Premier John Horgan talks with coastal Indigenous chiefs at event marking salmon farm monitoring agreement, B.C. legislature, Sept. 19, 2019. (B.C. government)

B.C. Premier John Horgan worried about ‘rise of racism’ in Canada

Asked to comment on Justin Trudeau’s ‘blackface’ incidents

Premier John Horgan’s announcement Thursday was about Indigenous reconciliation, but he couldn’t avoid a question about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “blackface” photos surfacing from 2001 and their effect on race relations.

Trudeau has been called on to explain a series of pictures and a video that surfaced this week, depicting him in blackface makeup. The incidents date from 2001 when he was a teacher at a Vancouver private school, and earlier.

“I was as shocked as all Canadians to see the images and the prime minister’s response,” Horgan said Thursday. “I spoke with my parliamentary secretary Ravi Kahlon today, who has been a racism outreach and education tour of British Columbia. We’ve seen a rise in racism here in B.C. and in fact across North America and in Europe over the past number of years.”

RELATED: Trudeau stayed silent because he was embarrassed

Horgan said he doesn’t believe he has done anything “culturally insensitive” in his life, “but have I done stupid things in my life? Absolutely.”

He said people should be accountable for all of their conduct, even if it occurred many years ago.

“If I could offer any advice to the prime minister, it is to acknowledge that it was absolutely foolish, and to put it in the context of school setting, even harder to get your head around,” Horgan said. “But I am not without fault when it comes to stupidity, I assure you of that. I grew up in an era before Facebook, and I’m very grateful for that.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford playgrounds to re-open Monday

City urges public to bring hand-sanitizer and maintain physical distancing

Police watchdog investigating after man injured during Abbotsford standoff

Man seriously injured during arrest on May 21 at Abbotsford hotel room

New executive director for Fraser Valley Child Development Centre

Karen Dickenson Smith succeeds Karen McLean, who has retired after 22 years

Annual Walk for Alzheimer’s goes online on May 31

Event held every year in Abbotsford now raising funds through virtual event

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Aldergrove zoo to reopen Monday with new COVID-19 safety measures: spokesperson

June 1 reopening to be ushered in by words from Darryl Plecas, Legislative assembly Speaker

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Langley Lodge ordered to swab all residents staff, new cases discovered

Four new cases – two residents and two staff – have been confirmed at the long-term care home

Most Read