On Wednesday evening, Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau appeared on a prerecorded Daily Show appearance that saw him humoring questions about Canadian tuxedos. Meanwhile, a not-so-fun video picked up steam. The clip shows Trudeau during a heated argument on the House of Commons floor, which seemingly resulted in a lost temper and a chain reaction of physical contact. As Members of Parliament prepared to vote on an assisted-suicide bill, Trudeau reportedly became frustrated at the proceeding’s snail pace (an“arcane tradition” won’t let votes happen until all lawmakers are seated). He’s seen striding over to MP Gord Brown — who was standing inside a group — and roughly grabbing and hustling him away.
Brown has since accused Trudeau of “manhandling” him. Peter Julian described what he saw as a “pretty violent push” and noted that he’d never witnessed such a thing during his 12-year tenure. During the scuffle, Trudeau also elbowed opposition lawmaker Ruth Ellen Brosseau in the chest, and she can be seen reacting in the below video. Trudeau (whose boxing photos areplastered everywhere) has been said to echo the fiery tendencies of his father, Pierre, who dropped profanity on the House of Commons floor (just like his son). However, the scene descended in an absolute uproar over this pushy display by Trudeau. In this video, MP Tom Mulcair shouted, “What kind of man elbows a woman? It’s pathetic! You’re pathetic!”
Brown later revealed that he told the prime minister to take his bloody handsoff him. Trudeau has since “unreservedly” apologized to the House of Commons, saying he didn’t intend to harm anyone and thought Brown was stuck in the crowd:
“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. I apologize for that unreservedly and I look for opportunities to make amends.”
This physical outburst may bring the first substantially negative coverage Trudeau has received in the media. Aside from a contrived “nannygate,” which is a lot less scandalous than it sounds (it involves public funding of childcare), everything’s been roses. Trudeau won the internet’s favor after delivering aquantum computing lecture and, more recently, introducing a transgender rights bill, but this incident doesn’t look good for the PM.