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

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Dust on Crust bring bluegrass to Golden

The band came together at the Wolf’s Den jam nights and have been playing bluegrass ever since

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Morning Start: Water can freeze and boil at the same time

Your morning start for Thursday, August 6, 2020

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

Central Okanagan adds 3,600 jobs in July: Statistics Canada

The region’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 10 per cent in July

Most Read