Brampton, Ont. MP Ruby Sahota slammed Conservative MPs in the House of Commons for repeatedly referring to traditional Indian attire as “costumes” during their criticisms of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s troubled trip to India, branding their comments “incredibly offensive.”
Opposition MP Dane Lloyd of the Sturgeon River—Parkland, Alta. riding took Trudeau to task over the Jaspal Atwal fiasco on Thursday afternoon, telling the House of Commons that it appeared that the only outcome of the state visit to India “was for the prime minister to show off his fancy costumes and dance moves.”
Trudeau was widely panned for his choice of attire during the trip, with critics in both India and Canada calling it tacky and over-the-top.
But Sahota, one of several Sikh MPs to accompany Trudeau to India, said the criticism was misguided, and took offence at the language used by Lloyd and other MPs.
“This reference continually made by the Opposition to our clothing being referred to as ‘costumes’ is outrageous. Would you call a business suit a costume?” she said in response to Lloyd’s comments.
“Should I ask people from around the world about what they think about me wearing a white man’s costume? Are you offended? Because I’m incredibly offended that, again and again, I hear reference to our clothing as costumes. It is not a costume. It is clothing that we wear every day.”
Sahota recounted being made fun of as a child due to the traditional clothing worn by her parents, and said Trudeau should be lauded for respecting Indian traditions during his trip.
“I am so happy that my child, my son can see a prime minister today that respects his culture, his tradition and where he comes from,” she said.
Global News has reached out to MP Lloyd for comment.
A spokesperson for Sahota told Global News that the word “costume” was used six times by various Tory MPs before Sahota rose to speak.
Her remarks were made a few hours before the Conservatives initiated a continuous vote on some 260 motions in a filibuster that lasted some 21 hours. The filibuster was launched in retaliation to the Liberals voting down a Tory motion to get Trudeau’s national security adviser Daniel Jean to testify about the Jaspal Atwal fiasco.
Jean suggested to reporters covering Trudeau’s trip last month that rogue factions in the Indian government engineered Atwal’s appearance, prompting Opposition MPs to call on the Liberals to let Jean explain his reasoning.