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Justin Trudeau Apologizes for Comments in ‘Rolling Stone’ Feature

The prime minister says he "regrets" the way he spoke about Patrick Brazeau, the Indigenous senator he fought in a charity boxing match.
Image (left) via 'Rolling Stone,' (right) via CP

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview Tuesday that he "regrets" comments he made that were published in the now-iconic Rolling Stone profile on him.

"I regret the way it's been taken, I regret the choice of language that I made," Trudeau told CBC Radio One in Vancouver. The regretful comment Canada's prime minister made was in regards to Senator Patrick Brazeau, whom he had a charity boxing match with in 2012.


Trudeau was quoted in Rolling Stone as saying the following about Brazeau:

"I wanted someone who would be a good foil, and we stumbled upon the scrappy tough-guy senator from an Indigenous community. He fit the bill, and it was a very nice counterpoint… I saw it as the right kind of narrative, the right story to tell."

Indigenous activists have been critical of Trudeau for the comment he made in regards to Brazeau, who is a member of the community of Kitigan Zibi.

Cindy Blackstock, a prominent First Nations activist, told CBC News that Trudeau's comments are concerning.

"They reinforce this whole dichotomy, colonial dichotomy, of the savage and the civilized," Blackstock said. "The savage being Indigenous peoples and the civilized being the colonial forces."

Trudeau's easy win over Brazeau at the charity boxing match is often named as a symbolic victory on his way to becoming Liberal Party leader and, eventually, prime minister.

At the time of the fight, Brazeau was a fairly new Conservative senator. Since the boxing match, he's had run-ins with the law, involving both his personal and professional lives. In 2016, he returned to the Senate after a three-year legal battle over his expenses.

He sits as an Independent.

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