MP breaks down in the House

(Updated)A bizarre series of events during question period in Ottawa which culminated in an MP crying today. But as people have been digging into the story of Paul Calandra’s non-answer during Tuesday’s question period — which today he took complete responsibility for. Tonight, the CBC is reporting that Calandra’s response to the opposition leader were supplied to him by the director of issues management in the Prime Minister’s Office.Conservative MP Paul Calandra: “I apologize to you and to the entire house and my constituents.”What could possibly make a 44-year old member of parliament break down like Conservative MP Paul Calandra did earlier today?Paul Calandra: “I allowed the passion and the anger with something I read get in the way of answering a question.”That question was posed by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair on Tuesday concerning Canada’s mission in Iraq. It was met with this from Paul Calandra: “There’s a great deal of confusion with the NDP position on Israel. I wonder if the leader of the opposition could confirm for me.”For McMaster political scientist Peter Graefe the parliamentary secretary’s lack of an answer was shocking: “We’re used to them evading answers, giving half answers, slipping away — not actually talking about something different.”And he wasn’t alone. Calandra’s comments were challenged throughout the week leading to this moment which has since gone viral.CBC question: “The question was about foreign affairs…..”The CBC is also reporting that a member of the Prime Minister’s Office supplied Calandra with materials that were meant to be used no matter what question he faced. In direct contradiction to what he said in his emotional statement today.Paul Calandra: “Despite what people think about kids in short pants, this was my response and I take full responsibility.”Peter Graefe: “I think it’s consistent with the Conservative government that throughout it’s time has really pushed against the rules of the House and maybe has pushed beyond them.”So what does that say about how the PMO is run?Peter Graefe: “It doesn’t have to answer to Canadians that it should use parliament as a parliamentary platform to attack the opposition.”And according to Paul Calandra, it won’t be the last time that happens: “I don’t think this’ll be the last time that I’ll get up and answer a question that doesn’t effectively respond.”It just hasn’t been Calandra’s week. In another interview, he says that the statement you just heard wasn’t supposed to come out that way. He said that he’ll clarify his remarks on Monday.