Press Gallery Journalist Makes Joke About Killing Tory MP
Conservative MPs are asking for the removal of a freelance reporter from the parliamentary press gallery. The journalist in question tweeted a comment the Tories say risked provoking violence against politicians.
The issue spilled out of a moment during question period on Wednesday when Conservative MP Garnett Genuis quoted the band Queen while asking a question about inflation. This was in reference to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was spotted in London singing Bohemian Rhapsody ahead of Queen Elizabeth's funeral.
Dale Smith tweeted that "Genuis tries to includes lyrics from 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in his question, and I cannot adequately tell you how lame it is. When horses are this lame, you shoot them."
Genuis called Smith's comments "threatening" and beyond the bounds of normal political discourse.
"In the current climate we should all know the risks associated with explicitly inciting violence against public officials," the Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan MP said.
"Some would say surely he is joking but the problem with so-called jokes implying threats towards public officials is that I, as the target of these comments, [am] somehow supposed to understand and be OK with a threat on the basis of someone's presumed intentions. And I'm just not OK with this."
Genuis said Smith's accreditation in the press gallery should be revoked. "That current reality of access impacts my ability to perform my functions as a member," Genuis said.
He was backed by Conservative MP Raquel Dancho, the party's public safety critic, and Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer.
Smith is unapologetic and called the tweet an "unoriginal joke" and denied he was insinuating Genuis should be shot.
"I did no such thing and I owe him no apology. If anything, he owes everyone an apology for subjecting us to his attempt to be clever with the lyrics of 'Bohemian Rhapsody,'" he wrote.