It is now common knowledge that Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau, a former part-time high school teacher, snowboard instructor, and two-time university dropout—Trudeau studied environmental geography at McGill University and engineering at the Université de Montréal, failing to complete degrees in either faculty—is not and never was leadership material.
If one studies the checkered history of Canada’s prime ministers from Sir John A. Macdonald to the present moment, one finds the inevitable gallery of eccentrics, short-lived tenants and corrupt operators among them, but none so feckless and inept, so morally impaired and puerile, in short, so unfit for office as the current occupant of 24 Sussex—that is, when he is not sojourning in his Harrington Lake country residence or governing from the Rideau Cottage steps.
He has had, of course, his supporters and fawning acolytes charmed by comparative youth and apparent insouciance, at least during the early days of his candidacy. Jonathan Kay’s hagiographic extravagance in an article for The Walrus titled “The Justin Trudeau I Can’t Forget,” and Conrad Black’s praise of Trudeau in the National Post as “flexible in public finance… a very alluring personality, a quick intelligence and an apparently reasonable combination of principle and openness” are cases in point. Perhaps these magisters are now experiencing buyer’s remorse.
Justin Trudeau’s track record as prime minister of Canada is, to put it mildly, far from stellar.
- He has been implicated in multiple scandals and cited on several ethics violations.
- He has imposed a needless and prohibitive carbon tax upon a struggling nation and raised the national debt into the economic stratosphere.
- He is soft on terrorism, having awarded a $10.5 million reparation payment to al-Qaeda terrorist Omar Khadr, a Canadian who had been imprisoned in Guantanamo for killing an American medic in Afghanistan.
- He sympathized with Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tzarnaev, who killed three people and injured another 170, saying “there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded.” We need, rather, “to look at the root causes” of terrorism.
- He is on record admiring the “basic dictatorship” of Communist China and made no secret of his fondness for Castro, waxing eloquent in his eulogy for the dead dictator and extolling “his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people.” Trudeau concluded his oration by “join[ing] the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”
Moreover, Trudeau’s clownish antics in blackface, his Peter Sellers imitation on a diplomatic visit to India, even his virtue-signaling rainbow socks at a Gay Pride parade are nothing if not national embarrassments. But all of his policy aberrations and cringeworthy absurdities count for little in the light of his latest adventure in political grotesquery.
His seizure of dictatorial powers via the Emergencies Act to disable a peaceful, legitimate and justifiable protest against the vaccine mandates and cross-border quarantine measures by a contingent of the country’s truckers is only the latest manifestation of this failed and oppressive Trudeau-led government.
As National Post columnist Rex Murphy writes, it is “something very close to lunatic.” The Act is by no means unexpected and was bound at some point to happen, a reprise of the elder Trudeau’s invoking of the War Measures Act against a small cadre of Quebec separatists. Like father, like son. It is an expression of a demagogic temperament that cannot tolerate opposition and that has no talent for compromise or dialogue, a sine qua non for prudent and respectable leadership, now conspicuous by its absence.
Indeed, his outrageous slandering of the truckers as racists and haters, his refusal to meet with them, his craven flight from office as the convoy assembled in Ottawa, and his invoking of legislation to seize the financial instruments and assets of both the protesters and of ordinary citizens who contributed to the trucker fund is unprecedented in Canadian history. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has brazenly authorized the RCMP to share with banks “the names of individuals, businesses and crypto wallets associated with the protest convoy.”
As of this writing, the banks now have the power to freeze protesters’ accounts, including, it appears, the accounts of people who over the last two weeks donated in good faith. The retroactive application of fiscal reprisals is an egregious violation of legal norms, as is the sequestration order itself. It is a sign of unmitigated tyranny that compares with the typical excesses of the totalitarian despots Trudeau reveres. It seems to be a truism that small men with power are the scourge of their nations.
This is the man whom Canadians have thrice elected, which speaks for a country that—with the exception of a courageous and steadfast minority—no longer values its freedoms and traditions. Fear and ignorance triumph over patriotism and reason. Some might be inclined to argue that Canadians had little choice given there was no credible opposition and that vote-heavy Toronto, Montreal and Halifax effectively determine the outcomes of elections in this country. Nonetheless, Trudeau was always a popular favorite despite his autocratic nature and a clear tendency to abuse his office. Trudeau is working to remake Canada in his own tarnished image. He can do no other. That is who he is.