U.S. President Donald Trump. (AP)

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

President Donald Trump’s suggestion that four female members of Congress should go back where they came from if they don’t like America wouldn’t fly in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments at an appearance at a military base in eastern Ontario with the secretary-general of NATO.

But the prime minister said Canadians and people around the world “know exactly what I think about those particular comments.

“That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, and the diversity of our country is actually one of our greatest strengths and a source of tremendous resilience and pride for Canadians and we will continue to defend that.”

Trump didn’t name his targets, but he’s widely understood to have been talking about Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York (who was born there), Rashida Tlaib of Michigan (born in Detroit), Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts (born in Chicago) and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota (who was born in Somalia and moved to the United States with her parents as a child).

All four women are Democrats and well out in the left wing of their party. All are relatively young for politicians — at 45, Tlaib is the oldest. All four are people of colour.

On the weekend, Trump tweeted that the legislators should return to the “broken and crime-infested” countries they came from, fix those places, and maybe come back to the U.S. when they have lessons to teach.

On Monday, he amplified his views. Resurrecting language not prevalent in the U.S. for decades, Trump said that if the lawmakers “hate our country,” they “can leave” it.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, you can leave, you can leave right now,” he said. The lawmakers’ criticism has been largely aimed at Trump and his administration’s policies and actions.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg declined to say anything about Trump’s words.

“It’s not for me to comment on that,” he said.

But Stoltenberg said he welcomed Canada’s leadership on advancing “gender issues” in the military, which will include Canada deploying a female brigadier-general to lead the NATO training mission in Iraq later this year.

Asked about the prospect of serving in a high military office in male-dominated Iraq, Brig.-Gen. Jennie Carignan said her presence will serve as an example to Iraqi women.

“I think it will demonstrate that this is a possibility for everybody. That somebody who wants to get involved into military, or into operations or into security fields, that it’s possible for everybody to do this,” she said.

“Women are 50 per cent of the population and it is just normal that they be involved in the decisions that their country is making.”

—With files from The Associated Press

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parksville runner ready to raise funds for charity

Watson to run half-marathon with daughter Lauren

Parksville man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near city mall

Oceanside RCMP report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Qualicum Beach councillor files court petition against the town

Official says response to Walker’s petition will be filed

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Most Read