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Federal election 2019 roundup, Thursday, Sept. 19: 'An apology based on a lie is not a real apology,' Scheer says

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau responds to a question after making a statement in regards to photo coming to light of himself from 2001 wearing "brownface" during a scrum on his campaign plane in Halifax, N.S., on Sept. 18, 2019.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau responds to a question after making a statement in regards to photo coming to light of himself from 2001 wearing "brownface" during a scrum on his campaign plane in Halifax, N.S., on Sept. 18, 2019.

Day nine of the election campaign focused on Justin Trudeau’s brownface scandal. This article tracks the campaign news as it happened throughout the day. All times ADT. 

Reporters crowded together on the Liberal campaign plane with staffers on Wednesday night to hear Justin Trudeau apologize for wearing brownface while dressed as Aladdin at an Arabian Night party in 2001 when he was a 29-year-old teacher. “It was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time, but now I recognize, it was something racist to do,” Trudeau said in the late night press conference. “It was a dumb thing to do, I’m disappointed in myself, I’m pissed off at myself for having done it. I wish I hadn’t done it, but I did it, and I apologize for it.”

Read the full story here. Here’s National Post columnist Christie Blatchford on the hypocrisy of it all

In his press conference late Wednesday, Trudeau mentioned another blackface incident and, by the end of the night, reporters had found photos. And, Thursday, Global News reported a third blackface incident.

9:30 a.m. — Nothing on the itinerary for Trudeau

In the wake of the late-breaking brownface scandal Wednesday, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has not released an itinerary for Thursday.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., to make a policy announcement and take questions from reporters. He will end the day in Sherbrooke, campaigning with the local candidate.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will be joined by local candidates in Hamilton as he outlines the NDP’s plan to help small businesses and workers.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May will be in Vancouver Thursday morning to deliver a speech at the BC Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly.

11:30 a.m. — The international media took notice of the Trudeau scandal

At a rally last night in Truro, N.S., Liberal candidate Lenore Zann introduced Justin Trudeau as someone “who will not embarrass us on the international stage,” reported Global News correspondent David Akin.

That claim was immediately stress-tested when Time Magazine broke the story of Trudeau’s “brownface” costume at a private school in British Columbia.

Now, here’s how other international media are reporting on the scandal:

The New York Times wonders if Trudeau is who he portrays himself to be?

CNN: Brownface. Blackface. They’re all offensive. And here’s why.

The UK’s Sun tabloid is going big on the story: JUST NOT RIGHT : Justin Trudeau pictured in another brownface photo

Japan Today: Trudeau begs forgiveness for brownface photo

11:45 a.m. — ‘Is someone fit for office who has done these things?’ Singh asks

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is happy to ask the question about Trudeau’s fitness for office, but he’s not ready to answer it.

“I’ll leave that decision to Canadians,” said Singh, at a small business roundtable in Hamilton this morning, in the wake of a scandal about Trudeau’s decision to wear racist makeup at a school event in 2001.

Singh made it clear, though, that he’s disturbed by the pattern of behaviour exhibited by Trudeau, particularly his comments to protesters from Grassy Narrows in May, who were worried about mercury poisoning in their community.

“One of the most startling pieces we can look to is the Grassy Narrows example,” said Singh. That was behind closed doors in a private meeting and “he mocked protesters who were concerned about mercury poisoning.”

Singh was also asked if Trudeau’s apology was worth anything.

“I think that’s what Canadians are going to have to answer. I know there are a lot of legitimate questions that are being raised right now,” said Singh. “We want to build a society where people are not judged or treated unfairly because of the colour of their skin or their identity.”

12:15 p.m. — ‘An apology based on a lie is not a real apology,’ Scheer says

At a policy announcement in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., Conservative leader Andrew Scheer hammered Justin Trudeau repeatedly for “lying,” about the number of incidents in his past involving racist make-up.

“I think Canadians might have accepted Justin Trudeau’s apology if he hadn’t lied about it. An apology based on a lie is not a real apology,” said Scheer.

At a late-night press conference on Wednesday, while addressing a photo published by Time Magazine, Trudeau told reporters about one further incident, which was soon discovered by reporters. A third incident, with a video discovered by Global News, was reported this morning.

“I think he has lost the moral authority to govern,” said Scheer.

12:45 p.m. — Bardish Chagger says she’s not offended by Trudeau’s photo

Liberal candidate and government House Leader Bardish Chagger, on 570 News in Kitchener, said she’s not offended by the photo of Trudeau because his apology was genuine and he knows he made a bad decision.

“Are we having this conversation because it was the leader of the party and we’re having a hard time understanding that he is also a human being who makes mistakes?” asked Chagger.

3:45 p.m. — ‘This is something I deeply, deeply regret,’ Trudeau says in Winnipeg

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau addressed the blackface scandal again in Winnipeg.

“This is something that I deeply, deeply regret. Darkening your face regardless of the context or the circumstances is always unacceptable because of the racist history of blackface,” said Trudeau.

“What I did, the choices I made, hurt people. People who thought I was an ally,” he said.

Asked if a Liberal candidate would be allowed to run if a similar photo was revealed, Trudeau said they would evaluate that based on the context.

“It’s not something that represents the person I’ve become and the leader I try to be,” said Trudeau, when asked if this photo was ever mentioned during his own candidate vetting process. Trudeau said he was deeply embarrassed about it and preferred not to mention it.

“I’ve always acknowledged that I come from a place of privilege,” said Trudeau. He’s realizing that “that comes with a massive blind spot.”

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019


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