Trudeau points to his father as a prime minister who made mistakes, too

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Trudeau points to his father as a prime minister who made mistakes, too
In a press conference in Montreal this morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about how to address the misdeeds and failures of past prime ministers in light of the toppling of the John A. Macdonald statue over the weekend. The reporter mentioned Wilfrid Laurier and Lester B. Pearson, and Trudeau said his father Pierre Trudeau could be added to the long list of past Canadian leaders who were less than perfect.

“We can ask about my own father, if it goes that far, and ask questions about all of our former prime ministers and our past leaders who probably did a lot of good things but also made some mistakes,” Justin Trudeau said. “Every country has to be informed about its past and realize the positive things that were done but also the other things that were done by leaders and the impact that those actions can have on others.”

Trudeau added to the chorus of condemnations of the act of vandalism that took place in Montreal on Saturday, noting that while conversations about systemic racism and the negative elements of Canadian history need to be addressed, destroying a monument is counter-productive.

“I think we have to have a mature conversation among Canadians as to how we can educate, inform and remember what the people who came before us have done. But at the same time we have to be focused on how we can improve our society today, and in the coming months and years. Starting divisive discussions on people unilaterally toppling statues is not the right way to move forward as a society.” ■

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