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

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

This bird’s eye view shows the tanker truck fire on Highway 24. Black smoke could be seen from a far distance. (Photo submitted by Kurtis Rainer)
RCMP respond to tanker fire in Little Fort

The Clearwater detachment responded to 37 calls this past week.

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

logo
Evacuation alert issued for residents south of Lytton

The TNRD Emergency Operations Centre in Kamloops says a wildfire in the area poses a threat to structures and residents.

Most Read