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

signoff

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

Just Posted

More housing options needed in Mission to fill gaps

New report indicates 298 units a year have to be built just to keep up

Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries after crash in Abbotsford

Cause of collision on Old Yale Road near Springhill Street still under investigation

Chilliwack dad rescues his two young daughters after truck plunges into Cultus Lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

Family of dead Abbotsford football star urge changes to mental health policies in hospitals

Uko family disappointed in actions of Regina hospital, hosting public funeral service this weekend

Sex offender Danny Depew sentenced in Abbotsford to 2.5 more years

Depew still has child-luring charges before the courts in Ontario

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

White Rock council considers allowing alcohol in waterfront park

Council mulls business-boosting measures, including picnic benches

Langley woman recalls last words spoken to mother who died of COVID-19 on 88th birthday

Verna Clarke was more than a senior with dementia who died of COVID at Langley Lodge, she was ‘loved’

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

COVID claims 23rd Langley Lodge patient, making it the deadliest outbreak in B.C.

Coronavirus kills another senior at Langley care home, bringing B.C. total to 166

Most Read