Montreal Liberal MP Justin Trudeau apologized on Tuesday for criticizing Conservatives’ use of the word “barbaric” to describe honour killings. Trudeau’s misgivings about the word rose to the forefront of the debate over changes to the federal government Discover Canada guide aimed at immigrants seeking citizenship. Ottawa added a passage to the guide to inform readers “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, ‘honour killings,’ female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence.” In an interview with a local radio station, Trudeau said he was “uncomfortable” with the description. Conservatives were quick to pounce on the remark, leading Trudeau to backtrack on his criticism. “Perhaps I got tangled in semantic weeds in my comments, particularly in view of the Conservatives’ cynicism on these issues,” he wrote in an email to Postmedia News. “I want to make clear that I think the acts described are heinous, barbaric acts that are totally unacceptable in our society.”
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