NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has condemned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s failure to call out the “reprehensible” actions of U.S. President Donald Trump as protests escalate over anti-black racism.
“His silence reveals hypocrisy,” Singh said during a news conference in Ottawa Wednesday.
When asked Tuesday to comment on Trump’s threat to use military force against protesters demonstrating against the death of African American George Floyd in police custody, Trudeau paused for 21 seconds before giving a carefully worded response.
He avoided criticizing the president directly, instead speaking more broadly of social “injustices.”
WATCH | Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pauses when asked about Trump’s response to protests:
“We all watch in horror and consternation at what is going on in the United States,” he said. “It is a 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.”
Singh said that’s not good enough. He said for too long people have been “passive bystanders,” enabling hate and racism to flourish. People in positions of power, such as the prime minister, must lead by example, he said.
“The prime minister of Canada has to call out the hatred and racism happening just south of the border, and if the prime minister can’t do that, how can everyday people be expected to stand up?” Singh said.
Singh said Trump’s actions are “reprehensible” and are serving to inflame tensions in the U.S.
WATCH | U.S. President Donald Trump says tougher response to protests is needed: