Canada’s Leaders' Debate was in full swing on Monday night. All six political leaders, including prime minister Justin Trudeau, took to the stage to prove themselves the most viable option for Canadian voters. As always during a national debate, there were more than a few memorable moments throughout the event.
Trudeau was asked a series of intense questions during the debate, including questions about the recently surfaced brownface and blackface photos. A journalist named Keean Bexte asked the Liberal leader if he’d reached out to African or Middle Eastern leaders to apologize for the photos, to which he responded:
“Canada will continue to engage in a positive and constructive way, standing up for human rights and engaging with leaders around the world.” Bexte then blasted the leader, “Okay, that didn’t answer the question all,” before asking his question again.
Journalist @TheRealKeean grills Justin Trudeau on live TV about the black face/black arms/black knees scandal: https://t.co/BDHzTKftwF— Andy Ngô (@Andy Ngô)1570506311.0
Trudeau then changed the subject to address the issue of climate change, which got mixed reactions from viewers. “Let’s be honest. Trudeau didn't answer the question asked. He skirted the question. As he always does with any tough question,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Asking him to apologize to people in Africa is just validating the logic of identity politics. Nobody in Africa got hurt,” wrote another in defence of the leader.
@Opt1mu5P @ReneTheOneOnly1 @MrAndyNgo @TheRealKeean I’m curious, which African and Middle Eastern leaders was he su… https://t.co/NJ4OdSNSs9— PJ 🌀 (@PJ 🌀)1570512492.0
@MrAndyNgo @TheRealKeean This is stupid. He already made an apology. You expect him to apologize to every African l… https://t.co/IqNiQc5r4q— mikel (@mikel)1570507905.0
@MrAndyNgo @Cernovich @TheRealKeean https://t.co/43lPaZSXfE— Dick Loren (@Dick Loren)1570513228.0
Overall, some accused Trudeau of dodging the question while others supported the leader’s decision to put the issue, for which he has already publicly apologized, to rest.
The world leader also found himself in an awkward situation after he accidentally called NDP leader Jagmeet Singh “Mr. Scheer” during the debate. Singh, who was mistaken for Scheer several times during the discussion, maintained good humour about the situation. "I wore a bright orange turban on purpose today,” Singh joked after being confused for the conservative leader by the debate’s moderator.