Due to the 21 seconds of silence when asked about the U.S. President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has faced criticism from the media and political leaders.
In the address he gave to Canada on June 2, Trudeau chose to avoid mentioning Trump’s name in the questions asked and has said that his reasons are due to his focus on the issues of Canadians.
Trudeau also chose to speak about social injustices in a broad manner rather than a direct response.
But that way of thinking has garnered criticism from the major political parties and their leaders.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has called Trudeau’s lack of a response a failure, saying “his silence reveals hypocrisy” during a news conference held in Ottawa this morning.
“We all watch in horror and consternation at what is going on in the United States… It is a time to pull people together. It is a time to listen. It is a time to learn when injustices continue despite progress over years and decades,” Singh said to reporters
Singh went on to say that people in positions of power like Trudeau can no longer be passive bystanders that allow hate and racism to continue flourishing and that he must lead by example.
“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?”
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet has also weighed in on the matter, saying Trudeau “needs a spine” and needs to call out these actions that are fueling the protests occurring in the streets of both the U.S. and Canada.
Blanchet has also gone on to say that Trudeau is “more inclined” to point out Canada’s racism issues than to “accuse Donald Trump of being incendiary and provoking serious social tensions”.
“He didn’t dare 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 them being entirely legitimate,” Blanchet said.
The Green Party’s Leader Elizabeth May has not criticized the Prime Minister’s lack of a response, as she says the roles of the opposition and the government are different and that a healthy relationship with the Trump administration is necessary for agreements like the border control during the COVID-19 pandemic.
May has gone on to say that she is appalled by what is happening in the U.S., and that other countries should speak out.
“I want to give the prime minister and the deputy prime minister the space to navigate how they should deal with the Trump White House,” May said.
“But, as an individual, as the parliamentary leader for the Green Party, I can’t stand by… I think those in other countries should speak out”.
In defence of Trudeau was Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who said that Trudeau’s answer to the question related to Trump was “excellent and eloquent”.
“I think that the most important response of any Canadian political leader has to be to understand our responsibility for what happens here in our own country”.
This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt