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Canada PM Trudeau faces PC backlash over ‘peoplekind’ comment

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing a backlash for correcting a woman who used the term “mankind”.

During a town hall event last week, Mr Trudeau interrupted the young woman and urged her to say “peoplekind” instead.

The clip of the interaction has been making the rounds online with critics accusing Mr Trudeau of “mansplaining” and making up words.

Conservative commentators overseas have also picked up on the interaction.

The prime minister made the comment while taking questions at a public town hall in Edmonton, Alberta, last Thursday.

A young woman stood up and praised Mr Trudeau for having a gender-balanced cabinet.

She went on to speak about the importance of “maternal love”.

She said the country needed an economy filled with women, while noting her membership of a feminist Korean church.

She then asked the prime minister about his policy on volunteerism and religious organisations.

The young woman ended her question by saying: “Maternal love is the love that’s going to change the future of mankind.”

Mr Trudeau waved his hand and said: “We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind. It’s more inclusive.”

The young woman said: “Exactly, yes, thank you.”

Members of the crowd cheered and applauded.

“We can all learn from each other,” Mr Trudeau said.

A spokesman for the prime minister said Mr Trudeau “is a proud feminist” whose policies reflect “commitments to equality”.

The clip has garnered plenty of online commentary.

Some people argued that the word “peoplekind” does not exist in the English language.

Conservative federal politician Michelle Rempel apologised online to the woman interrupted by Mr Trudeau.

Others accused Mr Trudeau of being condescending or overzealous in his political correctness.

But Mr Trudeau also has his defenders. Some have noted the PM asked for the woman’s time to be respected after her meandering remarks elicited groans from audience members.

The woman also interrupted Mr Trudeau to invite him to bible study.

It is not the first time Mr Trudeau has been chided for his politically correct posture.

He has provoked online eye-rolling for his self-proclaimed feminism and support for making the lyrics to Canada’s national anthem gender-neutral.

bbc.com

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