POLITICS
03/20/2019 21:00 EDT | Updated 03/21/2019 11:38 EDT

Trudeau Apologizes For Sneaking Chocolate Bar In House Of Commons

Unexpected start to a marathon night of confidence votes.

Conservative MP Scott Reid called out the prime minister for breaking a no-food rule in the House of Commons Wednesday.
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Conservative MP Scott Reid called out the prime minister for breaking a no-food rule in the House of Commons Wednesday.

OTTAWA — There was a teachable moment in the House of Commons Wednesday after Conservative MP Scott Reid accused the prime minister of sneaking a bagel under his desk.

Rules state members "may refresh themselves with glasses of water during debate, but the consumption of any other beverage or food is not allowed."

Watch: Tory MP accuses PM of hiding a snack and breaking a House of Commons rule

Reid, a longtime Tory MP, also called out the defence and heritage ministers for the same violation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rose to admit to breaching the no-food rule, but said the item wasn't a baked good. "It was a chocolate bar. I apologize," he said.

Montreal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather chimed in on social media to share his disappointment that the snack Trudeau snuck in was a confection and not one of his city's wood-fired bagels.

The oddball moment happened in the first hour of a marathon voting session after the government defeated a Conservative motion asking the prime minister to waive any remaining solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality restrictions for former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould.

The Tories want Wilson-Raybould to return to the justice committee to continue her testimony and provide more details about a "concerted and sustained effort" she said she experienced from the Prime Minister's Office and other political staff to intervene in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

The defeat of the motion gave way to voting on 257 separate motions which the Conservatives gave notice of last week. It's a procedural tactic the Opposition is using to protest the government's response to the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Wilson-Raybould did not attend the Commons votes. Neither did former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott. Both former ministers quit Trudeau's cabinet last month, with Philpott citing lost confidence over the government's handling of the controversy.

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Every one of the 257 motions oppose the latest supplementary and interim estimates. They're considered confidence votes because each motion deals with government funding for federal programs and initiatives. Losing one vote could trigger an election.

With the most at stake, Liberals set up cots outside the chamber in anticipation of the late-night voting session — which could take up to 40 hours.

Conservative House Leader Candice Bergen told reporters before the vote that the government could avoid the overnight session by siding with the Opposition and agreeing to let Wilson-Raybould return to committee with no restrictions on what she can say.

The Tories are accusing the government of using the annual budget, which was tabled Tuesday, as a distraction from allegations of political interference involving one of their former star ministers.

"We're not going to let them just kind of go about their business here, you know, business as usual, nothing to see with the scandal," Bergen said. She and her leader, Andrew Scheer, have promised "to use every mechanism available" to stop that from happening.