Absentee Senator Patrick Brazeau apologizes for insulting reporter on Twitter

·Politics Reporter

Senator Patrick Brazeau has apologized to Canadian Press reporter Jennifer Ditchburn, Tuesday evening, for attacking her on Twitter.

The battle stemmed from an article Ditchburn wrote claiming that Brazeau — the youngest Senator in the upper chamber — had the worst attendance for this past session of Parliament.

Brazeau, 37, was absent for 25 per cent of the 72 sittings between June 2011 and April 2012, the Senate attendance register shows.

The Conservative senator, according to the article, also missed 65 per cent of meetings at the aboriginal peoples committee on which he sits and 31 per cent of the meetings of the human rights committee, where he is deputy chair.

The Senator, who tangled with Liberal MP Justin Trudeau in a televised charity boxing match in March, took to Twitter to 'defend' himself.

"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," he wrote.

Ditchburn wasted no time in replying: "@TheBrazman Dear Senator: Many a person has made fun of my name and the word "Bitch". But never a Canadian senator. That's a first."

The two exchanged Twitter barbs over the course of an hour.

PostMedia News journalist Stephen Maher even jumped into the fray defending Ditchburn.

"@TheBrazman Your manners are not very good," he tweeted.

And to that, Brazeau responded: "@stphnmaher and yours are steller? Oops, did I just say that?"

Brazeau eventually apologized to Ditchburn -- again, via Twitter.

"@jenditchburn I apologize for my comments. They were done because of my personal circumstance regarding your story. (1/2)

"@jenditchburn (2/2) I'm a hardworker and take my position seriously but personal issues always comes 1st. Ppl are sometimes in need. Sorry!"

Despite his apology, Brazeau's outburst has fueled the resolve of the Senate critics.

Macleans' Aaron Wherry summed-up their sentiment with this tweet:

"You know what would solve this Senate attendance problem?" he wrote.

"Abolishing the Senate."

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