May 28, 2021
-New York Times
OTTAWA — For the second time in just over a month, a member of Canada’s Parliament has apologized for exposing himself during a virtual legislative session.
The lawmaker, Will Amos, who is a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, said in a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday evening that during the session the night before, he had “urinated without realizing that I was on camera.”
Please see my statement. Veuillez lire ma déclaration. pic.twitter.com/ICc8WjqNZi
— William Amos (@WillAAmos) May 28, 2021
In April, Mr. Amos apologized for stripping down on camera after a run, an act that also appeared on an internal parliamentary Zoom call. Such calls have partly replaced in-person appearances in the House of Commons by members during the pandemic.
“It was an honest mistake + it won’t happen again,” Mr. Amos posted after the first incident.
On Thursday, Mr. Amos, a former environmental lawyer, said he was stepping down as parliamentary secretary to the minister of innovation, science and industry, as well as from his committee positions, “so that I can seek assistance.”
He gave no further details, but added, largely echoing his previous apology, “I am deeply embarrassed by my actions and the distress they may have caused anyone who viewed them.”
According to Mr. Amos’s statement, the images this time were not distributed to the public. It was not immediately clear how many members of Parliament, their staff and parliamentary officials would have seen them.
Canada’s Parliament has been operating under a hybrid system in recent months, with some members appearing physically in the House of Commons and most of them logging into legislative sessions through Zoom. While images of all the virtual participants can be seen on screens by other members of Parliament and officials in the chamber, they are viewable to the public via the House of Commons television feed when the online participants have the floor.
In April, a still photograph from one of the Zoom sessions of Mr. Amos, standing naked in a room between Quebec and Canadian flags, made its way onto social media.
“When we called for greater transparency, we should have been more specific,” Garnett Genuis, a Conservative member of Parliament, wrote on Twitter, alongside the photo.
Along with mockery, the photo’s release caused anger and drew calls for an investigation from Mark Holland, the chief government whip, who said the photo’s release had been a “potentially criminal act.”
Canada’s criminal law prohibits publishing, distributing or making available an “intimate image of a person knowing that the person depicted in the image did not give their consent.”
Sébastien Lemire, a member of the Bloc Québécois, acknowledged capturing the image but said he had no idea how it made its way to social media. He apologized to Mr. Amos, who represents a Quebec legislative district across the river from Ottawa.