Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized for mocking a First Nations protester at a Toronto fundraiser for the Liberal Party of Canada.
It is just the latest gaffe from the Liberal leader who remains embroiled in a judicial interference scandal involving Quebec contractor SNC-Lavalin.
The demonstrator was trying to tell the prime minister about reported mercury poisoning in the water supply of the Grassy Narrows First Nation, a native reserve in northern Ontario, City News reports.
The reserve is seeking some form of federal government compensation for the consequences on community health. (RELATED: Canadian Treasury Board Secretary Resigns Over Scandal)
“What would you do if it was your family?” the man asked.
Trudeau ignored the questions but sarcastically noted that the protester had contributed to the Liberal Party of Canada’s fundraising by purchasing a $1,500 (CND) ticket for the event.
“Thank you very much for your donation tonight. I really appreciate the donation to the Liberal Party of Canada,” Trudeau said before noting that “reconciliation” with First Nations was an important priority for his government.
The prime minister was attacked throughout the day on social media with a #Thankyouforyourdonation hashtag proving popular all day Thursday.
Trudeau told reporters on Thursday, “I always try to be respectful and engage with [protesters] in a positive way. I didn’t do that last night and I apologize for that.” (RELATED: Female Liberal MP Claims Trudeau Bullied Her When She Said She Would Not Seek Reelection)
His standing with the aboriginal community has taken a beating lately — especially with the resignation of Canada’s former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould — an Indigenous woman who told the House of Commons Justice Committee that Trudeau pushed her to judicially interfere in a corruption case against SNC-Lavalin.