World

Canada PM Trudeau says 'peoplekind' comment was risky humor

Canada PM Trudeau says 'peoplekind' comment was risky humor

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he "shouldn't be making jokes even when I think they're amusing", referring to his use of "peoplekind" during a town hall meeting in Edmonton last week.

His excuse that his remark was just a "dumb joke" comes after he interrupted a woman's question during a town hall Friday to tell her that she should say "peoplekind" instead of "mankind".

A woman speaking with Trudeau about religious charities in Alberta last Thursday used the word "mankind".

"We like to say "peoplekind", not necessarily "mankind", because it's more inclusive", replies Trudeau. "We're going to accept a good deal, a fair deal, because quite frankly there's no country in the world that has a greater vested interest in the United States being successful than Canada", Trudeau said.

Laughing, the woman responds with: "There you go!" before the audience breaks into applause.

Fox and Friends was among the mainstream media outlets that seized the exchange, which has been ridiculed globally on the right side of the political spectrum.

"It played well in the room and in context".

Conservatives broke into a patronising rhetoric calling Trudeau's move - as Australian conservative commentator Rita Panahi said - "an attempt to appease those desperate to find offence where none exists" with others claiming that "his political correctness has gone haywire". He said it was a reminder to him that "I shouldn't be making jokes even when I think they're amusing". "The video clip is real, but it has been cut to play as a [funny and believable] lie".

Trudeau, who appointed women to 15 positions in his first cabinet, making up half of the total of his 31-person cabinet (including himself), has a reputation for being a progressive, feminist politician.

Mr Trudeau also backed changing Canada's national anthem to make it gender neutral, calling it a "positive step towards gender equality".


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