#Elbowgate, what passes for controversy in Canada


Here are my opening comments on this debacle:


Video clips show the prime minister emerging from government benches, walking toward Conservative Whip Gord Brown, whose path was seemingly blocked by a group of NDP members.

Footage shows Trudeau taking Brown’s arm, leading him away, but in the process he backed into NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau.

At one point, the prime minister stood in a face-to-face confrontation with Thomas Mulcair, the NDP leader visibly angry and shouting at Trudeau, calling him “pathetic” twice.

Trudeau apologized for his behaviour, saying he didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

“I had noticed that the Official Opposition Whip seemed to be impeded in his progress down the hall. And I felt that this lacked in respect for Parliament,” Trudeau said.

Members had gathered in the House for an evening vote on a motion to limit debate on Bill C-14. Trudeau made his way toward Brown in an effort to get the vote started.

But pulling colleagues, or any act that could be interpreted as physical aggression, is a parliamentary faux pas. Trudeau said he did what he did because NDP MPs were stalling the vote.

“So I walked over to encourage the member to come through, and indeed offered my arm — extended — to help him come through the gaggle of MPs standing there impeding his progress down the aisle, impeding our ability to move forward with this important vote.”

Conservative MP Peter Van Loan said Trudeau charged across the aisle “with anger fierce in his eyes and face.”

“What took place in this House was physical violence,” NDP MP Niki Ashton said later, adding that people outside would “call it assault.”

The fuck did you just say to me?

The fuck did you just say to me?

I have questions:

  1. Why were the NDP stalling a vote on assisted suicide? I thought I remember Mulcair’s platform being pro-euthanasia. If anything, I would’ve expected stalling from the Cons.
  2. No seriously, have they ever been on public transit?
  3. Has MP Niki Ashton any connection with reality? Ma’am, being elbowed in a crowd does not assault make.
  4. What is the flight speed of an unladen swallow?
  5. What are birds?

Trudeau committed a faux pas by getting physical, sure. He has since apologized. But I really would’ve expected a manufactroversy from the Cons. It seems the only people actually giving a shit about this… are MPs. There are much bigger things to criticize Trudeau for. So what the actual fuck is wrong with you, NDP?

I am disappoint.



Gord Brown tweeted that he did indeed tell the PM to let go of him. This post has been amended.


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    1. They weren’t stalling a vote on assisted suicide. They were stalling a vote for how much time would be allotted to debate on the bill. The Liberal motion (motion six) would have given the government control of the debate, was rightly decried by opposition MPs, and has since been withdrawn.

    That said, Mulcair’s screeching about unparliamentary behaviour was rich, given that he was one of those actively blocking Gordon Brown’s path to his seat.

  2. says

    I voted NDP in the last election, and right now they are doing their damnedest to ensure that they don’t have my vote in the next election. (Provincially they still have my vote locked up as I’m quite pleased with the Notley government despite their push for pipelines, but I realize that’s a political necessity.)

  3. screechymonkey says

    even if it was to only pull a (consenting) Member along

    The Conservative whip, Gord Brown, disputes that. He says he told Trudeau to let go of him.

  4. Siobhan says

    The Conservative whip, Gord Brown, disputes that. He says he told Trudeau to let go of him.

    Correction issued.