In this morning’s press briefing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paused for 21 seconds before responding to question about U.S. President Donald Trump calling for an armed shutdown of the protests that have been happening across the country over the past week. CBC also noted Trudeau has been reluctant to criticize Trump, asking what that failure to comment communicates to Canadians. The briefing, which began on an almost comical note as Trudeau had a persistent case of the hiccups, got awkward fast. After he paused for 21 seconds, Trudeau essentially reiterated a previous response to a question about protests in the U.S.:
“We all watch in horror and consternation what’s going on in the United States,” Prime Minister Trudeau said. “It is a time to pull people together but it is a time to listen. It is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades. But it is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we, too, have our challenges. The Black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day. There is systemic discrimination in Canada, which means our systems treat Canadians of colour, Canadians who are racialized, differently than they do others. It is something that many of us don’t see, but it is something that is a lived reality for racialized Canadians. We need to see that, not just as a government and take action, but we need to see that as Canadians. 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 figure out how we can be part of the solution on fixing things. This government has done a number of things over the past year but there’s lots more to do and we will continue to do that because we see you — we see the discrimination the racialized Canadians live every single day.”
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