CTV News | Federal Election 2019
The undecided: Seven Canadian voters weigh in on the Trudeau photos and his apology
Published Thursday, September 19, 2019 11:11PM EDT
TORONTO -- CTV News is following seven Canadian voters who are undecided about who they will support on Oct. 21. We checked in with them on Thursday after shocking photos of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau surfaced showing him in blackface and brownface in 2001 and earlier.
We asked each one the same question: Will the Trudeau images ultimately affect which party they choose?
One thing they all agreed on: they want to hear more about policies and hope the images do not take over the campaign.
Hoda Al-Obaidi, Waterloo, Ont.
Twenty-three-year-old Al-Obaidi, a first time voter after becoming a citizen in 2018, said a candidate’s policies are the most important deciding factor for her and that the old photos will not factor into her decision.
"I'm sure every person has done something racist and they learn from it including myself,” she said. “It's not really offensive in my opinion -- it's more like, disappointing.”
Leonie Pelletier, Montreal, Que.
Outside Montreal, Que., Pelletier, said they were not a big deal for her either. Everyone makes mistakes she added. As a single mother of two young boys, education, heath, and affordable housing are the most important issues for her.
Brad Pinhorn, Bonnyville, Alta.
In northern Alberta, Pinhorn, a former Wildrose supporter said the timing smacked of dirty politics, and that it would not influence his decision. For Pinhorn, a candidate who will not ignore Western Canada, along with their positions on education and healthcare were the most important deciding factors.
“I mean it was 18 years ago. If I judged everyone by something they did 18-20 years ago, I'd probably have a lot of enemies,” he said.
Donna and Derek Nanson, Vancouver, B.C.
The Nansons are focused on what the various parties’ platforms are on climate change, and say the images are a distraction.
Jarret Leaman, Toronto, Ont.
Inclusion of Indigenous and First Nation peoples and LGBTQ2S are key issues for Leaman, an Anishinaabe member of Magnetawan First Nation. Leaman says he is confused and disappointed by the revelations, and is leaning away from the Liberals.
Barb Hamilton-Hinch, Halifax, N.S.
Hamilton-Hinch says the photos could affect the way she votes. Diversity and inclusion are important issues for her, and while she says the Liberals have done positive things to help those of African descent, she is angered by the photos.
“I am disappointed. I am angry,” she said. "It does make me wonder if his commitment toward people who are racialized is genuine."