Published: Sat, September 21, 2019
Culture | By Margie Dunn

How will Justin Trudeau's blackface photos affect Canada's election?

How will Justin Trudeau's blackface photos affect Canada's election?

Local Liberal candidates made no excuses for their party leader Thursday after photos of him in brown- and blackface came to light - and all were disappointed.

While Henry believes Trudeau's apology was honest, she questions how deep Trudeau's understanding is of issues around racism and how his actions affect others.

And while the Liberal leader has apologized for the incidents, which occurred almost 20 years ago, Singh is accusing Trudeau of having demonstrated a repeated pattern of such disparaging behaviour more recently.

Even before bombshell pictures of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in blackface makeup surfaced on Wednesday, his Liberals and their main opposition Conservatives had foregone the usual niceties in favour of tactics more common to the hyper-partisan mud slinging contests south of the border in the U.S.

When asked whether he had considered stepping aside to let another person lead the party, Trudeau claimed that he would be staying on as leader through the election. "I should have known better but I didn't and I'm really sorry", he said, adding that he was "pissed off" at himself for having done it, and that he intends to have a conversation with his children about "taking responsibility for the mistakes you make".

Days before the election was called, Ralph Goodale, Trudeau's public safety minister, released a 2005 video of Scheer, a practicing Roman Catholic, talking about how he opposed same sex marriage because gay couples can't naturally procreate.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight, former leader of the Liberal Party, Michael Ignatieff criticised the Prime Minister. Why did we think it was a good idea at the time?

The prime minister announced he will ban military assault rifles and allow provinces to restrict handguns if he is re-elected in October. The dinner had an "Arabian Nights" theme and Trudeau has confirmed he was dressed as Aladdin. "I can tell you that it hurts".

"I first saw the video this morning when it was published this morning, and I can say there was an individual who was concerned by this and brought it to our campaign and our campaign did turn it over to a news outlet for verification".

Trudeau made the pledge in Toronto as he worked to get his campaign back on track after apologizing for wearing blackface years ago. He said that he did not remember this instance until it emerged.

A Green candidate in a Vancouver Island riding, Lydia Hwitsum, says she was hurt by the image and it's frustrating to see a leader who can't set the sort of example that Canada deserves.

"I think that's all we can do". I think he has addressed this in a fulsome, forthright fashion that Canadians can understand where his heart is, where he wants to move the country to a more inclusive community for all people who come to this great nation. "It was something that minimizes and takes advantage of a reality that I have not had to live with - of being discriminated against, of being marginalized, of being judged, for the colour of my skin, for my language, my background".

The announcement took place in the city's Greektown neighbourhood, where a gunman killed two people and wounded 13 others past year.

Scheer said Friday he's not aware of the existence of any more photos or videos.

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