#Canada; #NDPLeaderJagmeetSingh; #racistComment
Ottawa, June 18 (Canadian-Media): NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was expelled from the House of Commons for the rest of the day by Speaker Anthony Rota for calling a Bloc Québécois MP Alain Therrien racist and then breakingthe parliamentary rule of refusing to apologize and withdraw his comments, media reports said.
Jagmeet Singh. Image credit: Twitter handle.
"I called him a racist and I believe it" said Singh during a press conference on June 16 and added, " I looked back and saw that the MP not only said no but just brushed his hands and dismissed it. In that moment I got angry."
Singh had tried to get all parties in the House of Commons to agree to a motion recognizing the existence of systemic racism in the RCMP and Therrien was the only MP in the House who refused to support the motion.
The motion also asked MPs to support a review of the RCMP's budget, to demand that the RCMP release all of its use-of-force reports and to call for a review of the RCMP's tactics for dealing with the public.
The motion points out that "several Indigenous people have died at the hands of the RCMP in recent months …"
Moments after Singh made his remarks in the House of Commons, Bloc Whip Claude DeBellefeuille stood up to express her disapproval.
The Bloc Québécois issued a statement later in the day saying that "discrimination against Indigenous communities and cultural minorities is a major issue" but the public safety committee is currently studying systemic racism in the RCMP and it should be allowed to do its work.
"We consider it inappropriate to impose findings to a committee before it has conducted its study. We respect the parliamentary process," DeBellefeuille said in French.
"The NDP leader defamed the parliamentary leader of the Bloc Québécois with an unwarranted insult … He should apologize immediately."
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet is demanding an apology from Singh for calling one of his MPs a racist.
Singh's office said the NDP leader does not intend to apologize.