Canada PM Trudeau implies lawmaker, her Conservative Party supports 'people who wave swastikas'

"I’d like an apology" said Melissa Lantsman, a Jewish conservative member of parliament.
Justin Trudeau, Washington, D.C., Nov. 17. 2021
Justin Trudeau, Washington, D.C., Nov. 17. 2021

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggestion the country's Conservative Party supports "people who wave swastikas" has resulted a request for an apology.

Trudeau made the comment Wednesday, amid his efforts to resolve the international public relations crisis that is the 'Freedom Convoy' truckers protest over his government's COVID-19 restrictions. 

Trudeau's comment followed Melissa Lantsman, a Conservative Party member in Parliament, questioned the prime minister about his treatment of the protesting truckers and recited a 2015 quote from him in which he said, "If Canadians are going to trust their government, their government needs to trust Canadians."

She pointed out that he has consistently spoken disparagingly of the truckers, recently calling them "very often misogynistic, racist, women-haters, science-deniers, the fringe."

"Same prime minister, six years later as he fans the flames of an unjustified national emergency. When did the prime minister lose his way?" she asked.

The prime minister, a member of the country's Liberal party, responded: "Conservative Party members can stand with people who wave swastikas, they can stand with people who wave the Confederate flag. 

"We will choose to stand with Canadians who deserve to be able to get to their jobs, to be able to get their lives back. These illegal protests need to stop, and they will."

Dane Lloyd, a Conservative MP, immediately reprimanded Trudeau for his comment.

"Mr. Speaker, I’ve never seen such shameful and dishonorable remarks coming from this prime minister," he said. "There are members of this Conservative caucus who are the descendants of victims of the Holocaust."

Lantsman later said, "I am a strong Jewish woman and a member of this House and a descendant of Holocaust survivors and ... it’s never been singled out, and I’ve never been made to feel less except for today, when the prime minister accused me of standing with swastikas.

"I think he owes me an apology. I’d like an apology and I think he owes an apology to all members of this House."