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

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in South Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Rotary Club of Williams Lake members, including president Mike Austin (second from left), cook up breakfasts during a Stampede breakfast this past summer. (Photo submitted)
ROTARY MONTH: Rotary Club of Williams Lake looking to get back to business

While COVID-19 made most of 2020 and the start of the new… Continue reading

Tribune columnist Jim Hilton captured this photo of the forest floor during a hike in the Helmken Falls area at Wells Gray Provinicial Park. (Jim Hilton photo)
FOREST INK: Forests and its connection to human health, part one

Urbanization and modern lifestyle have diminished possibilities for human contact with nature

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake physician part of COSMIC Medical group developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read