- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2016

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologized after being accused of manhandling a Conservative member of Parliament and elbowing a female lawmaker in the ribs during a chaotic exchange in the House of Commons Wednesday afternoon.

Mr. Trudeau had grown impatient as the opposition Conservative and New Democratic parties tried to stall a vote on a controversial assisted-dying bill, The New York Times reported.

In Canada, parliamentary voting cannot begin until the whips for the government and the official opposition are seated, the Times reported. On Wednesday, opposition whip, Gord Brown, a Conservative, had become surrounded by New Democrats, who oppose Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal Party, before he could take his seat.

Mr. Trudeau is seen on video marching over to Mr. Brown and grabbing him by the arm. Parliament member Ruth Ellen Brosseau, a New Democrat, said the prime minister elbowed her in the ribs in the process, and she is seen on video grimacing in pain.

The altercation sparked immediate criticism on the Commons floor.

“Physical force in this house is never permitted, is never welcomed and it is entirely inappropriate,” said House leader Peter Julian, a New Democrat, CNN reported. “The actions of the prime minister I have never seen any member of the house act toward another member or members as he just did, Mr. Speaker.”

“There is not a parallel in contemporary Canadian history. We hear about members becoming physical in other countries but that is not Canada,” Mr. Julian added.

Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party of Canada, said that from her view the elbowing of Ms. Brosseau was “unintentional,” the Times reported.

Still, the situation upset Ms. Brosseau enough that she left and missed the vote, CNN reported.

Mr. Trudeau immediately offered up several apologies.

“I noticed that the member, the Opposite member whip, was being impeded in his progress,” Mr. Trudeau told parliament members.

“I took it upon myself to go and assist him forward, which was I now see unadvisable as a course of action, and resulted in physical contact in this house that we can all accept was unacceptable and I apologize for that unreservedly,” he said.

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