Canadian PM pauses when asked about US protests, avoids naming Trump

Canadian PM pauses when asked about US protests, avoids naming Trump

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused to directly address the announcements and actions of US President Donald Trump with regard to violence following the killing of African-American George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. Trudeau paused for as long as 21 seconds when asked for his reaction, and avoided naming Trump in his response and instead focused upon race relations in Canada.

Following the lengthy silence during his daily media briefing on the Covid-19 pandemic, Trudeau said that everyone was watching with “horror and consternation at what is going on in the United States.” He went on to add that this was a time to “pull people together” and to “listen and learn”, when injustices continue despite progress over years and decades.”

Trudeau was asked again about Trump, but he would not name the American President in his response. He also said there was the need to look at Canadian institutions and “ensure that those barriers that may be invisible to many of us but are far too present for black Canadians and racialized Canadians, are addressed.”

This matter came up again as Trudeau addressed the House of Commons, the lower chamber of Canada’s Parliament. “I’m not here today to describe a reality I do not know or speak to a pain I have not felt. I want you to know that our government is listening,” he said.

Late last year, as the October Federal elections were imminent, several photographs and videos of Trudeau emerged showing him in brown and black face. He apologised for those acts during his younger days, and again riffed on those failures, as he said, “I’m not perfect.” He added that was not a free pass not to do the “right thing.”

Trudeau said, “I’m not here today to describe a reality I do not know or speak to a pain I have not felt. I want you to know that our government is listening.” However, he acknowledged the presence of systematic discrimination against minorities in Canada and need to address that challenge that not everyone saw.

Canada has also witnessed protests in cities like Toronto and Montreal after the eruption in the United States.