08/18/2014 12:03 EDT

Trudeau Break-In: Tory MP Ryan Leef Apologizes For Twitter Joke


A Tory MP has apologized for a "tongue in cheek" quip he made about the break-in at the home of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Between Friday night and Saturday morning, vandals snuck into Trudeau's Ottawa home while his wife, a house guest and the Liberal leader's three children were asleep. Police told CBC News they found a letter urging Trudeau to lock his doors left atop a pile of items, including knives.

The Liberal leader was in Winnipeg at the time and has since told reporters that his family is pretty shaken up.

But Ryan Leef, a former RCMP officer elected in the Yukon in 2011, poked fun at the news in a tweet Sunday that has since been deleted.

Lawyer Michael Spratt took to social media to suggests Conservatives would find a way to attack Trudeau over the incident.

Leef responded with an untimely joke that was screengrabbed by the Ottawa Citizen's Drake Fenton.

The joke alluded to Trudeau's comments last year that the federal budget "will balance itself" if the economy continues to grow. Conservatives have used the remark in attack ads targeting the Liberal leader as "in over his head."

The tweet vanished a few hours later but not before several derided it online as offside. Leef later apologized to Trudeau in a response to CBC News' Kady O'Malley.

Leef also released a statement on Monday saying his quip was "not in good taste" and not a reflection of how seriously he takes the incident.

"I deleted the post as an acknowledgement of its inappropriateness and wrote a personal note to Mr. Trudeau and his family expressing my apology and concern for their well-being and peace of mind," he said in the release.

Leef's Twitter joke came out at around the same time Postmedia's Michael Den Tandt wrote a column criticizing those who "revelled" online at the news of the Trudeau family's misfortune.

"Hug-a-terrorist Justin Trudeau, targeted by home-invading thugs; what fun! There were Tweets mockingly tying the break-in to Trudeau's stance on marijuana. Maybe the burglars were after pot! Ho ho," wrote Den Tandt. "Others tried, clumsily and with the hackneyed spelling so common in Twitter's nether parts, to be sardonic."

But conservative commentator Charles Adler received kudos from Den Tandt and other journalists for making it known he didn't find the matter funny.

Trudeau told The Canadian Press that the break-in could cause him to re-evaluate the amount of time he spends on the road trying to drum up support for his party ahead of the 2015 election.

But the Liberal leader did have a joke of his own when asked if he would consider moving his family to a new residence.

"Hopefully, there'll be a move next year into a more secure place,” he said, referring to 24 Sussex Dr.

Ottawa police and the RCMP continue to investigate the break-in.

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