'Dangerous games around intolerance and hate': Trudeau comments on Bloc Québécois leader's attack against Canada's transport minister

Elisabetta Bianchini
·1 min read
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to speak during a Covid-19 briefing at the Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario, on December 18, 2020. (Photo by Lars Hagberg / AFP) (Photo by LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images)

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet saying that “question arise” about Transport Minister Omar Alghabra’s former role as head of the Canadian Arab Federation and what he called “the political Islamic movement.”

“I was absolutely floored to see a federal party leader use insinuations and carefully coded questions, particularly this week when we just lived through last week, what happens when leaders don’t take care of the words they [use] and play these dangerous games around intolerance and hate,” Trudeau said.

“And of course, stand there innocently and say, ‘oh I was just asking questions,’ that’s ridiculous. That kind of political pandering to the worst elements and to fears and anxieties has no place in Canada and all of us need to stand up strongly to push back against that anywhere it happens in this country.”

In a statement to The Canadian Press, Alghabra said he is “disappointed by Blanchet and the Bloc Québécois.

“I am disappointed by the Bloc Québécois' attempts to create divisions for mere political gain," he said to The Canadian Press on Wednesday.

“I expected better … We know what such misinformation could lead to.”

A spokesperson for the Bloc Québécois also provided a statement to The Canadian Press in defence of Blanchet comments.

“It’s really questions about his past … and also the separation of church and state, which is a profound value for the Bloc," said spokesman Julien Coulombe-Bonnafous.

"We don’t want to raise any accusations, because I don’t think there’s that much."

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