ll kick in for bus fare

          • A

      • Since you raised it, perhaps you can share your brilliant legal analysis, complete with links to case law to back it up.

        I will wait.

        • Here’s a start:

          Droste v. R., [1984] 1 S.C.R. 208

          I eagerly await your parsing and evading and pinhead dancing.

          • I asked for your legal analysis. Where is that?

          • FYI – legal analysis means you explain what the decision says and how it applies to the facts here.

          • I apologize – I’m struggling to prioritize your demand. Here’s Glanville, cited approvingly by the SCC:

            “Transferred intention (transferred malice) occurs when an injury intended for one falls on another by accident. In other words, if the defendant intends a particular consequence, he is guilty of a crime of intention even though his act takes effect upon an object (whether person or property) that was not intended. His “malice” (i.e. his intention) is by a legal fiction transferred from the one object to the other. The defendant is then treated for legal purposes as though he had intended to hit the object that he did hit, though in fact he did not have the intent, nor even was reckless as to it.”

            Frankly, in a purely legal context, I regard the whole kerfuffle as constituting a criminal assault that any judge with half a brain would dismiss on the basis of de minimus, but then again I didn’t write thousands of words explaining that Ghomeinshi is really actually guilty, even though he wasn’t.

          • Thanks. I know what transferred intent is. What I was asking you for was legal analysis, not a quote from the case.

          • Here’s my ask: if, as you assert, you “know what transferred intent is”, stop disparaging the NDs and Brosseau for “suggesting this was somehow an intentional act of violence” when it actually was, at least for legal purposes.

          • So no legal analysis then? Why don’t you just admit you don’t understand how to apply the law to a certain set of facts rather than go on with all this bluster?

            Transferred intent applies in situations when you intend to do a particular act to a particular person, and instead you do that particular act to a different person, either because of mistaken identity or mistake (ie. I thought the person I was punching was Joe, and it turned out to be Fred, or I went to punch Joe, but Fred got in the way so I accidentally punched him instead).

            If you want to apply it here, you will have to show the evidence that Trudeau intended to elbow someone else. But you can’t, because that is obviously not what happened. In fact, Trudeau intended to grab the arm of the conservative whip, and that is exactly what he did. Hence, intent completed, not transferred.

            Not sure what Ghomeshi has to do with any of this. Maybe you think if you throw enough red herrings into your argument you will somehow be convincing?

    • Why aren’t you and the other idiot Em asking why Justin didn’t wait for the Speaker to do his job? According to the Globe and Mail it was 30 seconds….30 lousy seconds before Justin jumped up and swaggered in, grabbed the Con whip and tried to escort him through a group of people. Justin was so intent in pushing his bill through to stop the opposition’s ability to debate physician assisted suicide, he couldn’t wait for the Speaker to do his job. Instead he acted like a cowboy and entered the fracas after a 30 second delay. The rule in the work place is never lay hands on another individual unless they drop to the floor of a cardiac arrest and you are trained in CPR or they are choking and you are doing an abdominal thrust and have permission to do so. Neither of those instances applied here. Victim blaming is ugly. Even when it is a Liberal doing the blaming.

  2. Whether male of female, you should have been sitting in your seat, not loitering in the hall looking for trouble. It’s your own fault: apologize to ALL CANADIANS!!

  3. Well, as a Veteran, I have to justify my injuries. As do the guys who lost their legs – they have to justify their injuries over and over. I’ve been hit in the breast and when I say, “HEY! That hurt!” the offender usually (USUALLY) says, “Oh shit! Sorry! I didn’t see you. Are you okay?” and with luck, they don’t offer to help rub it better (yes, true story).

    So Ms Brosseau, why don’t you explain why you were blocking the Whip? What was so all-fired important to the NDP that they HAD to stand in the way of another person? And I saw your face – your surprised, “OH!” was quite a great bit of acting. Instead of saying that we’re victim shaming, why don’t you think of WHY we’re calling you out?

    The guy apologized THREE times in QP and TWICE to you personally. Grow up. Accept his apology and move on to more pressing matters before the house.

    I’m wondering why the Whip just didn’t go the LEFT of the group of NDPs as opposed to through them, and same with the PM – there was buckets of room on the other side of the aisle, so why go through a pile of people?

    Every single one of those elected asshats should be ashamed of themselves for doing this. And every single one of the media who has been reporting this should be ashamed as well. Slow news days, boys?

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