U.S. President Donald Trump. (AP)

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

President Donald Trump’s suggestion that four female members of Congress should go back where they came from if they don’t like America wouldn’t fly in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments at an appearance at a military base in eastern Ontario with the secretary-general of NATO.

But the prime minister said Canadians and people around the world “know exactly what I think about those particular comments.

“That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, and the diversity of our country is actually one of our greatest strengths and a source of tremendous resilience and pride for Canadians and we will continue to defend that.”

Trump didn’t name his targets, but he’s widely understood to have been talking about Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York (who was born there), Rashida Tlaib of Michigan (born in Detroit), Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts (born in Chicago) and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota (who was born in Somalia and moved to the United States with her parents as a child).

All four women are Democrats and well out in the left wing of their party. All are relatively young for politicians — at 45, Tlaib is the oldest. All four are people of colour.

On the weekend, Trump tweeted that the legislators should return to the “broken and crime-infested” countries they came from, fix those places, and maybe come back to the U.S. when they have lessons to teach.

On Monday, he amplified his views. Resurrecting language not prevalent in the U.S. for decades, Trump said that if the lawmakers “hate our country,” they “can leave” it.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, you can leave, you can leave right now,” he said. The lawmakers’ criticism has been largely aimed at Trump and his administration’s policies and actions.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg declined to say anything about Trump’s words.

“It’s not for me to comment on that,” he said.

But Stoltenberg said he welcomed Canada’s leadership on advancing “gender issues” in the military, which will include Canada deploying a female brigadier-general to lead the NATO training mission in Iraq later this year.

Asked about the prospect of serving in a high military office in male-dominated Iraq, Brig.-Gen. Jennie Carignan said her presence will serve as an example to Iraqi women.

“I think it will demonstrate that this is a possibility for everybody. That somebody who wants to get involved into military, or into operations or into security fields, that it’s possible for everybody to do this,” she said.

“Women are 50 per cent of the population and it is just normal that they be involved in the decisions that their country is making.”

—With files from The Associated Press

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Spring shift in service includes no weekend late night bus services in Greater Victoria

Annual shift into spring sees additional decrease in frequency on multiple routes

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

UVic Vikes new basketball coach on the fast track

At 26, Shalie Dheensaw assumed head coaching role

No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay, Mill Bay, Brentwood Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Ferries announces major changes to sailing schedules for 60 days starting Saturday, April 4

Greater Victoria liquor stores see spike in sales amidst COVID-19

Customers are buying go-to products in larger quantities

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Nanaimo man arrested after allegedly setting house fire

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road in Cedar on Thursday

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Most Read