Ottawa [Canada], June 18 (ANI): Speaker of the House of Commons ordered on Wednesday NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to leave the House for the remainder of the day after he Refused to apologise from Bloc Quebecois MP and Party House leader Alain Therrien after calling him a racist.
However, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he stands by his actions and words in the House of Commons. Singh called Therrien a racist for denying the approval needed for a motion calling out systemic racism in the RCMP, says CTV news.
"I don't back down from standing up to racism... I don't think it benefits for me to call people names, I was angry at the moment and I stand by it," Singh said in a press conference a few hours after the very tense moment during the special sitting to study the latest round of federal spending measures.
Singh was seeking the unanimous consent of the House of Commons to pass a motion calling on the House to recognize there is systemic racism within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and call on the government to review the RCMP budget as well as the federal law that governs the police force.
His motion also called for other accountability measures related to the RCMP, including a full review of the use of force by members and the training officers get.
It appeared that all other parties were on side with the motion but an audible "no" came from the area in the House of Commons where the Bloc Quebecois caucus sits.
To reporters in the viewing gallery above the House of Commons, Singh and Therrien could then be seen exchanging heated words a few rows away from each other and out of the view of the Commons cameras, before Bloc Quebecois MP and party whip Claude DeBellefeuille called on the House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota to call for order, saying in French that the NDP leader had insulted her colleague and was using unparliamentarily language.
Singh then rose, and said in French: "It's true, I called him a racist." He was asked to apologise and he refused.
After a few minutes of deliberation, Rota rose and ruled that for his comments and refusal to apologise when asked, Singh was not able to participate in the remainder of the day's sitting.
"In this moment where Indigenous people are being killed and being brutalized, Black people are being killed and brutalised in Canada. We've not seen any action," Singh told reporters. "And in that moment, we put forward this motion, but I thought given where we are, given what's going on, given the lack of action, here is something we can do concretely to actually make a difference... Kind of shocked that anyone would say no to this motion."
In a statement, DeBellefeuille defended her colleague and once again called on Singh to apologise, saying that the Bloc Quebecois supported the idea of a study into systemic racism and discrimination within the RCMP as they agree it is an issue, but that the party would not support drawing conclusions before the review was done.
She said that Singh's insult was unjustified and tarnished Therrien's reputation. (ANI)