Justin Trudeau may be looking to move past his brownface scandal, but Jagmeet Singh still has something to say. Singh, who initially avoided responding to the controversy, has gone on to make several statements about Trudeau’s actions. However, unlike Andrew Scheer, Singh has been careful not to make the issue about the prime minister, and has instead chosen to speak directly to visible minorities in Canada.
“I want to talk to all of the kids out there, all the folks who lived this and are now grown up and still feeling the pain of racism,” Singh said in a statement about the matter.
Singh revealed during a press conference on the state of Canada’s pharma care last week that Trudeau had reached out to apologize to him. However, the NDP leader was cautious to prevent the prime minister from benefitting from a public apology.
When pressed if he would be willing to speak to the Liberal leader about it, Singh replied, “I’ve indicated that I am open to having a private conversation. If it’s a private conversation, I’m open to it.”
Singh later confirmed to CBC that he and Trudeau had their discussion over the phone, once again stressing his intention to keep their conversation private.
"Mr. Trudeau did call me. We did have a chat. I said that I wanted to keep the conversation private because I didn't want to be used as a tool in his exoneration," Singh said. "But I also want to make it clear, it doesn't matter if he tells me anything. I'm not a proxy for the people of Canada."
"The people of Canada were hurt; they need to know that he understands. The people in Canada feel like he doesn't see the struggles they go through, that he ignores those struggles, and his policy decisions ignore those struggles," Singh added.