Three public apologies and one serious parliament discussion later, Justin Trudeau has been formally forgiven for tugging the arm of one legislator and elbowing another during a vote earlier this month.
Canada’s House of Commons decided Tuesday that the prime minister will not face parliamentary sanctions, or be asked for more apologies, for what some members of parliament called “unprecedented physical interaction.”
The controversy began May 18, during a heated vote on doctor-assisted suicide legislation. Members of the opposition New Democrat Party and other parties had blocked the aisle, seen by some as an attempt to prevent others from returning to their seats to begin the vote. Seeing this, Trudeau, who is in the Liberal Party, walked toward the group and pulled on Conservative whip Gord Brown’s arm and began to drag him out of the way, simultaneously elbowing New Democrat Party member Ellen Brosseau. The sequence of events caused an uproar among members of parliament, and opposition members spent the next few days criticizing Trudeau for “manhandling” the legislator. The incident became known as “Elbowgate,” taking on the suffix given to any public scandal these days. Trudeau apologized for the tussle three times in two days.