Canadian Prime Minister elbows female lawmaker in parliament

Posted by Nelson Dafe | 19 May 2016 | 2,419 times

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Opprobrium reigned in the Canadian national parliament as its Prime Minister tried to push through a controversial debate on assisted suicide.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had grown frustrated as the opposition Conservative and New Democratic parties tried to stall a vote to limit debate on the government’s assisted suicide legislation.

Assisted suicide involves a doctor “knowingly and intentionally providing a person with the knowledge or means or both required to commit suicide, including counselling about lethal doses of drugs, prescribing such lethal doses or supplying the drugs.”

Though the Canadian Supreme Court had given parliament until June 6 to pass legislation allowing physician assisted deaths, opposition whip Gord Brown of the Conservative Party – who, by law, was supposed to take his seat before voting on the law could begin, was encircled by a conniving ring of New Democrat legislators in a delay tactic that infuriated PM Trudeau, who forced his way into the circle and forcefully took the arms of Brown in an attempt to force him to take his seat.

In an attempt to usher Mr Brown to his place, Mr. Trudeau bumped into Ruth Ellen Brosseau, one of the New Democrats also on the floor. She immediately raised her arms to her chest in apparent pain.

Brosseau later said: “I was elbowed in the chest by the Prime Minister and then I had to leave. It was very overwhelming. I missed the vote because of this.”

The situation degenerated into a shouting match, and the leader of the New Democrats Mr Tom Mulcair screamed at Trudeau: “What kind of a man elbows a woman? It’s pathetic, you’re pathetic.”

“I am ashamed to be a witness to the person who holds the highest position in our country do such an act,” said Nikki Ashton, a New Democrat. “This was deeply traumatic. What I will say, if we apply a gendered lens, it is very important that young women in this space feel safe to come here and work here.”

PM Trudeau, who was once a boxer and bouncer, has however apologised for his actions and has acknowledged that his decision to move Mr. Brown “was unadvisable.”

He said: “I look for opportunities to make amends directly to the member and to any members who feel negatively impacted by this exchange and intervention.”

•Photo shows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his days as a boxer.

Source: News Express

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