“Today I would like to present my apologies to the House for breaching the standing orders by taking a picture of a member on April 14th,” Lemire said in French in the House of Commons Wednesday afternoon.
The Member of Parliament for Abitibi-Temiscamingue also apologized to Amos and his family.
“I’ve apologized to him personally, but I must at least reiterate that publicly — to him personally, to his family, to my colleagues, and to everyone I may have offended,” Lemire said.
Lemire said he has “no idea” how the picture made it to the media, and added that is the “only comment I’ll make.”
In an email to Global News last week after the incident, Amos said it was “an unfortunate error.”
“My video was accidentally turned on as I was changing into my work clothes after going for a jog,” he wrote. “I sincerely apologize to my colleagues in the House of Commons for this unintentional distraction. Obviously it was an honest mistake and it won’t happen again.”
Amos, the parliamentary secretary to Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, was visible only to MPs and staffers on an internal video conference feed. Because he was not speaking during question period, his image did not show up on the public feed.
On Thursday, House leader Pablo Rodriguez said the incident was “mean-spirited” and could have criminal implications.
“Taking a photo of someone who is changing clothes and in the nude and sharing it without their consent could very well be criminal,” Rodriguez said.
In an email to Global News, Amos’ office said he “will not comment on this development” as the Speaker of the House is currently considering an investigation.
In a statement released Wednesday, Chief Government Whip Mark Holland, said he welcomed Lemire’s “honest apology.”
“I also further accept his assertion that he did not share this photo with the media,” he said. “However, it was a deeply disappointing action that I look to the Bloc Quebecois leadership to address.”
Holland said this “does not conclude the matter and leaves many unanswered questions.”
My statement regarding today's new developments on the photograph taken during a parliamentary session last week. pic.twitter.com/SlLgBNlPBY
— Mark Holland (@markhollandlib) April 22, 2021
He reiterated that whoever shared the photo with the media “engaged in a potentially criminal act,” adding that he will raise the issue at a meeting of the Board of Internal Economy.
“What has occurred here breaks all bounds of reasonable action and the responsible party must be held to account,” the statement read.
— With a file from The Canadian Press