By Dave Naylor
July 21, 2021
After gaining worldwide notoriety for repeatedly wearing blackface, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to take part in a taxpayer-funded $110,000 pre-election video on slavery, says Blacklock’s Reporter.
Participants in the YouTube video include a Liberal-appointed senator who “felt a sense of hopelessness” after seeing images of Trudeau clowning in blackface.
“The event will include commentary from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,” the Department of Canadian Heritage said in a statement, adding it tried to interest television networks in broadcasting the sixty-minute video, without success.
“The video will be educational in nature,” said Daniel Savoie, spokesman for the Heritage department.
“It will feature black Canadian personalities as well as storytelling from black Canadians. We recently reached out to broadcasters around the country to see if their organization would be interested.”
The department would not release a script for the production.
The video was produced by the department and National Film Board. It includes commentary by Minister of Diversity Bardish Chagger, and Sen. Wanda Thomas Bernard (N.S.), sponsor of Bill S-255 an Act Proclaiming Emancipation Day that lapsed in the last Parliament.
Bernard in a 2019 interview said she was “surprised and disappointed” by disclosures the prime minister appeared in blackface on three occasions – as a high school student, then a faculty member at Vancouver’s West Grey Point Academy at age 29, and in an undated video obtained by Global News.
“It weighed heavily on my mind,” Bernard said at the time. “I felt a sense of hopelessness.
“It epitomizes how deeply rooted racism is in our country, how deeply rooted privilege and power is in our country. These were socially sanctioned events. It tells me racism is socially acceptable in our country.
“Those types of things were sanctioned by social institutions. The people who attended those events saw nothing wrong with it. People don’t stop to think of how these acts impact on others.”
Trudeau on September 19, 2019 told reporters he could not recall how many times he appeared in blackface at social events.