Liberals drop controversial motion as Trudeau’s Commons fracas reverberates

The federal government is bowing to opposition demands and backing down on a "draconian" motion that critics say would have given the Liberals too much control over the ins and outs of parliamentary business.

OTTAWA — The federal government is bowing to opposition demands and backing down on a “draconian” motion that critics say would have given the Liberals too much control over the ins and outs of parliamentary business.

Government House leader Dominic LeBlanc said during question period Thursday that the Liberals have listened to the comments of the opposition and pulled the controversial motion, known as Motion 6.

“We’ve listened to the comments made by all of our colleagues, (and) a short while ago we withdrew Motion 6 from the order paper,” LeBlanc said as cheers rained down from the opposition benches.

“Our objective remains to work with everyone to find the proper mechanism to extend the sitting hours and allow for a more respectful debate on government legislation, and I look forward to working with all members of this House to achieve that objective.”

That about-face came after a contrite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized yet again Thursday for a physical encounter with two opposition MPs in an unprecedented fracas on the floor of the House of Commons the night before.

But Trudeau’s political adversaries were out for more, demanding he show he is serious about decorum by withdrawing a motion that would remove procedural tools — and power — from opposition MPs.

Trudeau rose in the House to apologize to all MPs, the Speaker and also Ruth Ellen Brosseau, with whom he collided on Wednesday while trying to hurry Conservative whip Gord Brown to his seat.

“I sincerely apologize to my colleagues, to the House as a whole and to you, Mr. Speaker, for failing to live up to a higher standard of behaviour,” Trudeau told a rapt Commons as the shockwaves from Wednesday’s eyebrow-raising scene continued to reverberate.

“Members, rightfully, expect better behaviour from anyone in this House. I expect better behaviour of myself.”

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose said she appreciated Trudeau’s apology, but insisted the Liberals need to drop the controversial motion aimed at taking away some of the procedural tools opposition MPs use to combat the government.

“He is stripping the opposition of our jobs,” Ambrose said.

“We have a job to do in the House, and we take it seriously. If he truly respects the role of Opposition, and the role of every member of the House, then he has to withdraw the motion,” Ambrose said.

Trudeau did not give in, side-stepping the demand in his response to Ambrose.

“It is important that we draw a clear line between what was my unacceptable behaviour and the general tone of the House,” he said. “The escalation and the tone of the House does not lead to any justification of my actions, and I accept that fully.”

Just Posted

Pro-pipelines rally draws crowd to City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Canada missing out on billions in revenue

Red Deer Hospice celebrates hitting fundraising halfway mark

Red Deer Hospice Society in middle of $5.2-million expansion

Separate events raised funds for Alzheimer’s and cancer

Nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with a form of cancer in their lifetimes.

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

VANCOUVER — A former Liberal environment minister is urging Prime Minister Justin… Continue reading

School bus driver charged with drunk driving

THE CANADIAN PRESS EDMONTON — Three impaired driving-related charges have been laid… Continue reading

Canadians in Hong Kong worried for neighbours as protests roil former colony

As mass protests in Hong Kong grab headlines around the world, expatriate… Continue reading

To hit environment goals, feds should create ‘super’ tax credit, report says

OTTAWA — A government-struck expert panel is calling for new “super-deduction” tax… Continue reading

Calgary’s Michael Klukas to live childhood ambition in Stampeders opener

CALGARY — The dream never died for Michael Klukas. Born and raised… Continue reading

Thompson sustains torn left ACL in Warriors’ Game 6 loss

OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson sustained a torn ACL in his left… Continue reading

Championship timeline: Reliving the Toronto Raptors’ road to the NBA title

The Toronto Raptors captured their first NBA championship in franchise history on… Continue reading

Top 20 Global Concert Tours from Pollstar

The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office… Continue reading

Swift calls out homophobes on new song, announces 7th album

NEW YORK — Taylor Swift’s latest song has a new target: homophobes.… Continue reading

Blue Jays hit 3 HRs, notch 17 hits in 12-3 rout of Orioles

Blue Jays 12, Orioles 3 BALTIMORE — Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered to… Continue reading

Most Read