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article imageCanadian NDP MP checks his hair, falls asleep in House of Commons

By Andrew Moran     Feb 16, 2012 in Politics
Ottawa - A new video uploaded to YouTube is making the rounds this week. The video shows New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Jonathan Genest-Jourdain checking out his hair and apparently falling asleep during a House of Commons session.
The average Canadian Member of Parliament makes a little more than $157,000 annually. They could earn additional income if they hold certain titles, such as Cabinet Minister, Government Whip, Parliamentary Secretaries, Caucus Chair and others. If an MP serves six years in office, they receive one of the largest pensions in the country.
With that amount of salary, taxpayers would expect their elected officials to work hard, represent their interests and do what they were elected to do. However, one MP’s work ethic and integrity has come into question following an uploaded video.
During a session in the House of Commons on Feb. 6, New Democratic Party Manicouagan MP Jonathan Genest-Jourdain was caught on camera doing his hair and falling asleep during two important speeches.
A YouTube screenshot of Jonathan Genest-Jourdain during a Canadian House of Commons session.
A YouTube screenshot of Jonathan Genest-Jourdain during a Canadian House of Commons session.
New Democrat MP Yves Godin was criticizing government subsidies for Caterpillar, but this didn’t seem to interest Genest-Jourdain because he took out his iPhone and decided to check out if his hair looked good.
Moments later, NDP MP Françoise Boivin provided her input against eliminating the long-gun registry, but Genest-Jourdain was not too keen on the issue, which prompted him to fall asleep during the speech.
Genest-Jourdain, 32, is one of the youngest Quebec MPs to serve in the House of Commons. He was elected last year when the NDP became the Official Opposition after Quebec voted predominantly for Jack Layton and the NDP.
The political neophyte has not issued an explanation for his actions.
The YouTube audience was not pleased with Genest-Jourdain’s conduct. Many of the users commented on his salary, the uselessness of a politician and the appearance of an actual comedy skit.
“At $150,000 per year sleepy head earned about $80 during nap time,” wrote one YouTube user.
“LOL. Well i guess politicians are useless garbage anywhere in the world,” wrote another.
Others, however, did not blame him. “I would fall asleep too during any french speaking debate. BORING,” wrote another YouTube commenter.
It is important to note, though, that he is not the first MP to fall asleep during a session at Parliament Hill. Last year, Conservative MP Rob Anders was caught sleeping during Question & Answer Period. Anders blamed a car accident for his dozing off.
More about Jonathan GenestJourdain, New democratic party, House of Commons, Video, Sleeping
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