Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has backed the politician who was kicked out of the country’s parliament on Wednesday for calling a member of another party racist.
Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP), had to leave the House of Commons after trying to pass a motion acknowledging the existence of systemic racism in Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Mr Singh had called Alain Therrien, a member of the Bloc Québécois party, racist after he refused to support the motion, which also called for a review into the police’s use of force.
As his language constituted a breach of parliamentary protocol, the speaker ejected Mr Singh from parliament for the rest of the day.
The prime minister told reporters on Thursday: “It is important that we recognise when the only racialised leader in the House of Commons makes a statement like that, that it comes from a place that yes, will make people uncomfortable, but needs to be dealt with as we move forward as a country.”
Mr Singh, who became the first minority leader of a national political party in Canada, later posted a video on Twitter explaining his actions.
The NDP leader cited some examples of systemic racism in Canada in recent months, including the treatment of indigenous chief Allan Adam, who was beaten up by an RCMP officer in March over an expired license plate.