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Man who released Canadian PM's brownface photo says he has no political affiliation

Man who released Canadian PM's brownface photo says he has no political affiliation
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with supporters during an election campaign rally in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier -
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By Moira Warburton

TORONTO (Reuters) – The man who gave Time magazine the photo of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing brownface at a school event said on Friday he had no political affiliation nor did he receive any payment for releasing the image.

Vancouver businessman Michael Adamson said in a statement he was motivated solely by the belief that “Canadian public had a right” to see the photo.

The photo was taken at a gala dinner of British Columbia private school West Point Grey Academy (WPGA) in 2001, when Trudeau was a 29-year-old teacher at the school, showing him in a Middle East-inspired costume, skin darkened by makeup.

Trudeau repeatedly apologised for the embarrassing photo, which came to light less than five weeks before the federal elections, in which he was already facing a tough fight.

Adamson was part of the WPGA community at that time and provided a copy of the photo, which he had in a school yearbook, to Time, the magazine said when it published the story last week.

“I am not and have never been a member of a political party. I received no payment for releasing this photograph,” Adamson said.

Trudeau also explicitly acknowledged his mistakes, going so far as to call Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party and the first person of colour to lead a federal political party, to apologise directly.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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