Justin Trudeau halts press conference for discussion on Indigenous issues
In an unusual move, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paused today's press conference, earning praise for what some Canadians are calling a thoughtful intervention.
Trudeau temporarily halted the question period to offer a reporter with APTN, the world's first national Indigenous broadcaster, the chance to ask a second question.
"Just a second," Trudeau said, interrupting the proceedings. "Was there a follow-up for the Indigenous question?"
Thankfully, reporter Brett Forester was still on the line, and after a little scuffle, he was able to ask his follow-up question regarding Indigenous rights in Canada.
Chief Mike Sack wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to get involved in the Mi’kmaw fishing rights dispute.— APTN News (@APTNNews) October 16, 2020
But will he?
Here’s what happened when APTN’s @BrettForester asked. pic.twitter.com/lrQe5WhZjL
Generally speaking, the press conferences are usually divided into three parts: Trudeau's speech, questions from members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery who attend in person, and questions from reporters via teleconference.
While it's not unusual for reporters to ask a follow-up question, this is the first time that Trudeau has interrupted the conference to allow a reporter to do so.
Multiple Canadians are now taking to social media to praise the Prime Minister for his response.
"He's always treated the press far better than any other PM and far better than they treat him," one person wrote.
"I may not agree with his policies, but it showed some class on his part, unlike some politicians," another person added.
The PM @JustinTrudeau noticed that a reporter (Mr. Foster) did not get a follow up Q on indigenous issues and paused the press conference to ask if there was a follow up Q (and there is). Rare to see a politician making sure a journalist gets a follow up question. #cdnpoli— Mercedes Stephenson (@MercedesGlobal) October 16, 2020
Other Canadians were similarly unimpressed by Trudeau's answer to the question.
"Great question by Brett; but PM side shuffled," a former APTN reporter wrote. "The feds had [years] to get this right."
Whatever your opinion, one thing's for sure: today's delay was definitely shorter than Trudeau's famous 21-second pause a few months ago.
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