Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan in the summer of 2018. (Citizen file)

‘Youthful exuberance’ or ‘grievous deed’: opinion is divided on Trudeau’s ‘brown face’ costume

Local Liberal candidate asks voters to concentrate on Prime Minister’s political record

The brouhaha about pictures of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in brown face dressed in an Aladdin costume in 2001 is resounding around the country this week.

Trudeau admitted to this, and two other instances of using skin darkening makeup.

Locally, in the Cowichan Valley, Liberal candidate Blair Herbert said Thursday morning, “It was certainly the wrong thing to do. He had apologized. I watched that on TV last night and thought it was a heartfelt apology that he gave. I sort of put it down to youthful exuberance but nevertheless it was a good thing to do. I would rather look at what he has been able to accomplish in the last four years. He’s been a champion of diversity and multiculturalism in Canada and I think that’s a good thing in Canada and the world.

“You do grow up from the time when these acts were done, and I know myself, I’m now 64, I’m not the same person I was when I was 17. I said the other day I’m glad somebody wasn’t following me around with a camera and a microphone when I was 17 or 20.

“But the world has changed a bit in those years as well. That’s not an excuse but he came out, he talked to the reporters and gave a heartfelt apology and I think at this point that’s really about it.”

Jules Sherred, campaign manager for Alistair MacGregor’s Duncan campaign office, said that “Comments coming into the constituency office have been mixed because a lot of people in this riding do not understand what racism even looks like. As for Alistair, he just reiterates what Jagmeet [NDP leader Jagmeet Singh] says that this is about people who have experienced the pain of racism and that it’s time for Canadians to stand up for the values of diversity and inclusion.”

The office has received a few emails, he said.

“Some of them are very disappointed at Jagmeet’s reaction; they keep saying that Trudeau was a kid when this happened when he was 29 and a teacher in 2001, the year of Sept. 11. Everybody knew back then that black face and brown face was wrong. There have been a lot of people making excuses for Trudeau instead of listening to the people who are affected by this and hearing what they have to say. Really, this conversation should be about them and their pain of reliving this and not really so much about Trudeau. That conversation is to be left up to Canadians at the polls.”

Meanwhile, Conservative candidate Alana Delong released a statement Thursday morning, saying, “We are deeply grieved for all the people of Canada and how the world sees our prime minister right now.”

Green Party candidate Lydia Hwitsum, a former chief of Cowichan Tribes, reacted by saying, “I just want to say I am so disappointed in this demonstration by our leader. I am very disappointed in Justin Trudeau’s actions. I believe that Canada deserves a leader that sets the example for us. People of colour have faced so much discrimination and this is just not a joke and he made it seem like it was a joke.”

Just Posted

Excess lead in drinking water? Not in Cowichan

But pipes and fixtures in some older homes could pose a problem

Shawnigan Hills parkrun report for Nov. 16

Lewis-Schneider sets new women’s course record

Women’s rugby team drops match against Nanaimo

Cowichan men host UVic Norsemen this Saturday

Cowichan 49ers back on track with lopsided win

Steelheads beat Vic West for weekend sweep in masters soccer

Bantam Bulldogs up to challenge in provincial semi

Cowichan stares down adversity, takes lessons into B.C. final

Fashion Fridays: Holiday outfits on a budget

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Eagles congregate around Salish Sea for one last feast before period of famine

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society preparing to receive birds in need of care

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

Study finds microplastics in all remote Arctic beluga whales tested

Lead author Rhiannon Moore says she wasn’t expecting to see so many microplastics so far north

Services needed in B.C. for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease patients: doctor, advocates

More patients are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at an earlier age

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

UPDATE: Deer that may have been hunted in area known for chronic wasting disease located

Conservation officers made urgent request for any info about hunters thought to be from Nanaimo

Most Read