Liberal MP Justin Trudeau lost his temper in the Commons this week and called Environment Minister Peter Kent a "piece of sh**."
At the time, Kent was mocking New Democrat environmental critic Megan Leslie to the delight of his Conservative colleagues.
It all began a month ago when Kent denied Leslie her accreditation to the Canadian delegation going to the United Nations conference on climate change in Durban, South Africa.
Leslie had to stay in Ottawa while Kent attended with a hand-picked Canadian delegation that agreed with everything he said against the Kyoto Accord and every obstruction he put up against controlling greenhouse gases.
The storm erupted when Leslie stood up to and said the Harper government had abandoned the Kyoto Accord to hide its failure to reduce gas emissions and meet Kyoto targets.
“The rest of the world is moving forward, building a new energy economy, but Canada is being left behind," she said.
Kent responded: "If my colleague had been in Durban she would have seen in fact that Canada is a leader..."
He never got any further. He was drowned out by shouting from Opposition members who shoutred it was Kent who had lifted Leslie’s accreditation.
That didn’t bother Conservative MPs who laughed heartily at Leslie’s discomfiture.
Then suddenly Justin Trudeau stood up and shouted "you are a piece of sh**" and the House of Commons erupting into pandemonium.
Trudeau quickly left the Chamber, but returned later and apologized for his “unparliamentary language” as they call it in the Commons.
"I lost my temper and used language that was most decidedly unparliamentary and for that I unreservedly apologize and withdraw my remarks," Trudeau said.
Kent demanded an "abject apology" to the House of Commons. The Speaker Andrew Scheer, replied that Trudeau had already apologized.
Later Trudeau said his remark was the result of Kent's "patronizing condescension" toward opposition MPs, particularly about Leslie not being in Durban, "when he and the Prime Minister's Office did everything they could to keep the Opposition away."
"So when he chided her for not attending Durban, I lost my temper, I lost my cool."
And then, at a point when he seemed most apologetic and contrite, Trudeau added that he was pleased at least that he had made the remark in the defense of a woman who was being mocked openly, rather than in his own defense for some slight.
“Perhaps I should have said it in French,” he said. “It wouldn’t have sounded so strong.”
Although the remark appears to have offended a number of older Canadians, among young people it seems to have gone over better, particularly among those who care about the environment and are fed up with the Harper government’s do-little approach to greenhouse gases from the Alberta Tar Sands.