Posted on Jan. 17, 2017

    These Women Baited Trudeau With A Selfie To Ask About Indigenous Rights

    It's an ambush!

    Justin Trudeau has been on a cross-country tour to reconnect with everyday Canadians, and for the most part he's been met with adoring crowds.

    Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS

    But this week, two students in Halifax used a selfie with the prime minister to press him on his campaign promises to Indigenous people in Canada.

    Facebook: video.php

    And Trudeau's sudden change in facial expression as the photo-op turned serious is priceless.

    Facebook / Via Facebook: DivestDal

    Alex Ayton and Kathleen Olds are both students at Dalhousie University, where they are involved with the environmental campaign Divest Dal.

    As the prime minister made his way down a line of supporters at a coffee shop, Ayton and Olds were ready for him.

    "Can we also get a selfie?" they asked innocently.

    But instead of just taking a photo, they recorded a video instead.

    "Are you planning on implementing UNDRIP?" Olds asked Trudeau, referring to the Liberal campaign promise to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

    After Trudeau said that he was still committed to UNDRIP, Olds asked him if that meant "requiring consent" from First Nations before approving natural resource projects — another Liberal campaign promise and a plank of UNDRIP.

    They clearly weren't impressed with his answer.

    Divest Dal / Facebook / Via Facebook: DivestDal

    "I specifically asked Justin about UNDRIP because I believe it is emblematic of his general lack of accountability," Olds told BuzzFeed Canada.

    Implementing UNDRIP was a campaign promise, Olds said, and failing to honour that was one of many broken promises from the government.

    "I wanted to see whether he would be honest and accountable to his campaign promises or try to deflect, again. I guess now we know!" she said.

    Members of Divest Dal say they're disappointed in Trudeau's record in government, pointing to his controversial approval of oil pipelines and a natural gas project as proof that he isn't serious about respecting Indigenous rights and protecting the environment.

    Video of the sneaky ambush has gotten a big reaction online.

    VIDEO: Trudeau thinks he's posing for a selfie, ends up implicitly admitting his approving pipelines contradicts UN… https://t.co/stFRL6iKMs

    People are screaming.

    I screamed when they asked about UNDRIP and Trudeau tried to jump out of the frame. https://t.co/MlVdvz9R9T

    And some are critical of the fact that it "takes a selfie" to get a response from the prime minister.

    It takes a selfie to get a response from Justin Trudeau: implement UNDRIP & respect First Nations veto over natural… https://t.co/QXsLYfDtEZ

    We weren't sure if we were going to get a chance to talk to him," Ayton said. "But we knew he liked selfies, so we used that as bait... and it worked!"

    "His response was kind of upsetting as well as entertaining," she said, adding that it was "an opportunity for him to be candid with Canadians, and he chose to panic and use a scripted response."

    Still, both students said they're happy to focus attention on important issues, and to show that young people are interested in more than just taking selfies with the prime minister.

    "I want politicians to be held accountable," Olds said, "even if the confrontation feels uncomfortable."

    CTV Atlantic / Via atlantic.ctvnews.ca

    Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

    Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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