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

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
BREAKING: Sinixt win historic decision at Supreme Court of Canada

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

Mark Skage and his son Mica during the filming of a West Kootenay episode of Start ‘em Young. Photo: Submitted
TV show films West Kootenay hunting trip

Start ‘Em Young aims to encourage kids to get out in the wilderness

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

While pharmacies across B.C. are using AstraZeneca for public immunizations for people 40 years of age and older, there is no availability currently in the Kootenays. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
No AstraZeneca vaccine availability in Kootenay pharmacies, says Interior Health

Vaccine has been opened up at pharmacies in other areas of the province to people 40 years of age and older

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

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

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Most Read