OTTAWA, Ontario — A Canadian member of Parliament apologized after being caught naked during a virtual meeting of the House of Commons.
William Amos, 46, who has represented the Pontiac district in Quebec since 2015, appeared on the screens of his fellow Parliament members totally undressed Wednesday, according to Canadian Press. A screenshot of Amos in the buff, obtained by the news organization, shows the lawmaker standing behind a desk, his genitals hidden by what appears to be a mobile phone in his hand.
“This was an unfortunate error,″ Amos said in a statement. “`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.”
Amos was visible only to Parliament members and staffers on an internal video conference feed, according to The Associated Press. Because he was not speaking, Amos’ image did not show up on the public feed.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had just finished answering a question in the main feed from the Parliament floor, when lawmaker Claude DeBellefeuille pointed out Amos’ nudity, as she called for parliamentary decorum.
“We have seen a member during question period improperly dressed. That is, unclothed,” DeBellefeuille said in French, according to the parliamentary translator. “So perhaps remind the members, especially the male members, that suits and ties are appropriate.
“We have seen that the member was in very good shape, but I think this member should be reminded of what is appropriate and to control his camera.”
Speaker Anthony Rota later thanked DeBellefeuille for her “observations,” according to the AP. He clarified that while he had not seen anything, he checked with technicians to confirm what had been seen, and he reminded lawmakers to always be vigilant when they are near a camera and microphone.
Amos is parliamentary secretary to Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.
Pablo Rodriguez, who serves as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, said leaking the photo was was “mean-spirited” and has been “life-changing” for him, according to CBC.
“I would like to say that the conduct of the person who took the screenshot is not only extremely unfortunate but it is mean-spirited and life-changing for one of our colleagues,” Rodriguez said. “Taking a photo of someone who is changing clothes and in the nude and sharing it without their consent could very well be criminal.
“Are we really at a point in our politics where it is acceptable to try and destroy the reputation and humiliate a colleague because someone finds a very unfortunate error and unintentional mistake to be funny? Our politics has taken a very dark and destructive turn if this is the case.”