Quebecers response less critical of Trudeau's blackface costume
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, September 19, 2019 6:11PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 20, 2019 2:19PM EDT
Residents in Justin Trudeau's home riding and politicians in Quebec City expressed support for the Liberal leader on Thursday as he dealt with the fallout of old photos showing him in skin-darkening makeup.
In Montreal's multi-ethnic Papineau riding, people interviewed from different cultural communities said they don't think Trudeau meant to offend.
Sani Piameng, the owner of an African butcher shop and grocery store, says Trudeau has often visited his store and even watched soccer games with him and his customers.
He says Trudeau is not a racist, and that's more important than photos taken nearly 20 years ago.
Zahid Nassar, an immigrant from Pakistan, says he's not bothered by the images because many people do regrettable things when they're young.
Quebec Politicians react
Politicians in Quebec City did not come out as aggresively negative when criticizing the prime minister's actions 18 years ago.
Quebec CAQ Premier Francois Legault admitted the photos could hurt Trudeau's campaign but that it was time to move on.
"I can understand that some people were hurt by these pictures, but Mr. Trudeau said he was sorry," said Legault. "I think we have to talk about something else."
Interim Parti Quebecois leader Pascal Berube had a similar opinion defending Trudeau's character.
"I know Justin Trudeau. I met him a lot of times in my life. He's not a racist," he said. "We can be against him on many issues, but he's not a racist. His lack of judgement back in 2001 is real. His lack of judgement right now on important issues for Canadians and Quebecers is true, but he's certainly not a racist. Please stop."
Quebec Liberal Frantz Benjamin accepted Trudeau's apology as sincere.
"The Justin that I know is someone who always works with everyone," he said. "He has been and is still a great leader when it comes time to talk about diversity, when it comes time to talk about how to bring Canadians together not to divide them... I believe those excuses were sincere. For me, move on."
Liberal MNA Marwah Rizqy said the Prime Minister of Canada should know that it's a mistake to put on brown or black facepaint.
"Coming from a Moroccan background, I'm very sensitive about this," she said. "Obviously it's a mistake. It's well known the brown face and the history in the United States."
CAQ Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie feels voters should consider the action in
"We should ask more from someone that wants again to become prime minister," said MNA Nadine Girault.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2019.
With reporting from CTV News.