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Bill Kelly: Sometimes, silence is golden

George Floyd protests: Trudeau says Canadians watching U.S. with ‘horror and consternation’
WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a long pause Tuesday before he answered a question about the racial violence going on in the U.S. Speaking outside his Rideau cottage home, Trudeau stood silently for a time before answering that Canadians are looking at the violence in the U.S. with "horror and consternation."

As we’ve stated previously, the daily briefings from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, once needed and relevant, have become rather mundane and unnecessary of late.

But Tuesday’s session provided Canadians with a crystal-clear example of Canada’s guarded and righteous approach to Canada-U.S. relations.

READ MORE: Trudeau stays silent on Trump’s behaviour as George Floyd protests spread

The prime minister was asked to comment on Donald Trump’s recent outlandish behaviour, including the now-famous Bible photo op the other night.

It’s not the first time that the PM has been asked to opine about Trump’s eccentric behaviour, but this time, the prime minister didn’t take the bait.

He didn’t launch into a verbal condemnation of the acts of lunacy by the eccentric occupant of the White House, a condemnation which history shows would certainly have resulted in some kind of backlash from Trump.

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Black Canadians react to unrest in the U.S.
Black Canadians react to unrest in the U.S.

Instead, the prime minister said nothing for 21 seconds before crafting his thoughtful response.

He wasn’t lost for words or surprised by the question. He knew what he had seen, and he knew what we, as a nation, witnessed over the last few days, and in that silence, he let the horror of those images, the unnecessary death of a Black man and the antagonistic actions by Trump, once again, flash before our eyes.

His critics, many of whom just don’t like Trudeau, were quick to vilify the PM for that 21-second silence.

READ MORE: Religious leaders ‘outraged’ over Trump photo op at D.C. church amid George Floyd protests

But they’re missing the message.

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As CTV columnist Don Martin wrote, Trudeau “managed to condemn without commentary, to convey disgust without decibels and to muffle any Trump backlash without saying a word.”

And that is the kind of mature leadership that makes us proud to be Canadian.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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