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Opposition leader suspended from Canadian parliament over ‘wacko’ comment

The Conservative Party’s Pierre Poilievre was kicked out after criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s drug policies

Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre has been suspended for a day from the House of Commons for calling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “wacko” during a heated debate in the chamber.

During question period on Tuesday, Poilievre grilled the prime minister over his decision last year to allow the province of British Columbia to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of hard drugs such as fentanyl and heroin. The measure is a three-year experimental program aimed at curbing deaths from overdoses.

Poilievre blasted the program, calling on Trudeau to reverse his “extremist policies that have taken the lives of 2,500 British Columbians every single year.”

“When will we put an end to this wacko policy by this wacko prime minister?” Poilievre asked, prompting loud applause from his party, as well as an immediate reaction from Speaker Greg Fergus.

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Fergus called Poilievre’s choice of words “unacceptable” and repeatedly asked him to “withdraw that term, which is not considered parliamentary.” Poilievre replied that he was ready to replace the word “wacko” with “extremist” or “radical” instead of just withdrawing the comment.

After a back-and-forth, Fergus ruled that Poilievre was “disregarding the authority of the chair” and instructed him to leave the chamber for the remainder of the session. The conservative leader left, followed by the majority of his party.

Poilievre blasted Fergus later that day on X (formerly Twitter), saying that “the Liberal speaker censored” him for “describing Trudeau’s hard drug policy as wacko.”

Many Conservative MPs defended their leader. “Liberal elites are more offended by the term ‘wacko’ than by skyrocketing overdoses and food bank usage,” MP Jamil Jivani wrote on X. “Trudeau’s policies are far more offensive than anything said in the House today.”

Chief Government Whip Steve MacKinnon backed the sanctioning of Poilievre, arguing that his behavior amounted to “disrespect for our institutions,” and involved “extreme language, sayings and slogans that we have never seen before.”


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A year into the experimental measures in British Columbia, the question of drug overdose deaths remains in the public eye. Health officials warn that the situation is worsening, given ever increasingly toxic drug supplies, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation wrote on Tuesday.

May 01, 2024 at 10:52AM
RT

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