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Trudeau grab an assault? Maybe technically, but PM unlikely to be charged

Following the fracas on the floor of the House of Commons Wednesday night, opposition members of Parliament have taken turns scolding Justin Trudeau for his behaviour, with some even suggesting that the prime minister might be guilty of a crime.

NDP MP Niki Ashton said that “physical violence” had taken place in the House and that “people would call what happened here assault.” Conservative MP and deputy justice critic Michael Cooper suggested that Trudeau’s physical encounters with two MPs could be defined as “criminal assault.” And Tory MP Mark Warawa tweeted that Trudeau was guilty of “physical assault.”

And technically speaking, they might have a point.


Ottawa lawyer Michael Spratt agreed, saying that while, technically, it’s an assault, the legal system calls for discretion and restraint when it comes to applying that law so it would likely not be concerned with incidents as trivial as Trudeau’s grabbing of Brown’s arm.

“I think it would make a true ass out of the law to say that this kind of conduct — momentary physical contact that doesn’t leave any injuries — in a situation like this would ever be charged or prosecuted,” Spratt said.

“It would be my hope that any police officer who was looking at this, Crown who was screening it or judge who was adjudicating it would have the good sense to see that it was momentary, on the low end of the spectrum with respect to any force, and that it’s something that shouldn’t be dealt with criminal law.”

Read Mark Gollom’s full story: CBC News

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