OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A Canadian Parliament member was caught stark naked in a virtual meeting of the House of Commons.
William Amos, who has represented the Quebec district of Pontiac since 2015, appeared on the screens of his fellow lawmakers completely naked Wednesday. The pandemic has meant many Canadian lawmakers participate in sessions via video conference instead of in person.
A screenshot obtained by The Canadian Press shows Amos standing behind a desk between the Quebec and Canadian flags, his private parts hidden by what appears to be a mobile phone in one hand.
“This was an unfortunate error,” Amos said in a statement sent by email. “`My video was accidentally turned on as I was changing into my work clothes after going for a jog. I sincerely apologize to my colleagues in the House of Commons for this unintentional distraction. Obviously, it was an honest mistake and it won’t happen again.”
Claude DeBellefeuille, a legislator for the opposition Bloc Quebecois party, raised the incident in a point of order after question period, suggesting that parliamentary decorum requires male Parliament members to wear a jacket and tie — and a shirt, underwear and trousers.
Speaker Anthony Rota later thanked DeBellefeuille for her “observations” and clarified that while he had not seen anything, he checked with technicians and confirmed they saw something. He reminded lawmakers to always be vigilant when they are near a camera and microphone.
Amos, the parliamentary secretary to Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, was visible only to Parliament members and staffers on an internal video conference feed. Because he was not speaking, his image did not show up on the public feed.
Liberal Party colleague Mark Holland said Amos was “utterly mortified.” Holland said he was satisfied with the explanation from his colleague.
“I don’t think there was any ill intent. It’s certainly an unfortunate circumstance,” Holland said.
“This is a warning to everybody,” Holland added. “You’ve got to really always assume that camera is on and be very careful any time you wander anywhere near that camera that you’re dressed appropriately.”
Asked if he will be issuing a warning to all Liberal lawmakers to that effect, Holland said: “Oh, big time.”