Trudeau complains about tone, but Conservatives say polarization is coming from the Liberal camp

Stuart ThomsonStuart Thomson

Trudeau aide Gerald Butts has attacked Scheer multiple times, once squeezing nearly half a dozen attacks and innuendos into a single tweet

In a moment of reflection during a scenic campaign stop in Fredericton, N.B., on Tuesday morning, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau admitted his biggest regret since becoming prime minister is the plunging political climate in the country.

“Everything I tried to do in the last four years has been focused on bringing the country together. Yet we find ourselves now in a more polarized, more divisive election than even the 2015 one,” said Trudeau.

For Conservative leader Andrew Scheer it was all a bit rich.

Just days ago, Trudeau’s former principal secretary Gerald Butts posted a photo on Twitter of Scheer shaking hands with a construction worker and wrote, “Well, this is subtle. Sometimes a yellow vest is just a yellow vest?”

It was an attempt to lash Scheer to the right wing “yellow vest” groups in Canada, which became a source of racism and violent threats against the prime minister. Although it originally drew inspiration from the French yellow vest movement, which spurred populist demonstrations around that country, the name quickly grew toxic in Canada due to bigoted social media activity from some members. Even the “United We Roll” convoy that descended on Ottawa earlier this year to protest the government’s environmental polices tried to distance itself from the yellow vest moniker.

But, Scheer pointed out, thousands of Canadians wear those vests to work everyday and they were collateral damage in the Liberal attacks.

“That’s just despicable,” said Scheer, at his Tuesday policy announcement in Quebec City. “He has essentially insulted everyone who wears a a high-visibility vest to work.”

Later in the afternoon, Scheer took to social media to further condemn Butts’ comments.


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