Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks with his son Hadrien as they go trick or treating at Rideau Hall on Halloween in Ottawa on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has always seemed to relish dressing up for trick or treating with his kids but, in the wake of the blackface scandal, he’s giving Halloween a miss this year, publicly anyway.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks with his son Hadrien as they go trick or treating at Rideau Hall on Halloween in Ottawa on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has always seemed to relish dressing up for trick or treating with his kids but, in the wake of the blackface scandal, he’s giving Halloween a miss this year, publicly anyway.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

After blackface scandal, Trudeau shuns photo ops of trick or treating

Trudeau will ‘be trick or treating with the kids, but not going to Rideau Hall or doing a photo op’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has always seemed to relish dressing up for trick or treating with his children but, in the wake of the blackface scandal, he’s giving Halloween a miss this year — publicly anyway.

A spokesman for the prime minister says Trudeau will ”be trick or treating with the kids, but not going to Rideau Hall or doing a photo op.”

His newfound reticence to be photographed in costume on the night of ghouls and goblins comes after the mortifying revelation during the recent election campaign that Trudeau had on at least three occasions in his youth donned blackface or brownface.

The Liberals were rocked during the first week of the campaign when a yearbook photo emerged of Trudeau in brownface as part of an elaborate Aladdin costume worn to a 2001 Arabian Nights party at the Vancouver private school where he was a teacher.

Another picture and a video of a teenaged Trudeau in blackface subsequently came to light, further damaging his image as a champion of diversity and inclusion.

He apologized profusely for not recognizing at the time that darkening his skin with makeup was a racist act.

“The fact of the matter is that I’ve always — and you’ll know this — been more enthusiastic about costumes than is sometimes appropriate,” he told reporters at a hastily assembled news conference aboard the Liberal campaign plane on the night that the first explosive photo emerged in a Time magazine article.

That admission seemed to harken back to Trudeau’s ill-fated trip to India last year, during which he was roundly criticized for sporting a variety of traditional Indian garb.

READ MORE: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reacts to Trudeau’s brownface photo

However, Trudeau’s choice of Halloween costumes since becoming prime minister hasn’t generated particular controversy in the past.

Among other things, he has gone trick or treating with his three children dressed as Han Solo of Star Wars fame, and as the pilot in the Little Prince.

Trudeau also once showed up in the House of Commons in a usual business suit, but sporting black-rimmed glasses and a Superman costume peeking out from beneath his shirt.

Trudeau’s more private Halloween celebration this year may also reflect a broader strategy to keep a lower profile during his second mandate. Some Liberal insiders believe he’s been over-exposed and could benefit from keeping his distance from cameras for a while.

ALSO READ: How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

Since winning a strong minority of seats last week, Trudeau has held one post-election news conference but otherwise been invisible as he plots how to navigate through a Parliament in which the Liberals’ survival will depend on gaining the support of at least one opposition party on confidence matters.

He intends to swear-in a new cabinet on Nov. 20, but it’s uncertain whether he’ll recall Parliament before Christmas.

Joan Bryden, 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

Christmas decorations at Gus' Pub. (Opal Tesch photo)
Gus’ Bar and Grill gets into the holiday spirit

Gus’ Bar and Grill has been a fixture in Port McNeill since… Continue reading

Mike Aldersey, the Port McNeill base manager for West Coast Helicopters has been awarded the prestigious Agar/Stringer Award by the Helicopter Association of Canada. (Submitted photo)
Vancouver Island pilot receives coveted helicopter industry award

Port McNeill based Mike Aldersey is the recipient of the 2o2o Agar/Stringer Award given out to select few Canadians

The notice at Port Hardy Secondary School’s athletic track. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
SD85 school tracks closed to the public during school hours

To keep P.E. classes safe, the restriction went into effect Nov. 30

Shoebox Project logo
Donate now to the Campbell River/North Island Shoebox Project

There is just over a week to go in The Campbell River/North Island Shoebox Project campaign

The entrance to the Port Hardy aquatic centre. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Port Hardy council will decide fate of pool revitalization project at next meeting

The pool revitalization project will be on the agenda at the Dec. 8 meeting for council to vote on.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Most Read