Forms of appeal

Justin Trudeau's apology speech is dominated by ethos and pathos. There are few clear examples of logos, though Trudeau does make some reference to historical facts in the first half of the speech.


Trudeau appeals to his authority as Prime Minister and to common values as he attempts to bring his audience together for a better future for Canada.

Trudeau creates ethos around his apology speech by making it formal and connecting it to the authority of the Parliament. He achieves this by using the phrase “Mr Speaker” (l.1), a parliamentary formality which adds legitimacy to Trudeau’s words. In a similar manner, Trudeau creates ethos by referencing the authority of the Canadian Government and Parliament: “On behalf of the government, Parliament, and the people of Canada: We were wrong. We are sorry” (ll. 140-141). Here, Trudeau’s authority as Prime Minister is also implied.

Trudeau speaks at length about the injustices committed against the LGBTQ2 communities at the hands of successive past governments and parliaments, contrasting this with the current government’s position on LGBTQ2 issues  (ll. 117-119). Through this contrast, Trudeau distances the present government from the views and policies of previous governments, crea...

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