Canada: Third image of Trudeau in blackface made public

TRENTON, Canada

The Liberal Party put its re-election campaign on hold Thursday as it tries to deal with the fallout of a third image of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing blackface. 

The latest revelation came Thursday when a video from the 1990s showed the Liberal leader in dark makeup. On Wednesday, a photo surfaced of Trudeau in blackface dressed as Aladdin in an Arabian Nights themed gala in 2001 while he was a drama teacher at a Vancouver school.

While apologizing for the Aladdin photo, he also acknowledged he was in blackface and sang “Day-O,” the so-called banana boat song made famous by Harry Belafonte, during a talent show when he was a student at a Montreal high school.

Thursday, the Liberal Party said the latest image was from an early 1990s video and was of Trudeau, raising his hands in the air as he sticks out his tongue.

“We can confirm that it is him and it’s from the early 1990s,” said a Liberal Party spokesperson. Trudeau is 47.

The charges of racism against Trudeau come as his governing Liberals are in a tight federal election campaign with the Progressive Conservatives, the two parties running neck and neck. Voting day is Oct. 21.

Before the video emerged, Trudeau offered an abject apology for the Aladdin depiction.

“It was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time but now I recognize it is something that is racist,” he told reporters, Wednesday.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said he was “extremely shocked and disappointed” by the photo.

The other main party is the New Democrats led by Jagmeet Singh, who as a Sikh wears a turban. He said the images show a “pattern of behaviour” by Trudeau.

“This raises questions about the sincerity of the prime minister, when he goes to events and says that multiculturalism is important and diversity is important – now people question the sincerity of that, and that’s very fair for people to do that,” Singh said Thursday. The Liberals said Trudeau will address the media later in the day.
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