‘I am really, really upset with this’: Trudeau, in leaked video from meeting with FSIN, unhappy with ‘time management’

by Alex MacPherson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears frustrated with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations’ “time management” in a leaked video clip that was taken during his meeting with several chiefs in Saskatoon earlier this week.

Trudeau, who was in the city for the Liberal Party of Canada’s annual caucus retreat earlier, and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale were scheduled to meet with the 74-member FSIN at 8 a.m. last Wednesday, according to his itinerary.

In the video clip, which runs for three minutes and 38 seconds and surfaced on YouTube Sunday with the title “PMJT berates FSIN Chiefs,” the prime minister appears to express frustration that the first portion of the meeting went long, leaving little time to hear other concerns.

“The original plan was eight people around the table or so, representing all the different regions, bringing forward concerns … and the first section took 45 minutes, and every single person spoke around the table,” Trudeau is heard saying in the video.

“That’s not fair. That’s not fair. That’s not the way … I’m really, really upset with this. It wasn’t for me to interrupt previous speakers, but (FSIN Chief) Bobby (Cameron), there shouldn’t have been every single person speaking for eight minutes.

“That is not the spirit of reconciliation, of the nation-to-nation relationship we’re supposed to have,” Trudeau added, noting that his “absolute time cap” was 9:05 a.m. Around 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday he addressed the party’s caucus meeting.

In a statement on Sunday, the Prime Minister’s Office said, “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get through all the issues that were put forward, but we look forward to subsequent meetings with First Nations Leaders in Saskatchewan and Canada where these concerns can be discussed.”

A government official familiar with the meeting, speaking on background, said the earlier portion of the meeting is not reflected in the leaked video clip, and noted more people than expected showed up for the meeting, apparently expecting an opportunity to address Trudeau.

Reached by phone Sunday night, FSIN spokeswoman Larissa Burnouf said the federation is aware of the video and working on a response.

It is not clear who shot the video or posted it online.

Towards the end of the video, Trudeau suggests going around the table so everyone present can speak — the clip does not make clear who else is in the room — but suggests no one takes longer than about 30 seconds, so he can hear all of their concerns.

“The time was mismanaged around here,” Trudeau said.

In the statement, the PMO noted funding announcements made in Saskatoon this week but acknowledged that, “We know there is still more work to do to chart a path forward that advances reconciliation and builds a stronger future for Indigenous Peoples in Saskatchewan.”


'I am really, really upset with this': Trudeau, in leaked video from meeting with FSIN, unhappy with 'time management'

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