Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose his words carefully when asked about US President Donald Trump’s response to use military force against protesters fighting for justice over George Floyd’s death.
During a daily briefing with journalists outside Rideau Cottage, the usually quick to answer Prime Minister struggled to come up with the right words to express his thoughts about the recent unrests happening across the US.
The reporter seemed to be seeking comment about the tear-gassing of US protesters “to make way for a presidential photo op.”
After about 20 seconds, he urged Canadians to address racial inequality issues while avoiding mentioning Trump directly.
He said, “We all watch in horror and consternation at what is going on the United States. It is 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.”
“But it is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we, too, have our challenges that Black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day,” Trudeau continued.
“There is systemic discrimination in Canada, which means our systems treat Canadians of color, Canadians who are racialized differently than they do others.”
Trudeau also said that he wants young Black Canadians to know that he is listening and that he understands why many are “anxious and angry” about the continued racism and discrimination they face.
“The status quo where people face violence because of the colour of their skin is unacceptable,” he said.
Several cities in Canada, including Montreal and Toronto, also held demonstrations over the last few days, chanting “black lives matter” while showing solidarity with the family of George Floyd.
The protesters called on Canadian leaders as well to acknowledge that Canada is also facing racism issues.
While protests in Canada are continuing peacefully, the Montreal Police reported to have made 11 arrests on Sunday and are currently investigating looting and acts of mischief in the downtown area.