A Canadian lawmaker has apologized after he was caught connecting to a closed parliamentary session from a toilet cubicle.
Liberal party member Shafqat Ali took part in a hybrid session of parliament last Friday, joining a Zoom-like feed visible only to other parliamentarians. But conservative members were wary of his surroundings.
Tory MP Laila Goodridge told the House of Commons that a lawmaker ‘could participate in a toilet’ somewhere inside Parliament – an allegation that baffled the Speaker of the House until it is confirmed by parliamentary pages.
On Monday, Conservative House Leader John Brassard told parliament that after studying the brickwork, door hinges and coat hook, lawmakers concluded that Ali had placed his camera “on the ledge or the crest of the wall just above the back of the toilet”. .
“The MP was literally using the toilet while participating in a sitting of the House of Commons, the cathedral of Canadian democracy,” he said. “I can’t believe I just said those words, Madam President.”
Ali apologized, calling the toilet stall incident in the building’s West Block an “unfortunate event” resulting from a lack of judgment.
“I take this matter very seriously and I promise never to repeat this mistake again,” he said.
Deputy House Speaker Chris D’Entremont said Ali’s apology was enough to close the case – but warned MPs “to always be vigilant” when participating remotely.
“If you don’t need to have the camera on, turn it off,” D’Entremont said. “If you don’t have to vote, turn it off.”
The toilet stall incident is the second time the Liberals have been embarrassed by the conduct of a party member attending parliament remotely.
In 2021, Will Amos was spotted naked on camera while changing after a run. He apologized, but later admitted to urinating in a cup while attending a committee session. He said he would “seek help” and did not run in last year’s federal election.