Canadian PM Justin Trudeau embarrassed by ‘brown-face’ photo

Trudeau campaigns for the upcoming election in Fredericton New Brunswick Sept 18 2019

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore brownface to 2001 party

"It was a dumb thing to do".

"I should have known better then, but I didn't and I did it and I'm deeply sorry", Trudeau told reporters on his campaign plane in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The photograph shows the prime minister wearing a turban, robes and with his hands, neck and face covered in dark makeup. One of his hands is placed across a woman's chest.

Trudeau taught French and math, among other classes, at West Point Grey Academy until the spring of 2001, according to the outlet. Astravas said Trudeau was dressed as a character from Aladdin. The Time report describes the photo as having been the subject of gossip within the West Point Grey community.

Liberal Party spokesman Cameron Ahmad confirmed the photo is of Trudeau.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, third right, walks with his family members during their visit to Golden Temple, in Amritsar, India, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was in the middle of a town hall when the news broke.

"Anytime we hear examples of brown face or blackface, it's making a mockery of someone for what they live and what their lived experiences are", he said.

"I have worked all my life to try to create opportunities for people, fight against racism and intolerance", he told a televised news conference on his campaign aircraft. I'm pretty sure I had this figured out by 2001 and Trudeau and I are the same age.

In his speech, Trudeau rolled through some of the election promises his party has made since the campaign started one week ago, including boosts to the Canada Child Benefit, old age security and the Canada Pension Plan survivor benefit. He must apologize for the harm done and commit to learning and appreciating the requirement to model social justice leadership at all levels of government.

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The picture appeared in the 2000-2001 yearbook for the West Point Grey Academy, where the son of the late former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, was teaching.

After Trudeau's apology, the council put out an update thanking Trudeau for the quick reaction.

Wearing brownface and blackface is a racist practice, particularly because it invokes painful histories, perpetuates stereotypes and mocks people of colour.

He has sought to cast himself as a champion of Canada's racial and ethnic minorities in his almost four years as prime minister.

The photo's publication could spell more trouble for Trudeau, who polls say is facing a serious challenge from Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

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