At a town hall in in Hamilton, Ontario, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was heckled by a woman over his government’s $10.5 million dollar settlement awarded to Omar Khadr, the Canadian citizen held at Guantanamo Bay for 10 years. Per intelligence officials, evidence was obtained from Khadr under “oppressive circumstances” during interrogations (VIDEO BELOW).
Rather than have the woman removed or simply ignore her, Trudeau allowed her to voice her grievances and then gave a thoughtful, candid, and articulate response.
“The anger that some people feel, and that a lot of people feel about the payment the government made to Omar Khadr is real and quite frankly — this might surprise you — but I share that anger and frustration,” Trudeau explained.
“That settlement had nothing to do with what Omar Khadr might have or might not have done,” he said. “It had to do with what the Canadian government did or did not do and when a Canadian government wilfully turns its back on defending a Canadian’s rights and allows a Canadian to be tortured and mistreated, we all end up paying.”
The exchange was telling of Trudeau’s leadership style, which comes in direct contrast to that of Trump. The American President has made headlines this week when he called for taking “a strong look” at American libel laws, in response to critical stories about him and his administration.
He was also named the world’s most oppressive leader toward press freedom by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Trudeau, for his part, is known for his administration’s transparency and willingness to be held accountable to the people whom he represents. Perhaps Trump, mired by the lowest approval rating of any president in modern history at this point in his presidency, could take the lesson from his Canadian counterpart.
Watch the entire exchange below.
Justin Trudeau was interrupted by a protester who as angry about payments to Omar Khadr.
How he handled the situation and responded by acknowledging her anger and clearly explaining his stance is remarkable. pic.twitter.com/3uHzeForOd
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) January 10, 2018