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Trudeau's attendance at protest confusing in COVID-19 era, Scheer says

Last Updated Jun 8, 2020 at 12:57 pm CDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes a knee at an anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 5, 2020. (Chris Kurys, 1310 NEWS)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is coming under fire for attending an anti-racism protest on Friday amid COVID-19

Andrew Scheer says he can understand why people are confused after 'prime minister completely ignored' health guidelines

Trudeau was wearing a mask as he attended the gathering

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he can understand if Canadians are upset about the prime minister’s appearance at an anti-racism rally.

Justin Trudeau and several cabinet ministers attended a massive rally in the nation’s capital on Friday, held despite public health warnings against mass gatherings due to COVID-19.

Scheer says Canadians have been told for months they can’t gather in groups, can’t visit their elderly relatives or attend funerals to slow the spread of the virus.

“After all the hardship that people have gone through, to see the prime minister completely ignore those types of health guidelines or recommendations, I can understand why people are confused,” Scheer says.

Meanwhile, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves Francois Blanchet is also criticizing the prime minister for taking a knee at the anti-racism rally, saying it’s a symbolic gesture, but what people need is answers and action.

Neither the BQ or the Conservative leaders believe defunding the police is the answer to racism. They do, however, support more resources for mental health and community programs.

Trudeau was wearing a mask as he attended the gathering, one of several held in Canada in recent days in solidarity with anti-black racism protests in the U.S. and to object to similar injustices here.

The movement was ignited after George Floyd, a black man in Minnesota, died while in police custody.