‘I saw him stick his tongue out’: Trudeau accused of ‘childish behaviour’ in House of Commons
A Conservative MP from Alberta accused Justin Trudeau of “childish behaviour” after claiming to have seen the prime minister sticking out his tongue during question period Thursday.
Blake Richards, who represents the riding of Banff-Airdrie, said with some hesitation that Trudeau’s conduct was “far below the dignity of his office that he holds.”
“I rise reluctantly following question period today, because I think all Canadians would expect our prime minister to always conduct himself with the highest level of dignity,” Richards told the House of Commons. “And I think to demonstrate the utmost respect for an institution such as the House of Commons. And that should happen whether the prime minister is on camera or off camera, Mr. Speaker.”
“On a number of occasions during this Parliament I have witnessed the prime minister, and I’m sure other members on this side of the House can confirm this,” Richards continued, “behave in a manner that I would say is far below the dignity of his office that he holds.”
WATCH: What caused Justin Trudeau to allegedly stick out his tongue at MPs?
His remarks drew approval from the Conservative bench, but not surprisingly drew jeers from the Liberals.
“I think one could even call it childish behaviour, in fact, Mr. Speaker,” said Richards. “I saw it a frequent number of occasions today. Taunting. Making faces at other members of Parliament when they were speaking.”
“And he certainly went too far when I saw him stick his tongue out,” he said, before asking for an apology.
The apparent tongue wagging was not caught on camera and Global News cannot confirm the incident.
The question that allegedly irked Trudeau was from Conservative MP Diane Watts relating to the funding of infrastructure projects through public-private partnerships and concerns over the screening process.
NDP Rachel Blaney said she was “shocked” when she saw Trudeau’s actions
“He was laughing his head was thrown back and then he looked forward at Mrs. Watts and then stuck his tongue out,” Blaney told Global News. “It was too bad the speaker didn’t see the tongue incident, but it’s activities like that that lower the bar.”
WATCH: Mulcair reprimanded for disrespectful hand gesture at Trudeau
The Speaker of the House, Geoff Regan, said he did not witness the alleged gestures by the prime minister and Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc spoke in Trudeau’s defence.
“One of the priorities the prime minister has set for his government is to work collaboratively with all members of the House of Commons to improve decorum in the House of Commons,” LeBlanc said. “If my colleague in front of me were honest, he would agree that we can all do more to improve decorum in the House and we should.”
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair was also reprimanded by the speaker Thursday for opening and closing his hand in a “blah, blah, blah” motion towards the prime minister.
The alleged gesture wouldn’t be the first time Trudeau has acted in a less-than-becoming manner in the House.
In 2011, Trudeau apologized to then Environment Minister Peter Kent for calling him a “piece of shit” after NDP MP Megan Leslie questioned Kent over Canada’s withdrawl from the Kyoto Protocol.
“I lost my temper and used language that was most decidedly unparliamentary and for that I unreservedly apologize and withdraw my remark,” Trudeau said before the House.
He is also the son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau who was accused of using inappropriate language in the House when he allegedly told opposition members to “f— off” in what became known as the infamous “fuddle duddle” comment, which has enjoyed a fabled place in the history of Canadian politics.
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