Journalist Dale Smith posted a tweet yesterday that appears to draw a distinction between a question posed by MP Garnett Genuis and shooting an animal. Smith is an official accredited member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, which provides exclusive access privileges to Canadian and international journalists in the House of Commons.
Yesterday in the House of Commons, Genuis, Conservative MP for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan was asking a question including lyrics from Bohemian Rhapsody related to the viral video of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau singing the song n London two days before the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
Genuis responded responded to the tweet in the House of Commons today demanding action.
“Some would say surely he is joking but the problem with so-called jokes implying threats towards public officials is that I, as the target of these comments, [am] somehow supposed to understand and be OK with a threat on the basis of someone’s presumed intentions. And I’m just not OK with this.”
Smith has access to West Block’s hallways thanks to his press gallery credential, according to Genuis. He requested that those privileges be revoked from the gallery.
“That current reality of access impacts my ability to perform my functions as a member,” Genuis said.
He asked the Speaker to take into account suspending Smith’s privileges while an investigation was being conducted to determine whether he ought to be permanently removed from the gallery. He was supported by Conservative MP Raquel Dancho, the party’s critic for public safety, and Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer.
In a blog post published early on Thursday, Smith referred to the tweet as a “unoriginal joke” and denied suggesting that Genuis ought to be shot.
“I did no such thing and I owe him no apology. If anything, he owes everyone an apology for subjecting us to his attempt to be clever with the lyrics of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,'” he wrote