Things seem to be getting heated at parliament. On June 17, Jagmeet Singh was thrown out of the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon. The NDP leader was reportedly tossed for refusing to retract a comment calling Bloc Quebecois MP Alain Therrien a racist.
As reported by CTV's Glen McGregor, house speaker Anthony Rota removed Singh from the chamber for the remainder of the day on Wednesday.
The punishment came after the NDP leader called Bloc Quebecois MP Alain Therrien a racist and then refused to retract the comment.
According to a report from The Canadian Press published by The Globe And Mail, Singh called Therrien a racist after an NDP motion aimed at recognizing systemic RCMP discrimination failed to receive universal support from the Commons.
CTV adds that people in the viewing gallery saw Singh and Therrien exchange "heated words," before Therrien's fellow Bloc Quebecois MP Claude DeBellefeuille asked Rota to call for order.
Reportedly, DeBellefeuille asserted in French that Singh had insulted Therrien was using "unparliamentarily" language.
Singh acknowledged he had indeed made the comment, noting: “It’s true, I called him a racist, and I believe that’s so," per CP.
According to CP, Rota asked Singh to apologize to Therrien and Bloc Quebecois, but he refused. At that point, he was dismissed for the day.
Two days before this incident, the NDP leader called on Canada to reevaluate the country's police service.
"There is incredible pain across this country about the systemic racism that continues to exist in policing, at all levels of policing, but speaking specifically about the RCMP. We know that there is systemic racism," Singh said on Monday, June 15.
CTV adds that Singh's intended motion also called on the federal government to review other areas of the RCMP, including its budget and a full assessment of how its officers are trained and use force.
In a press conference later on Wednesday, the Burnaby South MP said he will never back down from standing up to racism and insisted he stood by his comment.*
“I don't back down from standing up to racism," Singh said.
"I don't think it benefits for me to call people names, I was angry at the moment and I stand by it.
He added: "In that moment, I got angry, but I am sad now, because why can’t we act? Why can’t we do something to save people's lives? We can do something, and why would someone say no to that?"
*This article has been updated.