• By: Dan Donovan

Justin Trudeau — It’s time to go.

If Justin Trudeau has any integrity, he must resign. I’m ashamed for my country, as a citizen and frankly as a person in the media, over the shocking photos that were revealed yesterday showing Canada’s Prime Minister happily wearing brownface at an event in 2001 when he was 29 years old and ‘a teacher’. His apology non-apology is steeped in genuine insincerity as he admits that what he did was racist but takes no personal responsibility for his actions. "I shouldn't have done that. I should have known better, but I didn't, and I'm really sorry,"  Trudeau says before incredulously adding, "It was something that I didn't think was racist at the time, but now I recognize it was something racist to do and I am deeply sorry."

I recall very clearly how things were in 2000. That brownface costume was as racist then as it is today.

Trudeau’s response is consistent with his apology non-apology when it was revealed that he had groped a woman in 2000 when he was 28 at the Kokanee Summit Music Festival in B.C. When confronted with that alleged sexual assault in June 2018, Trudeau acknowledged it but said he did not recall any “negative interactions” during the festival.  He followed with another gem of an apology non-apology about the incident, saying he did not believe he acted inappropriately but that he understands the woman making the accusation  “might have a different view of what happened.'' 

It is the same apology non-apology that Trudeau provided last month when the Federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion published a scathing 58-page assessment that found Trudeau had broken the law when he attempted to undermine a decision by federal prosecutors to have SNC-Lavalin Group go to trial for corruption trial.  As part of his actions to undermine the process, Trudeau fired former Attorney General Jody Wilson Raybould (Canada’s first female Indigenous Minister of Justice and Attorney General) when she would not bend to his demands to break the law and intervene in the case.

In response to the report, Trudeau said, “I fully accept this report … I take full responsibility. The buck stops with the prime minister,” but then added that he “disagreed with some of Dion’s conclusions." He went on to say, “What we did over the past year wasn’t good enough. But at the same time, I can’t apologize for standing up for Canadian jobs.” His comment about jobs was a complete fabrication and a lie. SNC-Lavalin President and Chief Executive Neil Bruce told CBC in March after Trudeau made the jobs comment that the job loss narrative was false, saying, "this thing that somehow they're going to be unemployed is not true because they are highly qualified, highly experienced people."

Trudeau is the first Canadian prime minister to have broken federal ethics rules. To make matters worse, he has been found guilty of doing so twice.  In December 2017, former Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson said Trudeau acted wrongly by accepting a vacation on the Aga Khan’s private island. On that occasion, Trudeau apologized but did not repay the $250,000 he charged to taxpayers when he took the trip.

❝ With the brownface revelations, Trudeau is proving beyond a doubt that he is a stunning hypocrite.

In 2014, he suspended two MPs from the Liberal caucus amid allegations that had surfaced about sexual misconduct. Trudeau publicly named the two — Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti —  before even informing them of the allegations against them.  Andrews was accused of harassing behaviour, unwelcome groping, and grinding, while Pacetti was accused of sex without "explicit" consent.

Trudeau made the issue very public, announcing an investigation by the Liberal Party and the immediate expulsion of Pacetti and Andrews from the caucus. Andrews would later accept the findings of the Liberal “review,”  but Pacetti always maintained his innocence. Trudeau booted him anyways.

In January 2018, Trudeau tossed the former Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Alberta MP Kent Hehr, from the federal cabinet following an investigation into his conduct with women. This in response to allegations that Hehr made sexually suggestive and other unwelcome comments to a woman in an elevator and touched a woman inappropriately at an event. Though the subsequent independent investigation found the touch was involuntary (Hehr is a quadriplegic and has limited feeling in and control of his limbs), Hehr conceded that his comments were inappropriate, despite saying he cannot remember the interaction. Trudeau fired Hehr anyways.

In an exclusive CBC interview in 2018, Trudeau said that his zero-tolerance standards on misconduct toward women apply to him, too, adding that women who come forward with allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment should be supported. He told The Canadian Press, "We have no tolerance for this — we will not brush things under the rug, but we will take action on it immediately." However, later that year, when he acknowledged the incident in 2000 where he was accused of allegedly sexually groping a woman, he applied none of his zero-tolerance standards to himself. The classic 'do as I say, not as I do' response.

What is most shocking about the brownface incident is that in trying to explain it, Mr. Trudeau admitted that he dressed in brownface or “make-up,” as he likes to call it, on two other occasions, one of which is on video. Worse, Trudeau was 29 and a teacher at the time.  More problematic, of course, is how some of the Trudeau apologists in the national media are reporting the incident. If former Prime Minister Stephen Harper had worn brownface, the headlines would be screaming "Racist PM Must Resign"…or worse. Yet, the main CBC headline for this shocking revelation was “Canada’s Prime Minister – Who is the real Mr. Trudeau?"

How did the CBC, Canada’s national broadcaster, get to a point where it has become the lead apologist and enabler to Canada’s entitled and happily ignorant and arrogant prime minister? It is beyond shocking. The headline should have been "Trudeau Tries to Explain Away Brownface" or similar.

Justin Trudeau must resign. Canada is better than this. If he doesn’t, then we as Canadians must accept responsibility for being complicit in participating in Trudeau’s genuinely insincere charade of fake feminism, fake tolerance, and fake values that he so airily espouses. With his actions, Canada has been diminished at a very fundamental level. Trudeau’s narrative of diversity and acceptance is like a cheap suit. They look good from a distance, but when you get up close, the fabric collapses. It is important in life to walk your talk. And for Mr. Trudeau, it's time to walk. As for the CBC, ugh.