The deputy Speaker of the House of Commons says he heard unparliamentary language from both opposition and government benches during Wednesday’s debate, but he wasn’t able to hear whether the prime minister swore.
Conservative MPs accused Justin Trudeau of “dropping an F-bomb” during a particularly unruly question period that repeatedly devolved into incoherent shouting from members throughout the chamber.
Opposition House leader John Brassard called for a review of the recordings, later telling reporters that about a dozen of his colleagues on the front benches heard Trudeau hurl an obscenity at them.
Chris d’Entremont reported to the House on Thursday that he listened to the recordings of question period, but with all the noise in the chamber, he was unable to determine what may have been said.
D’Entremont said none of the unparliamentary remarks he heard should have been made, and called on his colleagues to avoid disrespectful comments and observe the rules of debate and decorum.
He added that if members feel their “blood pressure is a little high, it’s a beautiful day outside,” and he urged them to “go for a walk.”
Trudeau on Wednesday invoked one of the most memorable quips uttered by his father, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, when asked whether he had uttered unparliamentary language.
“What is the nature of your thoughts, gentlemen, when you move your lips in a particular way?” the current prime minister told reporters on his way out of the House of Commons.
It hearkens back to 1971, when Pierre Trudeau was accused of “mouthing a four-letter obscenity” at the opposition benches.
The elder Trudeau had denied saying anything. When pressed by reporters, he replied: “What is the nature of your thoughts, gentlemen, when you say fuddle-duddle or something like that?”
On Wednesday, his son had the reference ready.
Conservatives also invoked the elder Trudeau, with MP John Barlow telling the House “it was not fuddle-duddle.”
Tories have not yet been clear about what they heard, although Brassard maintains about a dozen of his colleagues heard Trudeau use a “six-letter reference followed by another word.”
“Anyways, I don’t think he liked the line of questioning today and that’s why he reacted,” he said.
The alleged profanity came during an exchange with Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay, who asked Trudeau whether a military plane was used to surveil Ottawa during the “Freedom Convoy” protests this winter.
The prime minister responded that her question was “dangerously close to misinformation and disinformation designed to gin up fears and conspiracy theories.”
He denied that a special forces unit was monitoring the protest around Parliament Hill and said they were engaged in a previously scheduled training exercise.
Question period repeatedly devolved into incoherent shouting from both sides of the aisle on Wednesday, even drowning out the Speaker.
After Trudeau’s response, d’Entremont had to call for order.
He reminded MPs that they “did cross a couple of lines there,” adding, “I heard it from all sides.”
The Liberals asked for a review of what was said “on all sides of the House” complete with details including the names of MPs and what they said.
This is not the first time Trudeau has been under scrutiny for his language.
In 2011, when he was a Liberal MP in opposition, he apologized to the House after calling then-environment minister Peter Kent a “piece of s—” during another heated debate.