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Posted: June 7, 2020

Trudeau’s shameful silence hides another agenda

“Perceptions,” by Gerry Warner

Op-Ed Commentary

So, what was he thinking? When it comes to Justin Trudeau we’ll probably never know, which is unfortunate – tragic even – because he’s our prime minister and our peerless leader and we deserve to know what he thinks.

That’s why we elected him.

But when it comes to one of the most important questions of the day, he stares blankly at the cameras for 21 seconds and says nothing during a nationally televised news conference to millions of Canadians. And then he utters platitudes.

That’s not good enough, Justin.

You were elected to lead. You’re the face of Canada to the world. Using that grey matter under your hair, you’re expected to enunciate views that most Canadians would feel comfortable with and convey our thoughts to the world, a world currently engulfed in a deadly pandemic that’s killed more than 390,000 – 7,600 in your own country – and you stand there mute leaving us and the rest of the world to guess at your thoughts.

That’s not just a dereliction of duty Justin. That’s abject failure. And failure at an ominous time when millions are looking for leadership in the face of a now-incurable disease and riots in the streets of the world’s former leading country now sliding into chaos with a demented demagogue at the helm, fanning the flames of racism and fear and pedalling bogus cures for COVID-19.

It’s not “sunny ways” anymore Justin. It’s geo-political disintegration. Old empires are falling and new ones rising and a new world order is emerging. Where will Canada stand in all this?

You’ve already got us into a lot of trouble with China and you’re not exactly gaining any plaudits from our formerly great ally in the south. In fact, the loathsome bully in charge of that failing country seems to have nothing but contempt for you and the Canadians you’re supposed to be leading. He kicked you around during the NAFTA trade negotiations and when he demanded the extradition of a powerful Chinese businesswoman in Canada you couldn’t arrest her fast enough. In doing so, you consigned two innocent Canadians to the gulag of a Chinese prison for longer than anyone knows. Perhaps even death.

So why did you do it, Justin? You’re usually one of the most loquacious politicians around. Was there a hidden agenda when you stood there so mute? I happen to think there was, namely your obsession with Canada regaining a seat on the UN Security Council and the vote on it later this month.

The US is a permanent member of the Security Council and the UN’s biggest funder which gives it enormous influence. Clearly, you would do anything to get the US to back Canada’s bid, and if that includes sucking up to the “land of the free and home of the brave” and its autocratic president then so be it.

It’s always politics with you Justin just like it was with the SNC-Lavalin scandal when you went behind the back of your own justice minister to help SNC avoid trial on bribery charges. This time it’s trying to curry favor with the most mendacious president in US history to get a UN seat. As for the two Canadians busting boulders in the Chinese gulag, well they can wait until you accomplish your political objectives. And the real sleazy aspect of this whole damn affair is you knew many Canadians would see your tongue-tied act as disagreeing with Trump’s threat to put military jackboots on the street to quell protest against police brutality and systemic racism towards black people.

And you know Justin I think for the most part your deceitful strategy worked. Canadians aren’t as suspicious of state power as our American friends south of the border. Hell, most Canadians seem to have forgiven your youthful, dalliance with performing in black face and brown face earlier in your career.

Lucky for you, Justin, Canadians are a forgiving people but don’t press your luck. I think many of us would like to see you stand up to Donald Trump one of these days. The sooner the better!

– Gerry Warner is a retired journalist, who likes to seek out politicians’ real motives.


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