Unpacking the Politics of Trudeau’s ‘Elbowgate’

Click to play video: 'Unpacking the Politics of Trudeau’s “Elbowgate”' Unpacking the Politics of Trudeau’s “Elbowgate”
Tom Clark is joined by Kristy Kirkup of The Canadian Press and Sun Media's David Akin to break down what led to "Elbowgate" and the political costs for all the parties. – May 22, 2016

The prime minister “fouled the legislature” by physically intervening in an NDP blockade in the House of Commons last week, says one veteran Hill journalist, and the story isn’t going to be going away anytime soon.

Sun Media’s David Akin had some choice words for Justin Trudeau on this week’s edition of The West Block as he and Kristy Kirkup of the Canadian Press discussed what has now become known as “elbowgate.”

“‘Get the ‘f’ out of the way’ is not something a prime minister should say on the floor of the House of Commons,” said Akin, referring to Trudeau’s alleged language as he attempted to pull Conservative whip Gordon Brown to the front of the House to start a vote.

READ MORE: What caused ‘Elbowgate’ and why it was an unnecessary kerfuffle

“Sure, call me old school, call me Victorian. Worse language I’ve used, worse language is used outside the place. Prime ministers don’t do that. He brought dishonour to his office and he fouled the legislature.”

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Kirkup said that in a recent conversation with the NDP’s Ruth-Ellen Brosseau, who was accidentally elbowed by Trudeau during the fracas, she got the sense that the Quebec MP just wants the whole thing to blow over.

“She says that people have been repeatedly calling her office, telling her that actually she should be the one apologizing, that she has been ridiculed. People have suggested she’s not a feminist,” Kirkup said.

“She says it’s worse for her on a personal level than it was in 2011 … you’ll remember that she garnered headlines because she took a famous trip to Las Vegas during the course of the campaign.”

Akin said that regardless of what Brosseau or Trudeau wants, this story isn’t nearly over. A Commons committee is expected to examine the incident.

“This story’s going to work through some cycles,” he said.

Watch the full panel discussion above.

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