GZERO Exclusive: Trudeau Defends Free Trade, Immigration and His Credibility Amidst Scandals

As his reelection campaign reels in the wake of recently surfaced blackface and brownface images, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided an exclusive response to GZERO Media's Ian Bremmer, host of the weekly foreign affairs program GZERO World.

In an email exchange transcribed below, PM Trudeau addressed the credibility gap the pictures and video from his past have created.

Ian Bremmer: How seriously can anyone take your passionate speeches on respect for diversity after seeing these images?

PM Justin Trudeau: Actions speak louder than words. I know that my actions in the past have been hurtful to people, and for that I'm deeply sorry. Our government has acted to fight discrimination and racism consistently over our first term, and if we earn the right to govern Canada again, we'll move forward to fight racism and discrimination in our next term.

Ian Bremmer: Can you remain credible on multiculturalism in Canada in light of this?

PM Justin Trudeau: That's for Canadians to judge. I will be spending the next few weeks working hard to earn their trust.

The exchange came following a new and wide-ranging interview Bremmer conducted in Canada's capital, Ottawa. As Canada approaches election day on October 21, the race is extremely close. His opponent, Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, has capitalized on scandals and the diminishing popularity of some of Trudeau's signature policies—on immigration, trade, and the economy.

The complete, exclusive interview is featured on the next episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, which airs nationwide on public television beginning this Friday, September 27. Their conversation is also the basis of the latest Time magazine international cover story, written by Ian Bremmer, about Trudeau's battle to defend his globalist agenda as populism rises abroad.

As poll numbers suggest Canadians are increasingly disenchanted with Trudeau's approach to the global refugee crisis, the Canadian leader stood firm in his assertion that a more diverse population will make his nation stronger. Trudeau also delivered pointed criticism of the current economic policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, calling them unsustainable.

"Inequality continues to grow everywhere around the world," he said. "But it's growing less in Canada than it is in the U.S., and that is because we made a decision to say, 'trickle down doesn't work.'"

GZERO WORLD with Ian Bremmer airs nationwide on public television Fridays beginning at 11 a.m. ET. Check local listings. The interview will also be published in full on gzeromedia.com on Monday, September 30, at 10 a.m. ET.

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