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December 12, 2019

Andrew Scheer Resigns as CPC Leader

Andrew Scheer Resigns as CPC Leader

Andrew Scheer Resigns as CPC Leader

Following weeks of speculation and pressure from inside and outside his party, Andrew Scheer announced that he would be stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Scheer had been criticized for failing to win the federal election on 21 October 2019 against a Liberal Party that was weakened by scandals, such as the SNC-Lavalin affair and revelations involving Justin Trudeau’s use of blackface. Scheer said he would continue to serve as the party’s leader until a convention is held to elect his successor.

September 18, 2019

Pictures and Video Surface of Justin Trudeau in Blackface

Pictures and Video Surface of Justin Trudeau in Blackface

Pictures and Video Surface of Justin Trudeau in Blackface

In the midst of a federal election campaign, Time magazine published a photo from the 2001 yearbook of Vancouver’s West Point Grey Academy showing a then-29-year-old Justin Trudeau with dark makeup on his face, neck and hands as part of an “Arabian Nights” costume. Trudeau told assembled media that “It’s something that I didn’t realize was racist at the time, but now I recognize it was something racist to do and I regret.” He also confessed to wearing blackface makeup when he sang Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)” in a talent show as a high school student. A video surfaced of a third, undated instance of Trudeau in blackface. He admitted that he could not rule out the possibility of other instances.

December 15, 2015

Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Released

Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Released

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission releases its final report, Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who attended the ceremonial release of the report,commits his government to implementing all of the 94 recommendations set out in the June 2015 summary report.

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April 30, 1864

Tsilhqot'in Incident

Tsilhqot'in Incident

In 1861, a pack-train trail was established from the Bella Coola Valley through Tsilhqot'in territory to the developing gold mine centres to the east, and work was begun on a wagon road from Bute Inlet to the interior. Resisting these intrusions, a small group of Tsilhqot'in killed several workers on this road in what is known as the Chilcotin War of 1864. Six Tsilhqot'in were eventually tried and executed for these killings. On 26 March 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exonerated the Tsilhqot'in chiefs of any wrongdoing, and on 2 November 2018, Trudeau formally apologized.

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May 23, 2019

Cree Leader Chief Poundmaker Exonerated

Cree Leader Chief Poundmaker Exonerated

Cree Leader Chief Poundmaker Exonerated

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Poundmaker Cree Nation in Saskatchewan to officially exonerate Chief Poundmaker for the crime of treason-felony during the North-West Rebellion of 1885. “In 1885, Chief Poundmaker was treated as a criminal and a traitor,” Trudeau said. “In 2019, we recognize the truth. Our government acknowledges that Chief Poundmaker was a peacemaker who never stopped fighting for peace. A leader who, time and time again, sought to prevent further loss of life in the growing conflict in the Prairies.” Trudeau’s statement of exoneration included a formal apology “on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians.”

March 08, 2019

Justin Trudeau Apologizes for Mistreatment of Inuit with Tuberculosis

Justin Trudeau Apologizes for Mistreatment of Inuit with Tuberculosis

Justin Trudeau Apologizes for Mistreatment of Inuit with Tuberculosis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized to Inuit for the federal government’s policy on tuberculosis in the mid-20th century, calling it “colonial” and “purposeful.” “For too long,” he said, “the government’s relationship with Inuit was one of double standards, and of unfair, unequal treatment. Canada must carry that guilt and that shame.” The apology, made in Iqaluit, was part of the Nanilavut initiative, which will assist Inuit in finding gravesites of family members. “We are sorry for forcing you from your families, for not showing you the respect and care you deserved,” Trudeau said. “The racism and discrimination that Inuit faced, was, and always will be, unacceptable.”

January 14, 2019

Trudeau Shuffles Cabinet

Trudeau Shuffles Cabinet

Trudeau Shuffles Cabinet

In anticipation of the federal election in the fall, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his Cabinet, moving Jody Wilson-Raybould from justice to veterans affairs, and naming Jane Philpott President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government. Trudeau called Philpott a “natural choice” for her new role and attempted to dispel the notion that Wilson-Raybould’s move was a demotion, saying, “She is extraordinarily capable of delivering on this file that is one of the core delivery mandates that the federal government has.”

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November 07, 2018

Federal Government Apologizes for MS St. Louis

Federal Government Apologizes for MS St. Louis

Federal Government Apologizes for MS St. Louis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a formal apology in the House of Commons for the government’s decision in 1939 to turn away 907 Jewish refugees aboard the MS St. Louis, 254 of whom eventually died in the Holocaust. Noting Canada’s anti-semitic immigration policies at the time, Trudeau said, “We apologize to the 907 German Jews aboard the MS St. Louis, as well as their families. We are sorry for the callousness of Canada’s response. And we are sorry for not apologizing sooner.” 

August 30, 2018

Court Ruling Halts Expansion of Trans Mountain Pipeline

Court Ruling Halts Expansion of Trans Mountain Pipeline

In a unanimous decision, the Federal Court of Appeal quashed approval of the $9.3-billion pipeline expansion on the grounds that First Nations in the area had not been adequately consulted and the impact of tanker traffic on endangered killer whales had not been considered. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote in a tweet that, “the federal government stands by the TMX expansion project and will ensure it moves forward in the right way."

February 12, 2019

Jody Wilson-Raybould Resigns from Cabinet Amid SNC-Lavalin Scandal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Resigns from Cabinet Amid SNC-Lavalin Scandal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Resigns from Cabinet Amid SNC-Lavalin Scandal

Jody Wilson-Raybould, who had been Justice Minister until a Cabinet shuffle on 14 January, resigned from Cabinet days after news broke that the Prime Minister’s Office allegedly pressured her to help Quebec construction firm SNC-Lavalin avoid facing criminal prosecution. In the wake of the news, Justin Trudeau’s principal secretary Gerald Butts resigned on 18 February and a federal hearing on the issue was held beginning on 20 February. In her testimony to the hearing on 27 February, Wilson-Raybould claimed that almost a dozen senior government officials made a “sustained effort” to convince her to drop charges against SNC-Lavalin. Trudeau disagreed with her recollection of events and claimed that he and his staff “always acted appropriately and professionally” on the matter.

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August 14, 2019

Justin Trudeau Violated Conflict of Interest Act in SNC-Lavalin Case, Ethics Commissioner Finds

Justin Trudeau Violated Conflict of Interest Act in SNC-Lavalin Case, Ethics Commissioner Finds

Justin Trudeau Violated Conflict of Interest Act in SNC-Lavalin Case, Ethics Commissioner Finds

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion found that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s actions in the SNC-Lavalin case violated section nine of the federal Conflict of Interest Act, which prohibits a public official from using their influence to benefit a third party. Dion found that Trudeau, both directly and through his staff, subjected then-Justice Minister and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to “veiled threats” that were “consistent and sustained,” pressuring her to defer the prosecution of Montreal-based construction and engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.

February 20, 2019

Seven Syrian Children Die in Halifax House Fire

Seven Syrian Children Die in Halifax House Fire

Seven Syrian Children Die in Halifax House Fire

The seven children of Ebraheim and Kawthar Barho, Syrian refugees who immigrated to Canada in 2017, were killed in an early morning house fire in Halifax’s Spryfield area. The children’s ages ranged from four months to 15 years. Halifax deputy fire chief Dave Meldrum called the death toll “the largest loss that we have in our memory.” A vigil held the next day was attended by hundreds of people, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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