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Trudeau seeks to right his campaign in Toronto as Scheer heads to Maritimes [UPDATED]

Trudeau is hoping to take back control of his re-election campaign in the aftermath of his blackface blunder

September 20, 2019  The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is in Toronto today, hoping to take back control of his re-election campaign after spending yesterday apologizing for donning blackface when he was younger.

The Liberal leader is expected to make a marquee announcement on his party’s plans for gun control, a policy plank that has the potential to spur a national debate.

The channel-changer comes after he scrapped plans for campaign announcements in Winnipeg yesterday, instead using the time to call supporters and leaders in minority communities, after images came out of him as a dark-skinned Aladdin at a party when he was 29 and made up like Harry Belafonte at a talent show when he was a student.

He also converted a campaign event in Saskatoon into a town hall, giving a Liberal-friendly crowd the chance to just pepper him with questions. Only two dealt with the blackface issue, and many in the audience were full of praise for Trudeau.

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is in Atlantic Canada promising to spend $1.5 billion to buy new medical imaging equipment for facilities across the country. He says buying MRI and CT machines to replace aging ones will reduce wait times.

Scheer’s party was behind the release of video documenting a third time Trudeau wore blackface, this one shot in the early 1990s. His campaign received the clip and turned it over to Global TV. Scheer said today he’s not aware of the existence of any more photos or videos.


Related: Trudeau asks Canada to look to his current, not past, actions on race


NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose response to the shocking images was praised by Scheer for its compassion towards those hurt by the prime minister’s actions, is spending his day in the southwestern Ontario city of Windsor, expected to make an announcement on pharmacare.

The Greens’ Elizabeth May is spending her day in Calgary, starting with a transportation announcement at a CTrain station and then a visit to a climate-change demonstration at city hall.

People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier is trying to hold onto his own seat in Quebec and is spending today campaigning there, though he has a swing to Western Canada next week.