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Liberal MP Justin Trudeau apologizes for using unparliamentary language in the House of Commons on Dec. 14, 2011. (CHRIS WATTIE/Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau apologizes for using unparliamentary language in the House of Commons on Dec. 14, 2011. (CHRIS WATTIE/Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Durban dust-up spurs Justin Trudeau to swear at Environment Minister Add to ...

His father famously uttered fuddle duddle in the House of Commons. On Wednesday his son went one better, calling the Environment Minister a “piece of shit.”

Justin Trudeau, the Montreal Liberal MP, admitted he just lost his “cool.”

He just couldn’t hold back in Question Period after Peter Kent attacked NDP environment critic Megan Leslie for not attending the climate-change conference in Durban, South Africa, last week.

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That struck a chord with MPs, none more so than Mr. Trudeau, who has sparred with Mr. Kent in the past:

“For the first time ever, the Government refused to accredit any members of the Opposition for the COP 17 conference in Durban,” Mr. Trudeau told The Globe in the an email, while Question Period was still continuing. “This was extremely difficult for my friend Kirsty Duncan, our Environment Critic, who tried, unsuccessfully, to pay her own way to get to Durban.”

He said that the rationale from the government was “we have a majority, we don't need to bring dissenting voices.”

“So when Minister Kent got up and dared say ‘if the member opposite had been in Durban...’ I lost my cool,” he said.

After Question Period Mr. Trudeau apologized. He said that he “lost his temper” when the Environment Minister “chided” Ms. Leslie for not having attended the conference after the government prevented members of the opposition from doing so.

“I used language that was most undecidedly unparliamentarily and for that I unreservedly apologize and withdraw my remarks,” Mr. Trudeau told MPs.

His outburst comes after Elizabeth May was feted at a Canadian Club lunch in Ottawa Wednesday. The Green Party Leader received Equal Voice’s 2011 EVE Award for significant achievement by a woman in political life.

In her speech, Ms. May spoke about the need to get more women elected to Parliament as it is a “toxic, testosterone-choked world.”

More women in elected office, she believes, would help control the behaviour in the House, which she referred to as “hideous” and likened some of the heckling to bullying in high school.

About Mr. Trudeau’s heckling, Ms. May said: “It took my breath away that Peter [Kent]would say to Megan Leslie that ‘if she had been at Durban’ as though she passed up a chance to go.”

Ms. May paid her own way to the conference, as did NDP MP Lauren Liu.

“So even though the slur was against an NDP MP, it was appalling. My jaw dropped. (And I am not prone to yelling and never heckle). Fair to say Justin just lost it. And he did jump up to apologize (not that excuses it),” she added in an email.

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