Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to apologize Monday for labeling a critic who heckled him at a rally last week as racist and intolerant. Instead, Trudeau said people who are concerned about the influx of illegals across the porous Canadian broader are on a “dangerous path” and using “extremist” methods, CBC News reports.
“There has been a polarization in our political discourse,” Trudeau said in Ottawa at a photo op at the construction site Amazon’s new Canadian headquarters.
“And there are people who are trying to feed fears and intolerance for a broad range of reasons. … I will remain positive and remain pulling people together, pulling communities together right across this country.”
In a story that was almost ignored by the Canadian media, Trudeau responded in French to a woman at a Quebec rally last Thursday who complained about the cost of illegal immigrants and if the federal government was going to reimburse the province of Quebec for the expense.
Trudeau reacted angrily, dismissing the woman. The video went viral on social media.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer tweeted that Trudeau’s response was “vile.”
By sweeping away legitimate questions on his failed border policy with vile personal insults, it is Trudeau himself who is guilty of polarizing the debate. No one has done more to divide Canadians than he has. 1/5
— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) August 20, 2018
The New York-Quebec border has been the site of most of the illegal crossing. Trudeau is now bussing some of the illegals to Toronto where they are being put up in hotels.
Conservative Immigration Critic Michelle Rempel accused Trudeau of “cheapening” language by hurling insults at his critics.
Racism happens in Canada. It is a terrible thing that erects barriers to opportunity, and has a lasting negative impact on the lives of many. We must combat it. By cheapening use of the word, Trudeau demeans the importance and severity of it, and works in the opposite direction.
— Michelle Rempel (@MichelleRempel) August 20, 2018