Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday hesitated for 20 seconds before answering a question about President Donald Trump’s handling of protests gripping the United States.
Trudeau’s long silence came when a reporter asked him to comment on Trump’s threat to use the armed forces to quell violence.
When he eventually spoke, the Canadian leader avoided directly referring to Trump’s response to the protests or even naming him.
“We all watch in horror and consternation what’s going on in the United States,” Trudeau told the news conference.
“It is a time to pull people together, but it is a time to listen, it is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades.”
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He added that Canada must also address discrimination.
Canadian cities including Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal have seen protests in solidarity with the demonstrations against police brutality in the U.S., CTV News reported.
There have been seven days of unrest in dozens of U.S. cities, following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis police custody.
Trump on Monday threatened to deploy the military if governors fail to quickly quell the violence and “dominate” the protests.
He also asked federal forces use tear gas on hundreds of protesters outside the White House so that he could walk across a park for a photo-op in a nearby church.