Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sparked a roar of applause during a town hall meeting Friday after he interrupted a woman to correct her use of the word “mankind.”
Mr. Trudeau was fielding questions at MacEwan University in Edmonton when a woman reportedly from the World Mission Society Church of God asked a question about policies regarding volunteering with religious organizations.
“We have received the Queen’s Award in the UK, we have received many awards throughout the whole world,” the woman said. “However, unfortunately in Canada, our volunteering as a religious charitable organization is extremely difficult, extremely. That’s why, in actuality, we cannot do free volunteering to help our neighbors in need as we truly desire.
“So that’s why we came here today to ask you to also look into the policies that religious charitable organizations have in our legislations so that it can also be changed, because maternal love is the love that’s going to change the future of mankind,” she continued. “So we’d like you to—
Mr. Trudeau interjected at that point, saying, “We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind ’cause it’s more inclusive.”
“There you go,” the woman responded approvingly. “Yes, thank you.”
“We can all learn from each other,” Mr. Trudeau added as the audience cheered.
While Mr. Trudeau’s comment was well-received at the town hall, it was criticized elsewhere. The Toronto Sun’s editorial page and many social media called the prime minister’s behavior “mansplaining” and political correctness run amok.
It comes after the Canadian national Senate last week gave its final approval to a bill that would remove the word “sons” from the “O Canada” national anthem in order to make it gender-neutral.
Mr. Trudeau has called the measure “another positive step towards gender equality.”
The change must be approved by Canada’s governor general to become law.
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