During a press conference in Montreal this morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about the toppling of the John A. Macdonald statue and how the incident and the issues surrounding it are being exploited by both sides of the political spectrum, and responded by commenting specifically on the extreme right in Canada.
“Well I think that we are seeing on the extreme right that they are trying to start wars and divide Canadians on issues such as this,” Justin Trudeau said. “We have to recognize that John A. Macdonald did some very positive things in creating the Canada of today, but a part of his history and some of his comments and actions should be looked at much more critically. It’s important to understand the impact on our institutions. Systemic racism is all about that: the fact that institutions were created and had that kind of racism ingrained in them and that they continue to discriminate against certain people. There needs to be reflection and responsible engagement with Canadians and with all governments so that we can develop the right approach. I don’t think oversimplification is the right approach, and creating disappointment and outrage on one side of the political divide or other is not the way to move forward responsibly as a country where people learn from each other.”
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