OTTAWA — The Conservatives say an incident where Liberal MP William Amos relieved himself while on camera during virtual proceedings was “shocking, reckless” and an “affront to the dignity” of the House of Commons.
The moment marks the MP’s second Zoom lapse after he made headlines around the world last month when he appeared naked on an internal parliamentary feed of virtual question period.
Amos said in a statement posted to Twitter last night that he “urinated without realizing (he) was on camera” during a virtual session of the House on Wednesday evening.
He apologized for what he said was “accidental” and could not be viewed by the public, but stated the action was nonetheless “completely unacceptable.”
Conservative MP Karen Vecchio, deputy House leader for the Opposition, agreed with the latter part of that statement, saying the incident put lawmakers “in a very uncomfortable position” and amounted to Amos relieving himself in the Commons itself.
Carol Hughes, acting as speaker, says she will review the situation and come back with a response to the House.
After the incident last month, Amos said he was changing his clothes after a jog and did not realize his laptop camera was turned on.
Bloc Québécois MP Sebastien Lemire later apologized for taking a screenshot of the moment, saying he had no idea how the photo quickly made its way to the media and ended up circulating online around the globe.
The leaking of the image prompted fiery condemnation from the governing Liberals. Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez called for an investigation and described the incident as “mean-spirited” and “life-changing” for Amos.
At a meeting earlier this month of the all-party board of internal economy — the governing body of the House — Liberal whip Mark Holland said Lemire should reveal where he sent the image and what his intent was.
That board was set to meet again earlier Thursday, but the meeting ended up being put off.
Amos, a Quebec MP, said he is temporarily stepping away from his role as parliamentary secretary to Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne and from his committee work so that he can get help.
He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rodriguez’s chief of staff Charles-Eric Lépine referred back to Amos’s statement when reached for comment on Friday.
“It is important to have a safe workplace environment for everyone on Parliament Hill and we take these matters extremely seriously,” he said in a statement.
In a written statement, Vecchio questioned the Liberals’ claim that Amos accidentally exposed himself in this latest incident.
“This is the second time Mr. Amos has been caught exposing himself to his colleagues in the House, and the House of Commons, virtual or otherwise, must be free of this type of unacceptable behaviour.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2021.
The Canadian Press