OTTAWA – A Conservative MP has apologized for using news of a break-in at Justin Trudeau’s house as a chance to take a partisan poke at the Liberal leader.
Yukon MP Ryan Leef says he’s written a personal note to Trudeau, apologizing for his inappropriate response to the break-in, which occurred early Saturday morning while Trudeau’s wife and three young children were asleep in their Ottawa home.
Trudeau was in Winnipeg at the time.
Sources say nothing was taken but some of the family’s butcher knives were left arranged on the kitchen floor.
Atop the knives was a menacing message noting that the items could have been stolen and advising the family to lock the doors in future.
In a tweet Sunday, Leef said: “Since Justin thinks budgets balance themselves maybe he thinks doors lock themselves.”
Conservatives, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, have repeatedly ridiculed Trudeau for suggesting last winter that the federal “budget will balance itself” as the economy grows. They maintain the comment is another sign that Trudeau is “in over his head.”
Leef acknowledged in a statement Monday that he should not have used the break-in to take another partisan jab at Trudeau.
“The tweet was a tongue-in-cheek reply to an original tweet that was making light of possible responses to the break-in at Mr. Trudeau’s home,” Leef, a former RCMP officer, said in a written statement.
“It was not in good taste to reply and in no way was it a reflection of how serious the incident is nor commentary on my commitment to public safety.
“I deleted the post as an acknowledgment of its inappropriateness and wrote a personal note to Mr. Trudeau and family expressing both my apology and my concern for their well being and piece (sic) of mind.”
Trudeau has said his family has been badly shaken by the incident, which has given him “pause” about the amount of time his job requires him to be away from his wife and kids while he travels the country.
The RCMP is currently conducting a risk assessment to determine what, if any, security measures should be taken to protect Trudeau and his family.
The leader of the third party is not normally assigned a personal security detail or any other special police protection.