Video: Justin Trudeau's decent attempt at a Scottish accent

Justin Trudeau was in Edinburgh today en route to the G20 summit in Germany, and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Edinburgh.

Wednesday, 5th July 2017, 5:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:54 am
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his honorary degree. Picture: PA/Neil Hanna

Mr Trudeau gave part of his acceptance speech in French, and spoke of the links between Scotland and Canada.

He said: “Fifteen per cent of Canadians have Scottish roots, so Canadians, including me, have a strong link and affinity with Scots.”

He described the relationship between the two countries as “a relationship based on a shared past and culture, all the more so as we share a certain number of priorities and values”.

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But it was the Canadian prime minister’s actually-not-that-bad attempt at a Scottish accent that had tongues wagging.

Telling an anecdote about his great-grandfather - born in Wick in 1879 - Mr Trudeau said: “Another great Scot - my grandfather, Jimmy Sinclair.

“He was born in Banffshire and as family lore had it, his father - my great-grandfather - James George Sinclair, who was a local schoolteacher was also a passionate fisherman.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his honorary degree. Picture: PA/Neil Hanna

“And, unfortunately, back then there were rules around who can fish in which streams.

“And about the fourth or fifth time the local constable caught him, and threatened to throw him in jail if he caught him again fishing in the laird’s stream, as family lore has it, my great grandfather says ‘But if I canna’ fish I canna’ live!’

“So he went home, unrolled his schoolhouse maps, looks at a big map of Canada, pointed to a spot on the west coast of the country, and says ‘There! British Columbia, where we can be free and no man owns the fish.’

What do you think of Justin Trudeau’s Scottish accent?

Justin Trudeau takes part in the convocation ceremony at McEwan Hall. Picture: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press/AP
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his honorary degree. Picture: PA/Neil Hanna
Justin Trudeau takes part in the convocation ceremony at McEwan Hall. Picture: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press/AP