Trudeau brownface apology sincere, Calogheros says

Cariboo-Prince George Liberal candidate Tracy Calogheros says she believes party leader Justin Trudeau is genuinely sorry for for wearing brownface while clad in a turban.

"Listening to the prime minister's apology last night, I really believe he's genuine, I really believe he's sincere," Calogheros said Thursday.

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"I thought a lot about it because quite frankly the best lessons I've ever learned are from the mistakes I've made.

"And I think when you look at our prime minister's track record since he's been in public life, everything he's done has been to fight racism and bigotry and helping new Canadians from all over the world."

On Wednesday, Time magazine published when an 18-year-old photo of Trudeau, dressed in an Aladdin costume with his hands and face darkened. He had dressed up for a theme gala at the private school where he taught.

He profusely apologized for having indulged in what he acknowledged was a racist act of wearing brownface, and confessed to another: wearing makeup during a high-school talent show, while performing a version of Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)."

Then Thursday morning, Global News published a video of a young Trudeau in blackface, showing him sticking out his tongue for the camera and raising his arms over his head, part of a montage of people apparently goofing around in a setting that's hard to discern.

A Liberal spokesperson confirmed its authenticity and said it was filmed in the early 1990s, when he was in his early 20s.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer suggested Thursday morning his campaign had been aware of the video and decided to pass it along to a media outlet.

Todd Doherty, the Conservative candidate in Cariboo-Prince George declined to comment on the matter, saying its for others to comment on.

The riding's NDP candidate, Heather Sapergia, limited her comment to saying that "for people who really have brown skin and black skin, it's painful because it's racism and it's time for us to stand up for Canadian values of diversity and inclusion."

Mackenzie Kerr, the Green Party candidate in Cariboo-Prince George issued a blistering statement: "If at 29 years old in 2001, you still didn't understand that blackface is racist, then you're a shmuck and you deserve a stiff upside slap of the head.

"Trudeau thinks he shouldn't be held to the same standards as regular Canadians. This is not the first example. This arrogance coming out of the prime minister should not be tolerated."

People's Party of Canada candidate Jing Lan Yang said she hopes voters will not fall for his charm and accept his apology.

"We need a leader who is a person of integrity and with dignity, and who will serve us, every Canadian, with truthfulness and honour," she added.

Calogheros also said voters need to allow political leader to make mistakes and learn from them, "otherwise you demand perfection from people like that and really all you're doing is asking them to lie."

"So in this case, we've had a statement from him, he is contrite and I think we really need to focus on issues in the individual communities around the country, you know the, political divisiveness that we see in public discourse today is tearing the world apart."

- with files from The Canadian Press

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