Prime Minister Trudeau and other leaders condemn white supremacy over Trump’s refusal to do so

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OTTAWA – US President Donald Trump declined to condemn white supremacy during his debate against former US Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday. Today Canada’s political leaders are all speaking out against the issue of white supremacy – an issue that many recognize is also present in Canada.

“The Prime Minister has condemned and will continue to condemn right-wing extremism, white supremacy and racism in all its forms,” ​​read a statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, sent to CTVNews.ca on Wednesday.

“In Canada, we are not immune to the extremism that not only divides our communities, but threatens the security of Canadians. ”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole echoed the clear condemnation of white supremacy.

“I categorically condemn white supremacy and all forms of hatred. In the military, I served all Canadians. Now, as a chef, I continue to serve all Canadians, ”he said in a statement to CTVNews.ca.

“Hatred, including white supremacy, has no place in Canada. ”

The comments contrast sharply with those Trump made during Tuesday’s debate.

During the debate, Trump was asked if he condemns white supremacist groups and the violence they participated in during the summer protests. He refused to do so, opting instead to label it solely as a “left” issue and even telling a far-right hate group to “step back and stand ready”.

Trump retracted his remarks on Wednesday, telling the group to “stand down.”

The far-right group that Trump refused to condemn was first founded in Canada and has since taken root in the United States – which interim Green Party leader Jo-Ann Roberts noted in the statement that she sent to CTVNews.ca.

“Canada is not immune to this type of hate and we urgently need to examine and address the rise of violent hate groups within our own borders,” said Roberts.

“Canadian leaders have a responsibility to condemn hatred, bigotry and white supremacy and, as interim leader of the Green Party of Canada, I do so unequivocally.

Meanwhile, some other party leaders have targeted Trump directly. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh blasted the US president at a press conference on Wednesday.

“He was so dismissive of the idea of ​​white supremacy, something that should be obvious that yes, this is a huge problem and it divides people and it hurts,” Singh said.

“The fact that he couldn’t say that and on top of that, he actually supported a violent and right-wing group… is appalling. His behavior is appalling. ”

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet also targeted Trump in an emailed statement to CTVNews.ca, claiming Trump was “divisive” and fueled racism.

“Racism, in all its forms, is vile and dangerous, especially white supremacy. It leads to violence, hatred and pain, ”Blanchet said.

“We have a sacred duty to fight it through information and education, not to feed it like President Trump did during the debate. [his] A divisive attitude, the US President reminded us that equality is a value we must never take for granted. ”

With files from The Associated Press

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