Canadian PM Trudeau vows to continue campaign amid blackface scandal

By Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to continue his re-election campaign and asked for forgiveness on Thursday after pictures of him in blackface emerged with less than five weeks before the national vote. The Liberal Party leader's campaign has been upended since Time magazine on Wednesday published an image of him with his face blackened at a 2001 'Arabian Nights' party when he was a 29-year-old teacher at a private school in Vancouver. Other images have since emerged and Trudeau said he was 'wary' of ruling out the existence of even more because he could not remember those that already come to light.

Reuters September 20, 2019 03:12:13 IST
Canadian PM Trudeau vows to continue campaign amid blackface scandal

Canadian PM Trudeau vows to continue campaign amid blackface scandal

By Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to continue his re-election campaign and asked for forgiveness on Thursday after pictures of him in blackface emerged with less than five weeks before the national vote.

The Liberal Party leader's campaign has been upended since Time magazine on Wednesday published an image of him with his face blackened at a 2001 "Arabian Nights" party when he was a 29-year-old teacher at a private school in Vancouver.

Other images have since emerged and Trudeau said he was "wary" of ruling out the existence of even more because he could not remember those that already come to light.

Answering questions from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Trudeau said that his privilege as the white son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau had come with a "blindspot."

"I come from a place of privilege and I have endeavoured in my life to put the advantages and opportunities I've been given to serve this country, to fight for people's rights," he said.

"I have to recognise that I've let a lot of people down with that choice (to wear blackface) and I stand there today to reflect on that and to ask forgiveness."

Earlier, Trudeau held a conference call for all his 338 candidates at the election.

"The prime minister expressed his apology and regret and said this happened 20 years ago," one Liberal on the call said. "He said this is the moment for us to continue to work together to understand the pain of people who are on the receiving end of racism and stereotypes."

Even before the scandal, the race going into the Oct. 21 vote was tight. But the release of the bombshell images could be a turning point, in part because Liberals have traditionally attracted support from immigrant communities.

(Additional reporting by Kelsey Johnson, reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Alistair Bell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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