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Canada  

Singh-Trudeau meet private

The Liberal Party pledged Saturday to keep private the details of any conversation between NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Justin Trudeau about the blackface scandal that has rocked the federal election campaign.

Trudeau has promised to personally apologize to Singh, the first member of a visible minority to lead a federal party, after his re-election bid was shaken by the surfacing of images that showed he chose to put on black- or brownface as part of costume events.

Trudeau has repeatedly apologized, calling the act of darkening one's skin racist, and said he remains committed to fighting racism and continuing to lead the Liberals.

A Liberal party spokesman said their office is still discussing the details of when the conversation would take place, and the spokesman said the Liberals would not be making the details of it public.

Singh said earlier on Saturday that he was still waiting to hear back from Trudeau about whether the Liberal leader is willing to meet his condition for a discussion about the issue — remarks that came during a full day of campaigning Saturday while Trudeau took a break.

Trudeau wasn't campaigning Saturday and neither was Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, taking their first breaks since the federal election call on Sept. 11. Taking Saturdays off is common in federal elections.

Singh, meanwhile, held two events including a roundtable discussion on racism with Toronto community leaders. Many of the participants criticized Trudeau's apology, while some expressed the view that they didn't want his behaviour to embolden white supremacists.

Singh reiterated to reporters after the meeting that he would be willing to talk to Trudeau but that he wants their conversation to be private, and out of the media's glare.

"I don't want to be used as a tool to exonerate Mr. Trudeau. I don't want to be a part of a PR process to say he checked off these boxes and, look, he made this call, and he's all good," Singh said.

"It's important to have dialogue, but I made the condition it has to be a private conversation."



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