Local MP William Amos wear a Canadian flag mask as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Chelsea, Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Local MP William Amos wear a Canadian flag mask as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Chelsea, Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Tories blast William Amos for relieving himself on camera in 2nd Zoom incident

The Liberal MP first made headlines in April when he appeared naked on an internal parliamentary feed

Liberal MP William Amos urinating while on camera during virtual proceedings was “shocking, reckless” and in contempt of the House of Commons, the Conservatives said of his second Zoom lapse in less than two months.

Amos made headlines around the world in April when he appeared naked on an internal parliamentary feed of virtual question period.

He said in a statement Thursday night posted to Twitter 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 nonetheless called his actions “completely unacceptable.”

Conservative MP Karen Vecchio, deputy House leader for the Opposition, agreed with the latter point, saying it put lawmakers “in a very uncomfortable position” and amounted to Amos relieving himself in the Commons itself.

“To turn on your camera and to log into the House’s Zoom feed is the same as opening one of those doors behind me and walking down to any one of the 338 seats in this majestic room,” Vecchio said from the floor, dubbing the deed “an affront to the dignity” of the chamber.

She rejected Amos’s characterization of the incident as occurring in a “non-public setting,” and said it forms a pattern of behaviour that shows the Liberals “failed in their duty to ensure a safe work environment following the first incident.”

Vecchio said she was prepared to put forward a motion of contempt if the Speaker agrees that Amos’s actions amount to a prima faciecase of it.

Carol Hughes, who as assistant deputy speaker was presiding over proceedings, said she would review the situation and come back with a response to the House.

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 “seek assistance.”

He did not respond to a request for comment.

Like the incident six weeks earlier, Wednesday’s blunder furnished blush-inducing headlines abroad, including on CNN, BBC, the New York Times and the Guardian.

After last month’s embarrassment, Amos said he was changing his clothes following 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 wound 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.

Speaker Anthony Rota ultimately ruled that taking the screenshot was an affront to the dignity and authority of the House and issued a stern reminder that MPs are strictly forbidden from taking photographs of proceedings.

With that, Rota said he considered the procedural aspect of the incident to be closed, but the Liberals did not let the matter go. They took it to the all-party board of internal economy, the governing body of the Commons, urging it to impose sanctions on Lemire.

At a board meeting earlier this month, Liberal whip Mark Holland said Lemire should reveal where he sent the image and what his intent was.

That board was set to convene again Thursday, but the meeting ended up being put off.

“Shortly before the meeting, the Liberals asked to postpone without giving a specific reason. The request was unusual, but we were willing to accommodate,” Conservative Blake Richards, chief Opposition whip, said in an email.

The issue should be dealt with at the procedure and House affairs committee, he added.

Charles-Eric Lépine, chief of staff to Rodriguez, 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.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Amos’s actions were inappropriate, but cautioned that explicit images should never be shared without permission, as they were last month.

“I wish him the best and I hope that he gets the help that he needs,” Singh told reporters.

In a written statement, Vecchio questioned the Liberals’ claim that Amos accidentally showed too much skin 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.”

Vecchio also recognized his acknowledgment that he needs some form of help “or intervention,” she said in her earlier comments.

She raised the matter in the House as a question of privilege, which first requires the Speaker to determine that the issue qualifies and can take precedence over other orders of the day.

If it does, the House must take the matter into consideration and ultimately decide whether a breach of privilege or contempt has been committed.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Parliament

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Holger Schwichtenberg and his son Philip talk in the barn of the 150-acre Schwichtenberg farm. This farm is one of many throughout B.C. that support more than 12,500 jobs across the province in the dairy industry. (Contributed Photo/B.C. Dairy Association)
Agassiz dairy farm a model of care for environment, animals, and family

Farm is part of a dairy sector centred in the Fraser Valley, supporting 12,500 jobs province-wide

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Most Read