Shafkuat Ali, 55, apologizes for going to the toilet during parliamentary Zoom
A Liberal MP representing the Canadian constituency of the Brampton Center has apologized after he was caught at the entrance to the bathroom during a live session at Zoom.
Shafkat Ali, a 55-year-old former real estate agent elected last year, said Monday he deeply regretted Friday’s incident, which was seen by fellow lawmakers but was not visible to the public.
Some MPs attended the session in Parliament remotely, and during the meeting Conservative MP Leila Goodridge rose in the House and noted that one of her fellow MPs “may be involved in the restroom”.
The speaker of the House of Representatives, who could not see the live broadcast, was surprised.
The incident was not visible in the public parliamentary tape, and it could only be seen by other deputies in the internal stream.
The speaker consulted with his officials who confirmed the incident.
Ali (top right) often attends meetings through Zoom, such as this one. So colleagues in parliament were shocked on Friday when he went to the bathroom with the camera on
Leila Goodridge, a Conservative MP, on Friday pointed out the annoying mistake of her fellow Liberal
On Monday, another conservative described the scene in detail.
John Brasard described the “unpleasant case” and asked the speaker whether it was a potential contempt of parliament and whether to end the virtual sessions of parliament.
“Those who witnessed the events saw quite clearly how the Liberal MP entered what appeared to be a toilet cubicle in one of the men’s toilets located on the same floor of the same building,” Brasard said.
“Visible stonework, wooden doors, stainless steel door hinges and a coat hook on the back of these doors, which are part of the long side of the stall, looked pretty familiar.”
Brasard said the camera was sitting on “a ledge or ridge on the wall, just above the back of the toilet.”
He said he was shocked and horrified.
“The deputy literally used the toilet, participating in a meeting of this House of Commons, the Council of Canadian Democracy.
“I can’t believe I just said those words,” Brasard said.
On Friday, the speaker of the chamber looked surprised when she was told what others saw
Ali deeply apologized.
“I want to take this opportunity to sincerely and unreservedly apologize to all members of parliament for the unpleasant event that took place last Friday,” he told the House of Commons via Zoom.
“I ask the chamber and its members to forgive me for the error of opinion.
“I take this matter very seriously and promise never to make the same mistake again.”
Deputy Speaker Chris D’Entremon has ruled that he considers the issue closed after a “sincere apology” from Ali.
Pictured is the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa
“I take this opportunity to re-encourage all members to always be vigilant when attending House meetings remotely,” D’Entremon said.
“If you don’t need to turn on the camera, turn it off.
“If you don’t need to vote, turn it off.”
However, critics of the system note that this is not the first time a Liberal MP has been compromised during a visit to the virtual parliament.
47-year-old Will Amos, who represented Pontiac in Quebec, was filmed naked on camera while changing clothes and then admitted to urinating in a mug while attending a committee meeting.
He no longer ran in the 2021 election.