BY BRETT BULLOCK
This past year, Trudeau’s sunny ways have turned into cloudy days. Scandal after scandal has plagued the Prime Minister who quite recently was praised as a champion of equality. Last week TIME Magazine released a photo of Justin Trudeau dressed in brownface at a Vancouver party in 2001. The following day two more photos emerged, this time with the Prime Minister in blackface.
The photo above was on the front page of news outlets around the globe and the other party leaders wasted no time in condemning Trudeau’s actions. The responses ranged from calling him Canada’s biggest hypocrite to implying that he is straight up racist.
The question the Liberals should be asking themselves, however, is how the younger generation is going to respond. Canada’s youth now makes up the largest voting block in the country, which is partly why the Liberals won a majority in 2015.
So what are young people thinking? The reactions have been mixed. Although Trudeau apologized numerous times, some young Canadians think that, given the past year, his apology doesn’t mean much.
Eric Sims is a recent graduate of Georgian College and is now working in sales: “In the 90s and early 2000’s I don’t think it was seen as anything bad so I wouldn’t give him a hard time about it. However, it would probably have an impact on my voting because he seems less genuine and his apology just seems like a call for votes.”
Some young Canadians never had any intentions of voting for the Liberals in the first place. Matthew Chau is a Canadian studying at the University of Edinburgh. He said, “I’ve always voted for the Green Party and I likely wasn’t going to vote for the Liberals anyways.”
Interestingly enough, polling data shows that the accusations of racism don’t seem to be hurting the Liberals as much as people may think. The most recent CBC poll shows that the Liberals and Conservatives are still in a tight race–virtually unchanged from the weeks before.
“I don’t think it was a malicious thing, just a very stupid thing to do.”
A municipal police officer who recently graduated from college had this to say, “I don’t know if the blackface scandal would stop me from voting Liberal if I was truly a Trudeau fan. It was a stupid thing to do but I don’t think it was a malicious thing, just a very stupid thing to do.” The officer wished to remain anonymous.
This scandal is the second time in the past year that Trudeau has been put in the hot seat. At the beginning of 2019 Trudeau was on the defence over his role in the SNC Lavalin affair. In this scandal, the PM and his office were accused of inappropriately pressuring the Attorney General. Their goal was to seek a preferred prosecution for the Quebec based company SNC Lavalin.
So will this latest scandal prove to be a fatal blow or will Canadians give the Liberals a pass? Only time will tell for team Trudeau.