trudeau pause

Here's how the world reacted to Justin Trudeau's 21-second pause

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's now famous 21-second pause at Tuesday's press conference has made global headlines around the world, provoking a flurry of responses โ€” even from Reverand Al Sharpton.

Some people are saying that the pause is a serious silence that condemns President Donald Trump's actions in the United States. Others are calling the seconds "excruciating" and comparing the Prime Minister to a deer struck dumb by car headlights.

Some people on social media are even calling it a bit of orchestrated political theatre.

And Reverend Al Sharpton, an American Baptist Minister and activist who will deliver the eulogy at George Floyd's memorial service on Thursday, is simply calling Trudeau out.

On Thursday, Sharpton criticized Trudeau while answering a question from a Canadian reporter.

"It's a new day. The time has made the moment of change in America, and I'm going to express that in my eulogy," Sharpton said. "And since you're from Canada, I won't have a 21-second gap before I say what I have to say."

And Sharpton isn't the only one that commented on the incident; on Wednesday evening, American talk-show host James Corden also critiqued Trudeau, albeit more jokingly.

"I honestly thought the video was frozen," Corden said. "Somebody needs to unplug the Prime Minister and then plug him back in. In the time it took for him to give an answer you could have watched an entire series on Quibi."

Corden then made the clip "more forgiving" by asking Trudeau questions relating to melting ice cream, Goofy and Pluto, and Vin Diesel's haircare.

A number of other politicians and influential figures have also weighed in on Trudeau's contentious pause.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce A. Heyman took to Twitter to defend Trudeau's pause, writing, "Sometime[s] silence says more than words."

Heyman's comment is attached to a New York Times article that criticizes Trump's leadership, saying that Canadians have been "watching in shock as the country they've long considered their closest friend and protector now seems like a crazed, erratic and dangerous stranger."

In Canada, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said on Tuesday that Trudeau's 21-second pause means "nothing."

A number of other NDP party members have also spoken out against Trudeau's pause, including Winnipeg MP Leah Gazan and Northern Manitoba MP Niki Ashton.

"Twenty seconds of silence? Trump is a fascist with ties to the KKK. Call his actions out @JustinTrudeau [and] @cafreeland," Gazan wrote.

Bloc Quรฉbรฉcois Leader Yves-Franรงois Blanchet said on Tuesday that Trudeau "needs a spine" and should "show some courage" by condemning President Donald Trump's actions in the U.S., per CBC.

In contrast, Former Canadian Foreign Policy Advisor Roland Paris took to Twitter to indirectly back Trudeau's long pause on Wednesday, writing, "Everyone in this country understood the meaning of those 21 seconds of silence."

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland also supported Trudeau's 21-second pause, telling reporters on Wednesday that she thought it was "excellent, and it was eloquent."

When asked on Thursday about his long pause, Trudeau once more avoided mentioning Trump, but told reporters that he's defending Canada's interests.

"My job as prime minister is to stand up for Canadians' values, to express those values, and to ensure that I'm standing up for Canadians' interests as well," he said.ย "And I'm defending those interests."

Lead photo by


Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in News

Someone just spotted one of the weirdest looking fish washed up in Canada

Bear in Calgary caught eating Halloween pumpkins while residents were sleeping

Vancouver woman shoved out of bus after spitting on a fellow passenger

Air Canada and WestJet bicker over plans to refund airline tickets

Poppy donation boxes in Canada will soon take credit cards

COVID internment camps in Canada don't exist despite what you might have heard

Canada won't be having a snap election this fall

Someone is setting fire to toilet paper at Walmart stores in Canada