Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Jagmeet Singh has accused Prime Minister Trudeau of hypocrisy for failing to condemn irresponsible remarks by United States President Donald Trump on the mass protests over the death of African American George Floyd.
Trudeau fell silent for more than 20 seconds at a press conference Tuesday when a reporter asked for his views on the United States crisis. He eventually said Canadians were watching in horror what was going on in the United States, but did not mention Trump directly.
Trump has lashed out at the protesters marching against the death of African American George Floyd, calling them thugs and anarchists. He also has threatened to use military forces to quash them.
Singh said that “the prime minister of Canada has to call out the hatred and racism happening just south of the border, and if the prime minister can’t do that, how can everyday people be expected to stand up?”
Meanwhile, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said Trudeau should show more courage in the face of aggressive actions by a U.S. leader, which are fuelling chaos on the country’s streets.
Blanchet said Trudeau is more inclined to accuse Canadians of being racist than to accuse Trump of being incendiary and provoking serious social tensions.
“Mr. Trudeau is much more inclined to accuse us collectively of all the vices,” he said.
“He didn’t have the courage to say the president of the United States is once again throwing oil on a dangerous fire against people, most of them in a peaceful fashion, who express sadness, indignation, sorrow, anger, all of that being entirely legitimate,” Blanchet said.
In defence of the prime minister on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Trudeau‘s answer to the Trump question was “excellent and eloquent.”
“I think that most important response of any Canadian political leader has to be to understand our own responsibility for what happens here in our own country,” she said.