Poilievre booted from House of Commons after calling Trudeau a ‘wacko’

Click to play video: 'Why did Pierre Poilievre get kicked out of question period?'
Why did Pierre Poilievre get kicked out of question period?
WATCH: History was made in the House of Commons after Speaker Greg Fergus expelled Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre for refusing to withdraw a statement calling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a "wacko." David Akin takes a look – Apr 30, 2024

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was booted from the House of Commons on Tuesday after calling Justin Trudeau a “wacko prime minister.”

Speaker of the House Greg Fergus took the step Tuesday during question period, kicking Poilievre out for using language he said was “not considered parliamentary.”

The Conservative leader blamed Trudeau for allowing British Columbia to decriminalize small amounts of hard drugs, a step B.C. is now seeking to roll back.

Last week, B.C. Premier David Eby announced he is asking the federal government to modify its Criminal Code exemption for simple drug possession so police can intervene in cases of public drug use.

“Even the B.C. NDP are distancing themselves from his decriminalization of crack, heroin, meth and other hard drugs,” Poilievre said.

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“When will we put an end to this wacko policy by this wacko prime minister?” Poilievre said.

Click to play video: 'Poilievre kicked out of parliament for calling Trudeau a ‘wacko’'
Poilievre kicked out of parliament for calling Trudeau a ‘wacko’

Fergus asked Poilievre to withdraw his comments.

“I replace wacko with ‘extremist’,” responded Poilievre.

The Speaker asked him to take back that remark.

“I’ll replace it with ‘radical,'” Poilievre answered.

“I’m going to ask the honorable leader of the opposition to simply withdraw that comment,” Fergus asked again.

When Poilievre refused, Fergus said, “I have to name you for disregarding the authority of the chair.”

The Library of Parliament says they are unable to find record of an opposition leader ever being named in the House of Commons and removed by the Speaker.

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Moments earlier, Conservative MP Rachael Thomas was also removed from the House for refusing to apologize for saying Fergus was acting “in a disgraceful manner.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. backtracking on drug decriminalization spurs advocates’ fears of worsening crisis'
B.C. backtracking on drug decriminalization spurs advocates’ fears of worsening crisis

Much of the Conservative caucus left the chamber after Poilievre was ejected and took to social media saying that Poilievre was being censored and repeatedly used the offending term “wacko.”

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“Today the Liberal speaker censored me for describing Trudeau’s hard drug policy as wacko,” Poilievre wrote in a post on X.

“[Six] people dying from overdoses every day in BC is wacko. Kids playing next to used syringes is wacko. Nurses worried about breastfeeding after breathing in toxic drug fumes is wacko. This is a wacko policy from a wacko PM that’s destroying lives.”

After Poilievre was kicked out of the chamber, Government House Leader Steve MacKinnon said this was a “disgrace” and a “disrespect for our institutions and our Speaker.”

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MacKinnon went on to criticize Poilievre’s actions over the last week, saying he met with “far-right extremists” when he stopped at an anti-carbon price protest near the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border.

This stems from a drawing of a flag linked to the group Diagolon was seen drawn on the door of a trailer at the protest encampment. During question period, Trudeau said Diagolon advocates for violence against “2SLGBTQ+ Canadians, against Hindus and Sikhs, against Muslims and Jews.”

“I want to recap that the leader of the opposition has used extreme language, sayings and slogans that we have never seen before. We have never experienced before this level of extreme right-wing rhetoric, and I would just say to all of you and to all Canadians that it is not normal what we are seeing,” Mackinnon told reporters after Poilievre’s removal.

“We have to avoid making this seem banal or become some sort of normal part of political back-and-forth. This is not what that is. This is violent rhetoric, this is extreme rhetoric, and this is rhetoric that absolutely must no longer be in our politics.”

MacKinnon also criticized Poilievre for comments on Monday suggesting he would use the notwithstanding clause to bring in bail reform if elected.

Conservative ethics critic Michael Barrett was asked why Poilievre didn’t just withdraw the comment as asked by the Speaker. Barrett accused Fergus of using a double standard.

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“The problem is that there’s two sets of rules. There’s a set of rules that is being applied to the leader of the official opposition and there is a different set of rules being applied to the prime minister. So, Mr. Poilievre laid out very clearly that it’s a wacko policy, and it’s for the prime minister to explain why he’s letting that stay in place,” Barrett said, referring to the B.C. drug re-criminalization request.

Click to play video: 'Bail reform: Attorney general slams Pierre Poilievre for hinting he would use notwithstanding clause'
Bail reform: Attorney general slams Pierre Poilievre for hinting he would use notwithstanding clause

Trudeau in 2011 called then-Conservative environment minister Peter Kent a “piece of sh-t” during question period and then apologized for the remarks.

Justin Trudeau stood after question period and apologized. “I lost my temper and used language that was most decidedly unparliamentary and for that I unreservedly apologize…and withdraw my remarks,” he said.

The Speaker at the time was Conservative Andrew Scheer, now the opposition House leader.

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NDP House Leader Peter Julian said he has also been asked to withdraw and apologize for comments in the past before, and without respecting the Speaker, Parliament can fall into “chaos.”

“He seems to want to burn everything down. It’s pyromaniac Poilievre, and for him to do this today I think shows incredible discredit and disrespect for parliamentary institutions that Canadians believe in. I’m saddened by his actions today,” Julian said.

When asked if Julian agreed with MacKinnon’s characterization of Poilievre’s actions, Julian said he saw Poilievre’s actions in the House as disrespectful.

“I think his actions in meeting with white supremacist groups is profoundly extremist and disquieting for all Canadians. His actions today are inexcusable.”

Julian is the last person to use the term “wacko” in the House of Commons. During a June 13, 2022 debate, he referred to the Conservatives as having “wacko claims” around Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act.

It’s been used a handful of times since 2002, and was not interpreted as unparliamentary at the time.

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