Seamus Heffernan is running for the Liberals in the Abbotsford riding in the federal election. John Yoo photo

Abbotsford Liberal candidate says policies show Trudeau apology is sincere

Seamus Heffernan said ‘error in judgment’ not representative of Prime Minister or party

Local Liberal candidate Seamus Heffernan says he believes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is sincerely repentant for wearing brownface on several occasions.

“I was surprised and disappointed,” Heffernan told The News Thursday of having learned that Trudeau had been photographed dressed in a turban with his face painted brown. Several other images have since been unearthed.

RELATED: ‘This isn’t fun and games’: Satwinder Bains explains why brownface is hurtful

RELATED: Trudeau brownface photos are ‘a teaching moment,’ UFV South Asian Studies professor says

Heffernan said Trudeau will learn from the episode.

“It’s very clear to me that he’s taken this very much to heart and that his contrition is very genuine,” he said. “I’m still proud to be a part of his team, and working on this campaign.”

Heffernan said the Liberals policies and actions under Trudeau show that he believes in a multi-cultural Canada. He pointed to the Liberals’ funding of anti-racism programs, immigration policies and welcoming of Syrian refugees.

“I think his track record proves what his real character in regards to this issue.”

Asked what he would say to Abbotsford residents who are personally feeling hurt by the photos, Heffernan said:

“Whenever anything like this happens, to learn from it and move on, you have to have tough conversations and you can’t shy away from those. If I was challenged by somebody about this, I’d say, speaking from my own experience and speaking with the Prime Minister and hearing how sincere in his apology he is, I would again point out what he has done since and his record as a public servant and a leader, that I believe that this error of judgement of his in the past is not representative of either him or the direction of this government in anyway.”

Heffernan said he had never worn brown or blackface.

The News has not yet been able to reach Jati Sidhu, the Liberal MP for the neighbouring riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.

RELATED: VIDEO: Party leaders react to Trudeau’s brownface photo bombshell

RELATED: ‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

RELATED: ‘Troubling, insulting’: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reacts to Trudeau’s brownface photo

RELATED: Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001


Just Posted

Witness of Abbotsford shooting recounts terrifying experience

He describes being caught between the gunmen and their intended target

Mission Olympian Brent Hayden returning to competition after seven years away

The 36-year-old has been training in Vancouver for several weeks

Abbotsford Police officer exchanged ‘inappropriate messages,’ says report

Office of Police Complaint Commissioner releases annual report

UPDATE: Man in his 20s in hospital following shooting in Abbotsford

Incident takes place Tuesday night in 31700 block of South Fraser Way

Westbound Highway 1 crash in Langley

Collision occurred just past 264th Street, left lane is blocked

VIDEO: Is the stethoscope dying? High-tech options pose threat

World-renowned cardiologist believes the device is just a pair of ‘rubber tubes’

Beers on the job, smacking crotches: 10 police misconduct probes in B.C.

Recent report by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner highlights a number of investigations

Seizure of cannabis edibles, including mac-and-cheese, prompt warning from B.C. RCMP

Potato chips, cheesecake and candy infused with cannabis also seized back in August

B.C. parents sue city and province in 12-year-old daughter’s drowning at lake

Beverly Park drowned at Rotary Lake in Dawson Creek in August 2016

VIDEO: Chill with polar bears through an Arctic live cam

Cam reopens just ahead of Polar Bear Week

UPDATE: Charges pending after two teens pepper sprayed at Port Coquitlam high school

Mounties are still working to determine exactly how many youth were involved

Aquilini companies deny negligence in U.S. vineyard fire that killed two kids

Fire occurred at Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State

Surrey cop killer gets new parole conditions

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot dead on March 29, 1974

Most Read