By Danielle Rochette
APTN National News
MONTREAL-Montreal Liberal candidate Justin Trudeau says Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau’s use of “TheBrazman” as a Twitter handle doesn’t reflect well on the often maligned institution that is suppose to act as Parliament’s body of “sober second thought.”
Trudeau, the incumbent candidate for the riding of Papineau, and Brazeau engaged in a Twitter battle over each party’s respective platforms on Aboriginal issues. The exchange took on a personal tone when Trudeau questioned Brazeau’s Twitter handle and the accompanying photograph.
Trudeau said in an interview with APTN National News Tuesday that Brazeau’s choice of handle was not becoming of a Senator.
“How any Senator who chooses to, you known, an honourable Senator in a Canadian Parliament chose to further himself as TheBrazman perhaps lacks a little bit of gravitas one would expect from the house of sober second thought,” said Trudeau.
During the Twitter exchange, APTN asked both politicians to debate their party’s platform on Aboriginal issues. Brazeau accepted, but Trudeau declined.
“I have a little over 60,000 followers and I try to interact with everyone who send me twitter notes but if every time I got to an argument with someone on Twitter I ended up debating I will spend all my time debating and not any time working her in the riding where I need to,” said Trudeau.
Brazeau, however, refused to come on camera to comment. Instead, his office issued a statement.
“(Senator Brazeau) is interested in debating Aboriginal affairs anytime and with any parliamentarian anywhere,” said the statement. “He’s disappointed the opportunity to debate has been turned down.”
The Twitter battle lasted for about an hour Friday and was triggered by a shot from Brazeau criticizing the Liberal’s platform on Aboriginal issues in a message to Trudeau.
“LPC platform on Aboriginal issues?” Tweeted Brazeau. “Ah yes, you have none. Pathetic and weak. So much for multi-culturalism “eh” Mr. Trudeau.”
Trudeau responded Tweeting, “Just looked at your Tweets (nice photo, by the way…).”
Trudeau later Tweeted, “Wait Senator Brazeau goes by the handle TheBrazman. Does that help you pick up Pat? You are a senator for crying out loud!”
Brazeau then challenged Trudeau.
“C’mon Justin answer the question. I still remain yours truly TheBrazman.”
Trudeau Tweeted back listing his party’s pledge to lift the two per cent funding cap on education, a $300 million investment on K to 12 Aboriginal education, a $5 million Metis scholarship fund and a promise to create a task force on the still ongoing of the disproportionate number of murdered and missing Aboriginal women.
“140 chars not enuff: lift the 2% cap on Ab. Ed., 300M$ on K-12 ed, 5M$ Metis schlshp, task force on the missing & murdered women,” wrote Trudeau.
Brazeau responded saying the Conservatives were dealing with the issues.
“Changes, already in the works. Missing/Murdered already dealt with. 2% cap, LOC imposed it. Next??”
Trudeau jumped on Brazeau’s claim that the murdered and missing file had been dealt with.
“Wow! hear that everyone? Missing and murdered already dealt with. Is that the official Conservative position?”
Many families of woman who have been missing or murdered were disappointed with the Conservative’s $10 million announcement last year on the issue.
About $4 million of the money was earmarked to go to the RCMP for the creation of a missing persons branch and the creation of a missing persons website. Some of the money was also set aside for communities and groups to deal with violence and for victim’s services.