Committee agrees to move on from Elbowgate

All-party committee was considering penalties in wake of House fracas


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not have to deliver any more apologies or face any parliamentary sanctions for knocking into a New Democrat with his elbow.

The NDP’s Ruth Ellen Brosseau says while Trudeau’s actions were unprecedented and unacceptable, she has accepted his apology and wants everyone to move on.

Related reading: How to lose control of the House of Commons

Fellow New Democrat David Christopherson shared her views with the all-party committee that gathered today to discuss how to respond to the incident from earlier this month.

The Liberal-dominated committee has agreed unanimously to take no further action.

Related: What Justin Trudeau lost by losing his cool

On May 18th, Trudeau tried to pull Conservative whip Gord Brown through a group of New Democrats who were standing in his way and inadvertently elbowed Brosseau, who then missed a vote related to the Liberal government’s proposed legislation on doctor-assisted dying.

Brosseau’s statement says the details of the unprecedented physical interaction between the prime minister and members of the opposition are well documented, and such an incident would not be acceptable in any workplace.

It also says the incident left many members stunned and raised important questions about the conduct of the prime minister in a House that was already confronted with unprecedented government measures to limit debate.

That was a reference to a now-withdrawn motion that would have given the Liberal government more control over parliamentary procedures.

Related reading: An oral history of Elbowgate

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Committee agrees to move on from Elbowgate

  1. If our MPs are seriously considering forming a committee to determine if someone who made a mistake (with no serious impact) and very publicly apologized for it (three times already) needs to apologize again – then perhaps they need something better on their plate.

    How about they get on with more important issues that only they can solve. Off the top of my head:

    – Runaway house prices in Toronto and Vancouver
    – TFW program
    – Investor passports in Quebec
    – Offshore tax evasion
    – Reducing the debt levels (all of them)
    – Coming up with a system for approving/rejecting pipelines across provincial lines
    – Assisted dying legislation
    – Legalizing marijuana legislation
    – Investigating the cell phone/internet monopolies
    – Debating whether ‘thy sons’ and/or ‘God’ should be in O Canada

    Or just close up shop early and take Friday off. All of those would be more beneficial.

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