Liberal MP apologises for joining Zoom session from toilet stall

'If you don't have to have the camera on, turn it off'

Liberal MP apologises for joining Zoom session from toilet stall

Liberal Party member Shafqat Ali was put in a very embarrassing spot after it was discovered that he joined a parliamentary session while in a toilet cubicle. Ali participated in the said hybrid session via Zoom call, but Conservative lawmakers noticed something amiss with his background. 

Conservative member of Parliament (MP) Laila Goodridge, who was at the session in person, was the one who pointed out to the House of Commons that Ali "might be participating in a washroom," The Guardian reported.

A parliamentary page later confirmed that the MP appeared to join the session from a washroom, prompting a reminder from the chamber's assistant deputy speaker to be prudent and be aware of the surroundings when going online.

The matter was raised again on Monday, when Conservative House leader John Brassard said that Ali entered the session from a toilet stall in one of the men's washrooms located in the same building.

"The visible stonework, wooden door, and the stainless-steel door hinges and coat hook on the back of that door... all looked quite familiar," said Brassard as quoted by BBC. "It appeared that the camera was mounted on the ledge or ridge on the wall just above the back of the toilet."

"The member of Parliament was literally using the washroom while participating in a sitting of the House of Commons, the cathedral of Canadian democracy."

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Following the incident, Ali extended an apology for what he excused as a "lapse in judgement."

"I take this matter extremely seriously, and I promise never to repeat this error again," he assured.

The matter was eventually dropped after Ali's apology, but Deputy Speaker Chris D'Entremont reminded MPs to always remember to turn their cameras off.

"If you don't have to have the camera on, turn it off," D'Entremont said. "If you don't have to be in voting, turn it off."

The incident involving Ali reflected one of the bad habits that employees admit to doing amid remote work.

Shinesty spokesperson Chris White said that such behaviour may be seen as offensive.

"Respect in the workplace is huge, especially to create a great culture. So, bad habits like not being properly dressed can oftentimes be seen as offensive and no employer would ever want issues to arise because of that."

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