Conservatives accuse Trudeau of using “racist” term to describe candidate Jamil Jivani
Conservatives accuse Trudeau of using “racist” term to describe candidate Jamil Jivani

A Conservative candidate is hitting back at Justin Trudeau for calling him a “twofer,” a term Pierre Poilievre says is racist.

Trudeau called out Jamil Jivani, who’s running to replace former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, in remarks to his caucus this week.

“Pierre Poilievre’s new candidate in Durham is a twofer. He’s both an ideologue and an insider,” Trudeau said.

Jivani, a former radio host and president of the Canada Strong and Free Network, played a snippet of the comment in a video in which he expressed confusion about the term.

“I’m not exactly sure what that means in reference to a human being. I’m also not sure how the Prime Minister has time to be name-calling when he should be trying to save his failed administration, but I thought I would take this as an opportunity to introduce myself since you certainly can’t take Justin Trudeau’s word for it,” Jivani said in a four-and-a-half-minute video posted to X.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre shared Jivani’s response on X, referencing Trudeau’s comments.

“Justin Trudeau called Conservative candidate, Jamil Jivani, a ‘two-fer’—another racist comment from a leader who has an ugly racist past,” said Poilievre. 

Poilievre’s top adviser, Jenni Byrne, echoed the point by sharing a clip from the former NBC show 30 Rock. 

“We call him twofer cause with him you get a two for one, he’s a black guy and a Harvard guy,” said Alec Baldwin in the clip shared by Byrne. 

“Liberals pushed their racist dog whistles in the Oxford by-election last year, and now they’re doing the same in Durham against our Conservative candidate Jamil Jivani with Justin Trudeau calling him a ‘twofer,’” wrote Byrne in the caption of the shared clip. 

The portion of Trudeau’s speech shared by the Conservatives does not show the entirety of the speech, however.

“Pierre Poilievre’s new candidate in Durham is a twofer. He’s both an ideologue and an insider,” said Trudeau. 

Prime Minister’s Office aide Supriya Dwivedi called out Jivani for cutting out what Trudeau said following the twofer remark.

Byrne responded, saying, “I guess we now know who wrote the PM’s caucus remarks…”

Jivani used the video as an opportunity to introduce himself to voters and respond to other criticisms Trudeau levelled at him.

During his speech, Trudeau said that Jivani is not someone who has lived and served in the community for years. 

“This is a candidate who Poilievre expects will do his bidding in the riding, will be Ottawa’s voice, Pierre Poilievre’s voice in Durham, instead of being Durham’s voice in Ottawa.”

Drawing comparisons to the Liberal candidate, Trudeau described Robert Rock as the opposite.

“That’s especially clear when you compare their candidate to our guy, Robert Rock, who has grown up, lived, and served in Durham for years as an engaged community leader. As someone who is excited to bring the voices, the concerns, the ambitions of Durham to right here in Ottawa, to right here in this Caucus,” said Trudeau.

Jivani described his Durham region roots and said  he was recording the video from where he lives, a place he rents in Oshawa. 

“I wish I could tell you I own a home here, but I don’t. I’m a renter because, like many Canadians my age, I can’t afford a home,” he said. 

Jivani added that he had lived in the Durham region for years and previously recorded a national talk show for Newstalk 1010 at his home studio in an Oshawa apartment.

The 36-year-old has been a writer for the National Post, the Toronto Sun, and wrote a book called Why Young Men about the challenges faced by young men in modern society. 

Jivani also emphasized being a fighter. He beat stage four non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma just two weeks ago after being in remission for five years.

Despite being considered illiterate in grade ten, Jivani received a scholarship to study law at Yale University by age 22. 

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