Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians are watching what’s unfolding in the United States with “horror and consternation” and he paused for more than 20 seconds when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump and the use of tear gas against protesters for a photo opportunity.
Trudeau has long been careful not to poke Trump as Canada relies on the U.S. for 75 percent of exports.
But Trudeau dramatically paused and struggled to come up with the right words when asked about the military action’s against protesters in the U.S. Police violently broke up a peaceful and legal protest by several thousand people in Lafayette Park across from the White House ahead of a speech in the Rose Garden by Trump on Monday evening. The protesters had gathered following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis a week earlier.
Afterward, Trump strolled off the White House grounds and walked to the cleared Lafayette Park to make a surprise visit to St. John’s Church. Standing alone in front of cameras, he raised a Bible but didn’t mention Floyd, the church or the peaceful protesters police had just cleared away.
Trudeau went on to speak about discrimination against minorities in Canada.
“It is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we, too, have our challenges, that black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day,” he said.
“We need to be allies in the fight against discrimination. We need to listen. We need to learn. And we need to work hard to fix,” he said.
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