Canada’s First Parliament Video Call Started With Patty Hajdu’s Mic On Mute (VIDEO)
Everyone is getting used to video conferencing, and Canadian politicians are no exception. The first (unofficial) House of Commons virtual sitting took place today. It proved that even high ranking members of the Canadian government can sometimes struggle with technology.
The first virtual meeting of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic took place on April 28.
It began with house speaker Anthony Rota comparing twenty-first century video conferencing technology to walkie-talkies, particularly in regard to holding the space bar down to speak.
He also reminded members of Parliament not to take any photos or videos of their fellow members.
The first hiccup came when Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, was called on to speak first.
Following a long, awkward silence, Rota turned his microphone on to say, "The Honourable Minister of Health? Miss Hajdu? Please unclick your mute."
Another period of silence followed, while Rota patiently waited for Hajdu to get her audio going.
"Oh, got it, sorry," Hajdu said through laughter, once she finally unmuted herself.
"After that somewhat uneloquent beginning, thank you so much Mr. Speaker for the opportunity to speak at this historic first virtual sitting of Parliament."
If that first moment really indicates anything, it's that even the most formal of parliamentary procedure can be quickly undone by failing to click the microphone icon.
As hard as it has been to get through the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the restrictions it has caused, it's been a source of some truly hilarious and now-iconic moments in Canadian politics.
One of the most quickly-memed and repeated phrases of the year has become "speaking moistly," an awkward turn of phrase Prime Minister Justin Trudeau coined while discussing whether Canadians should wear masks in public spaces.
On top of that, there is now officially a statement from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, during which he refers to a group of social distancing protesters as "a bunch of yahoos," twice.
It all goes to show that no matter how bad things might seem, there are always moments of levity to keep everyone's spirits up.