(CNN) The pause said a lot.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fell silent for more than 20 seconds during a press conference Tuesday, after he was asked what he thought of US President Donald Trump forcefully dispersing protestors and calling for military intervention Monday night.
During the lengthy pause, Trudeau appeared uncomfortable. Expressions shifted across his face as he seemed to consider his response, before ultimately side-stepping the question.
"We all watch in horror and consternation what's going on in the United States. It is a time to pull people together, but it is a time to listen. It is time to learn what injustice is, and it continues despite progress over years and decades," he responded during his daily press conference Tuesday from Ottawa.
He continued: "But it is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we, too, have our challenges that Black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day. There is systemic discrimination in Canada, which means our systems treat Canadians of color, Canadians who are racialized differently than they do others."
On Monday evening, peaceful protesters in Washington, DC, were dispersed with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets, clearing the way for Trump to stage a photo op at the nearby St. John's Episcopal Church. The move did little to calm the mass protests that have spread across the United States since the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Several Canadian cities including Montreal and Toronto have also staged sizeable demonstrations over the last several days. With chants of 'black lives matter', protestors showed solidarity with the family of George Floyd but also called on Canadian leaders to acknowledge that racism is a still a problem in Canada.
While most protests are continuing peacefully, Montreal Police reported on its Twitter account that Sunday at least 11 people were arrested and investigations continue after looting and acts of mischief in the downtown core.