Bloc MP apologizes for taking photo of Liberal MP nude during virtual Parliament
OTTAWA -- A Bloc Quebecois MP has apologized for taking a photo of a Liberal MP who appeared nude in a non-public view of the virtual House of Commons last week, but says he doesn’t know how it was leaked.
In a statement in the Chamber on Wednesday, Bloc MP Sebastien Lemire, who represents the riding of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Que., admitted he did take a photo of fellow Quebec MP Will Amos, who was changing in his office following a jog and did not realize his camera was on.
The Bloc MP has apologized to Amos, his family, his colleagues and anyone else he may have offended. Lemire also apologized to the House for breaking the rules by taking the photo of parliamentary proceedings in the first place.
However, Lemire told his colleagues in French that he has “no idea” how the image made its way into the media. “That is all I have to say under the circumstances,” Lemire said in French.
The photo that was circulated showed Amos without clothes behind a desk in his office, holding something in his hand at an angle that covered his genitals from view. It remains unclear whether Lemire was the only one to capture the moment.
Another Bloc Quebecois MP, Claude DeBellefeuille, was the first to raise the incident shortly after question period last Wednesday, drawing attention to the fact that an MP was seen without clothing on the internal view of the Zoom-like platform that MPs and their staff can see.
It’s a view of the proceedings that MPs and staff have been reminded on past occasions that they are not permitted to take photos of, in the same way that photos are not to be taken in the physical chamber when it is in session.
Amos has apologized for his mistake, expressed his embarrassment, and called it “most unfortunate that someone shared, without my consent, a photo in which I was changing my clothes.”
In a statement following the incident, Chief Government Whip Mark Holland suggested that both the Bloc and NDP “made compelling cases that this breach of privacy did not happen from within their offices.”
This prompted the Conservatives to state they didn’t appreciate what the Liberals were implying, that it was a member of their caucus behind the leak.
“We have no reason to believe that a member of our caucus was involved,” said Conservative Whip Blake Richards at the time. “I’m disappointed that the issue was raised publicly in the House by the Bloc, drawing attention to it and setting off a media frenzy,” Richards said.
Following the release of the screenshot to some media outlets, MPs from various parties slammed whoever took the photo, and the government called for House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota to investigate who took the photo so that the House could decide the proper action to take.
The Speaker has said he’ll return to the House with a ruling on the matter.
CTVNews.ca reached out to Amos for comment on the Bloc MP’s photo-taking admission, and in a statement his office said that because the speaker is still considering an investigation, he would not be commenting.