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Speaker kicks Poilievre out of the Commons after he calls PM a ‘wacko’ in tense question period exchange

Speaker Greg Fergus kicked Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre out of question period Tuesday after a particularly nasty exchange with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Poilievre’s day-long removal from the House of Commons came after he called Trudeau a “wacko” for supporting B.C.’s past policy of decriminalizing some hard drugs in an attempt to reduce the number of overdose-related deaths.

Poilievre said it was a “wacko policy” backed by “this wacko prime minister.” Fergus asked him to withdraw the “unparliamentary language.”

Poilievre refused, saying only that he agreed to replace “wacko” with “extremist” or “radical.” Poilievre’s refusal prompted Fergus to remove him.

“There are a couple of things that are going on here today that are not acceptable,” Fergus said.

He later called it a “remarkable question period” after MPs from all sides yelled at one another and called each other names.

Following Poilievre’s removal, the Conservative caucus left the Commons chamber en masse, following their leader.

Trudeau fielded a few more questions Tuesday from Bloc and NDP MPs and then left the chamber after the fracas.

WATCH: Speaker tosses Poilievre from House of Commons 

Speaker tosses Poilievre from House of Commons

1 day ago

Duration 3:49

After asking Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre several times to withdraw comments made during question period Tuesday, Speaker of the House Greg Fergus orders Poilievre to withdraw from the House of Commons.

Poilievre turned to social media after getting the boot. “The Liberal speaker censored me for describing Trudeau’s hard drug policy as wacko,” he posted.

“Six people dying from overdoses every day in B.C. is wacko. Nurses worried about breastfeeding after breathing in toxic drug fumes is wacko. This is a wacko policy from a wacko PM that’s destroying lives.”

Trudeau calls Poilievre ‘spineless’

Trudeau also engaged in name-calling, saying at one point that Poilievre was a “spineless” leader.

He said Poilievre is trying to “earn votes through personal attacks” after the Conservative leader raised Trudeau’s past episodes of wearing blackface.

Trudeau accused Poilievre of courting “white nationalist groups” with his visit to an anti-carbon tax protest camp in the Maritimes earlier this month.

While at the camp, Poilievre stepped into a trailer that had a symbol associated with Diagolon drawn on the door.

That’s a group the RCMP has said supports an “accelerationist” ideology — the idea that civil war or the collapse of western governments is inevitable and ought to be sped up.

Leader of the Conservative Party Pierre Poilievre rises during Question Period, Wednesday, April 17, 2024 in Ottawa.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was kicked out of the House of Commons Tuesday for calling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a ‘wacko.’ (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

“He will not denounce them and everything they stand for,” Trudeau said of Poilievre, while also citing American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ endorsement of Poilievre.

“This is a 19-year career politician who knows exactly what he’s doing and thinks he can get away with it,” Trudeau said.

“It is a choice to pander to white nationalists. It’s a choice to not condemn them and everything they stand for in his quest for votes.”

Poilievre at one point said he wouldn’t take lessons on racism from a prime minister whose government gave anti-racism training money to Laith Marouf, a Montreal man who had a history of making antisemitic remarks in social media posts.

The government cut off funding to Marouf’s company in 2022 after public scrutiny of his hateful tweets.

WATCH: Alberta Conservative MP kicked out of the House of Commons 

Alberta Conservative MP kicked out of the House of Commons

1 day ago

Duration 2:18

Speaker of the House Greg Fergus orders Conservative MP Rachael Thomas to withdraw from the House of Commons for ‘disregarding the authority of the chair.’ Thomas was heard saying ‘the chair is acting in a disgraceful manner.’

Before Poilievre’s removal, Fergus had Conservative MP Rachael Thomas removed from the chamber after she shouted at him and called him “a disgrace” for not immediately demanding that Trudeau withdraw his comment about Poilievre being “spineless.”

Trudeau’s “spineless” remark did result in a rebuke from Fergus. The Speaker told Trudeau not to make comments that “call into question the character of an individual member of Parliament.” 

It’s highly unusual for a Speaker to remove the Official Opposition leader from the Commons during question period.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was forced out of the chamber in 2020 after he called a Bloc Québécois MP racist.

A spokesperson for Poilievre framed his leader’s removal as an attempt by Fergus to “protect the prime minister” from tough questions and silence the Conservative leader.

“By any reasonable measure, these policies are wacko. The prime minister knows that and that’s why he refuses to answer why he is keeping dangerous drugs legal in British Columbia,” the spokesperson said.

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Ya’ara Saks told reporters earlier that Ottawa hasn’t made a decision on what to do with B.C.’s request to make illicit drug use illegal in all public spaces after ending a federally sanctioned pilot project that decriminalized their possession.

“It’s under review by Health Canada,” Saks said.

As for Conservative claims that Poilievre is somehow being silenced, Immigration Minister Marc Miller said it’s nonsense.

“That guy has never shut his mouth in his life. Who silences him? He keeps saying dumb things,” Miller said.

“It would be good if he shut his yap once in a while. The stuff that he does in the House of Commons is disgraceful.”

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