OTTAWA—Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau has reacted to a news story about his poor attendance record by going on Twitter to insult the reporter who wrote it.
The Canadian Press, a news wire service co-owned by the Toronto Star, published a story on Tuesday that showed Brazeau, 37, has the poorest attendance record of all senators for this session of Parliament.
The Quebec senator, appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008, had been asked by Canadian Press’s Jennifer Ditchburn, an Ottawa-based political reporter, to comment on his attendance record. He initially responded with an emailed statement in which he said he was absent for “personal matters.”
On Tuesday afternoon, about an hour after Ditchburn first tweeted the online link to her news story, Brazeau then took to Twitter.
“While u smile Jen, others suffer. Change the D to a B in your last name and we’re even! Don’t mean it but needs saying,” Brazeau tweeted at 3:42 p.m.
Ditchburn quickly tweeted back that while many others have previously made the same crude joke, none had been a Canadian senator.
Brazeau, who did not respond to telephone messages Tuesday afternoon, suggested Ditchburn should not have been offended by his suggestion that she is a bitch. Later, however, he apologized for his remarks.
“They were done because of my personal circumstance regarding your story … I’m hardworker and take my position seriously but personal issues always comes 1st. Ppl are sometimes in need. Sorry!” Brazeau wrote in two consecutive tweets around 5:20 p.m.
Ditchburn wrote in an email on Tuesday that she had called Brazeau for comment twice, first on Monday, and was told he was unavailable for an interview but would respond by email.
“Our exchange of emails was very civil and respectful and I quoted him verbatim,” Ditchburn told the Star.
Brazeau made headlines about a domestic matter soon after Harper appointed him senator. He was in the spotlight again in March this year when he lost a boxing match to Liberal MP Justin Trudeau.