Robin Goldsbury, the Liberal Party candidate for Kootenay-Columbia, says she accepts an apology from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a picture that shows him wearing brown face in 2001. Photo submitted

Liberals’ Kootenay-Columbia candidate stands by Trudeau despite scandal

Robin Goldsbury says the prime minister’s racist photo is a learning opportunity

The Liberal candidate for Kootenay-Columbia says she was stunned to see a picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing brown face makeup, but she accepts his apology.

Robin Goldsbury said she initially thought the picture of Trudeau, who can be seen wearing brown face as well as brown makeup on his hands in an Aladdin costume during a party in 2001, was a fake when it was made public last week.

“It was insensitive, it was stupid and he should have known better,” said Goldsbury. “He has apologized, and honestly he’s profoundly sorry.”

Goldsbury is running her first campaign as a candidate in an area that has never elected a Liberal since the early 20th century.

While she believes Trudeau is contrite, Goldsbury distanced herself from the prime minister and said her campaign is about local representation on issues such as the ongoing Columbia River Treaty negotiations.

“I’m disappointed. That’s a big part of why our campaign is devoted to the Kootenay-Columbia,” she said. “We are focused on our issues here. We are focused away from leadership and overall party politics and looking at what’s important to people in the Kootenay-Columbia.”

The Kootenay-Columbia riding, which includes Nelson, Creston, Cranbrook, Fernie, Golden, Revelstoke and Kimberley, has a total population of 112,354 according to the 2016 census.

Of that population, 11,590 people identify as immigrants while 7,865 identify as Indigenous. Visible minorities, meanwhile, account for 3,980 of Kootenay-Columbia’s population.

Goldsbury said Trudeau’s scandal is an opportunity to talk about racism at the local level.

“I think talking about sensitivity to other cultures is important,” she said.

“My hope is we look at this from a perspective of hey, it was wrong, he’s sorry and gosh, where are we in our lives showing that insensitivity? Where in our lives can we do better? Where can we look for ways to be more sensitive, to be more inclusive?”

Related:

Third instance of Trudeau in skin-darkening makeup emerges

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

‘Troubling, insulting’: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reacts to Trudeau’s brownface photo



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cranbrook named one of the most secret municipal governments in Canada

City of Cranbrook gets “Honorable Mention” in the annual Code of Silence Awards

Otters relocated after devastating fish populations at Kootenay hatchery

The otters were relocated out of the Kootenay watershed last year in an effort to save the fish.

Avalanche season comes to an end at PACWEST Provincials

With Files from Mo Hussain The College of the Rockies Avalanche season… Continue reading

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

Regional District of East Kootenay draft 5-year financial plan open for review

The public comment period is open until noon on March 2

VIDEO: Feds warned agricultural sector near ‘tipping point’ due to blockades

Canadian Federation of Agriculture points to lack of propane and feed due to Coastal GasLink dispute

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

What’s happening at the Cranbrook Public Library

Mike Selby A new edition of ‘Sanditon’ is here—Jane Austen’s great unfinished… Continue reading

Seven arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Hospital parking fees needed, but changes to payment system possible, health minister says

B.C. health minister Adrian Dix says hospital parking doesn’t need to be so stressful

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

IHOP to host seventh annual National Pancake Day

IHOP will be offering free short-stack pancakes in support of BC Children’s Hospital on Tuesday

Do you talk to your spouse about money? 42% of Canadians don’t, poll suggests

Politics, sex, religion top list of taboo subjects for Canadians

Okanagan animal sanctuary seeks to fit frostbitten baby goat with prosthetic leg

Fundraiser started to help Zuri, newest resident of Twin Hearts Animal Sanctuary

Most Read