This should be a big deal, but since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a liberal, he’ll get away with it.

Time published a photo of Trudeau decked out in brownface at an Arabian Nights themed gala party in 2001.

Trudeau has apologized, but also admitted he wore blackface while in high school. He claimed he had no idea at both times it is racist and wrong to do such things.

Blackface and Brownface

Back in the early 2000s, Trudeau taught at the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in Vancouver, British Columbia.

It’s common for a private school to have themed galas to raise money. This one in 2000-2001 had an Arabian Nights theme, in which Trudeau went all out and then some.

Vancouver businessman Michael Adamson, a member of the West Point Grey Academy community, provided a yearbook to Time with the damning picture of Trudeau.

It shows Trudeau decked out in a turban and robes along with complete brown makeup. He has it on his face, arms, and hands.

Adamson did not attend the gala. He only saw the photo in July and knew the public needed to see it. Other photos show people wearing costumes, but no one else in makeup. Time spoke to a few people who attended the party:

TIME reached out to multiple people who attended West Point Grey’s spring gala in 2001, including three of the four women in the photo with Trudeau. Most were reluctant to talk about it. One former staff member declined to comment, citing loyalty to Trudeau. Others said they did not remember Trudeau at the party. Two people contacted by TIME acknowledged the existence of the picture, which has been the subject of gossip within the West Point Grey community.

Trudeau was not the only person in costume at the 2001 gala event. Of the individuals in six photographs from the event published in the yearbook, Trudeau appears to be the only one who darkened his skin. Many who dressed up for the “Arabian Nights” gala are still at the school, including current headmaster Stephen Anthony, who is pictured wearing what appears to be a crown.

Trudeau’s Liberal Party acknowledged the prime minister in the makeup:

On Wednesday, Zita Astravas, the media relations lead of the Liberal Party of Canada, which Trudeau is the leader of, confirmed that the Prime Minister was in the photo. “It was a photo taken while he was teaching in Vancouver, at the school’s annual dinner which had a costume theme of ‘Arabian Nights.’ He attended with friends and colleagues dressed as a character from Aladdin,” said Astravas. Trudeau is planning on addressing the photograph to the media later this evening, according to the Astravas. The prime minister’s official director of communications did not return multiple calls.

Trudeau apologized and admitted another incident when he wore blackface (emphasis mine):

Speaking to reporters Wednesday night, following TIME’s story, Trudeau apologized: “I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known better and I didn’t. I’m really sorry.” When asked if he thought the photograph was racist, he said, “Yes it was. I didn’t consider it racist at the time, but now we know better.

Trudeau said he wore “makeup” in high school to sing “Day-O,” a Jamaican folk song famously performed by African-American singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte. “I deeply regret that I did that,” he said.

EXCUSE ME? EXCUSE. ME. It’s not “makeup.” I cannot remember not knowing that wearing blackface or brownface or slanting your eyes is racist. You don’t do it. You also don’t mock the handicapped. There are some things you just do not do.

I went as Cleopatra for Halloween in 1996. I was a sophomore in high school. Guess what I didn’t do or even think about doing? Putting brown makeup on my skin! And I’m a pale ginger!


Trudeau, like quite a few on the left, proves once again he’s a hypocrite. They scream that those on the right are racists and bigots. They also lash out at corruption on the right while ignoring or brushing off their own scandals.

Just last week Trudeau expressed sadness and shock when Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer chose not “to walk back comments he’d made about how “a single group of people” or one Indigenous group could ‘hold hostage’ a pipeline that would greatly benefit many Indigenous groups.” Trudeau lectured Scheer and urged him to use better language and change his perspective a little.

Back in March, Trudeau faced accusations that “he pressured his then-attorney general to drop corruption charges against a large Canadian engineering company.” Jody Wilson-Rabould claimed Trudeau’s administration pushed her “to settle corruption charges with SNC-Lavalin, a move which would have avoided the company being barred from bidding on government contracts.” SNC-Lavalin, which is based in Quebec, allegedly bribed “the Gaddafi regime in Libya to win government contracts.”

Two of his MPs allegedly performed some “misdeeds.” Trudeau gave them temporary suspensions over “serious personal misconduct.” No one conducted an investigation. A lawyer conducted a “secret review.” The Liberal caucus eventually expelled the two MPs.

The National Post also noted how Trudeau and the Liberal Party claims they love diversity, but uses them to push their agenda and gain votes:

As Sukhi Sandhu, a community activist in Surrey, B.C., and a former vice-president of the B.C. chapter of the federal Liberal party, says furiously, “Immigrants have suffered from many types of institutionalized racism, while contributing to the community.” What they get in return, at least from the Liberals, he says, is exploitation and pandering.

As a leader with the Wake Up Surrey group, which is trying to fight the gun and gang violence rife in the city, Sandhu has been banging on doors in Ottawa for much of the past year to no avail.

“If we want to talk about anything other than diversity and immigration,” he says, “we get nowhere.

“Justin Trudeau is a fake, and for the first time in 30 years, I will not be voting Liberal.”

Let’s not forget his family trip to India. He got mocked for the clothes he wore and speculation that Prime Minister Modi snubbed him. To make matters worse, his office doubled down on a horrible invitation:

The invitation extended to convicted attempted murderer Jaspal Atwal was pinned on MP Randeep Sarai, who assumed full responsibility for the mistake, even though the PMO should and usually does vet guest lists for these events. Embarrassing as it was, the incident could have ended there with a simple “we goofed” from the PMO: we should have checked the list, we didn’t — sorry.

Instead, the PMO arranged a briefing with a purportedly nonpartisan bureaucrat — who has since been identified as national security adviser Daniel Jean — who suggested the affair was an elaborate scheme orchestrated by factions of the Indian government to humiliate Justin Trudeau. And back at home in question period on Tuesday, Trudeau defended the theory: “When one of our top diplomats and security officials says something to Canadians, it’s because they know it to be true.”

The Indian government immediately shot back. Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said suggesting the government had anything to do with the invitation “is baseless and unacceptable.”


New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, whose parents came from India and lived in India with his grandparents when he was a toddler, is a Sikh. He condemned Trudeau’s behavior:

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Trudeau’s behaviour was “troubling” and “insulting.”

“It’s making a mockery of someone for what they live and what their lived experiences are,” Singh said. “I think he needs to answer for it. I think he needs to answer the question why he did that and what does that say about what he thinks about people who, because of who they are, because of the colour of their skin, face challenges and barriers and obstacles in their life.”

“Racism is real. People in this room have felt it, have heard this story. I’ve experienced it in my life. he’s got to answer those questions.”

After Trudeau’s apology Singh delivered a message to Canadian children of colour.

“The kids that see this image, the people that see this image, are going to think about all the times in their life that they were made fun of, that they were hurt, that they were hit, that they were insulted, that they were made to feel less because of who they are and I want to talk to those people right now,” Singh said.

“I want to talk to all the kids out there,” he said. “You might feel like giving up on Canada. You might feel like giving up on yourselves. I want you to know that you have value, you have worth and you are loved and I don’t want you to give up on Canada and please don’t give up on yourselves.”


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