Posts Tagged ‘Trudeau’

The Actor Within.

Monday, April 19th, 2021

We were puzzling the other day as to what training our current leaders had that prepared them for their political roles. If all you have to base your conclusion on is their set-piece biography, the answers are not all that easy to deduce. It is therefore best to do some deep-dive research and take them one at a time. We started with prime minister Justin Trudeau.

First of all, the assumption that his famous father helped prepare him for the role of prime minister is wrong. Pierre Trudeau made every effort to keep his three sons away from politics. Any communications expert who tried to get him to appear with his sons was usually shot down in flames. We thought appearing with them would help soften his image but he would have none of it. If anything, Justin would have heard his father disparage politics.

And any influence his mother had on him would not help. His mother neither understood nor wanted anything to do with politics.

What the National Post labelled as kitsch in 2019, I had seen when I first met Justin as an adult back in 2010. I saw the actor with the ability to move in and out of character. It was hardly Strasberg’s method acting, where you stay in character. The young Trudeau appeared to have a switch that he can turn on and off. The telltale signs were all there: the family dress-up in India, the black face in Vancouver, the hot reaction of the crowds at the Kielburger’s Me to We shows starring the future prime minister. Justin could sure work a crowd.

Like many Canadians, I watched Justin give the eulogy for his father at Pierre’s funeral. It was poignant. I wish I had seen him also when he played the role of World War One hero Talbot Papineau in the 2007 CBC movie.

I once corrected a fellow blogger who accused Justin of stammering. You often hear it when he is answering a question—off the cuff—in parliament. It is actually thinking noises. It is the noises that people will use while they are thinking about their answer. It is a noise that poor public speakers will use to fill what they consider a void. It is not there when Justin is speaking to a prepared text or a teleprompter. Justin just needs to be scripted.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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A liberal performance.

Monday, April 12th, 2021

According to Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star, Justin Trudeau was invoking the ghosts of liberal past at the weekend policy conference. While I rarely disagree with Ms. Delacourt, those were not spirits to whom Justin was appealing. He needs the living, breathing liberals of past years to come back to the liberal party. Justin’s roughshod treatment of the party has lost it too many experienced and knowledgeable campaigners.

The fact that Justin is attracting a new, younger generation to his liberal lists is one thing. His dumping of the years of experience of the liberals in the senate was not as smart a move. His cancelling membership fees in the party left the party without effective structure or hierarchy. His frequent requests for money are turning off many.

What we have learned about Pierre Trudeau’s son is that he is not his father. Justin is an elitist. He likes to hobnob with the rich and famous. He surrounds himself with like-minded cronies. He is a bit of a control freak. The only reason a few of the resolutions at the convention will be in the coming budget is because these resolutions were included for that reason.

And do not compare the liberal orchestration this past weekend to the problems the opposition conservatives had recently or the NDP had the same weekend. No liberal would dare to challenge the guy with his finger on the switch at Justin Trudeau’s event. And nobody was allowed to ask why Trudeau was continuing to twin the TransMountain pipeline.

It would be like asking when women in the cabinet will be allowed to do their job without running afoul of directions from the prime minister’s office?

The opposition conservatives thought they had contained the problem of social conservatives at their convention but never dreamed that party people would deny that there is a need to protect the environment. The NDP also had their problems this past weekend but that party’s members always like to have something to complain about.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Trudeau building bridges in Quebec.

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

It is rare that prime minister Justin Trudeau would be considered best friends with Quebec premier François Legault. It is just that timing is everything in politics. If Trudeau’s liberals want to take back a majority in an election later this year, they have to maximize their seats in Quebec. And it looks like, the Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec, which is a little bit separatist and a little bit right wing can learn to live with the Trudeau liberals.

According to Radio Canada, out of Quebec, the two BFFs are on a first name basis and enjoying making joint announcements of government largess. The first of these was an announcement of government support for electric vehicle production in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec. The second announcement was made in Trois-Rivières, Quebec and announced providing federal funds for the expansion of high-speed Internet in the province. Both projects are also on the agenda for the Legault government.

The Bloc Québécois leader, Yves-François Blanchet, back in Ottawa, considered both announcements to be of benefit to Quebec. He therefore claimed that both initiatives are because of the pressure brought on in Ottawa by the Bloc MPs. He did not speculate about what the announcements might cost the Bloc in terms of seats in the coming federal election.

The real loss will be felt by the federal conservative party. On top of the recent refusal of members of the party to support leader Erin O’Toole’s policy that climate change is a real problem will help ensure that there are no conservative gains likely in that province. It is also likely to limit the possible gains in neighbouring Ontario.

The only other thing that might help the federal conservatives in Ontario would be the dispatch of premier Doug Ford during the election on a trade mission to some country deep in the Himalayan Mountains.

And as to a date for that federal election, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh made a frustrated comment on the West Block the other day. “He (Trudeau) can call the election any time he wants,” he said ruefully.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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The knocking on Trudeau’s door.

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Like the late-night tapping on his door, as written by Edgar Allan Poe, Justin Trudeau dares not fail to answer this summons. It is at the heart and soul of liberalism in Canada. It must be answered with fairness and justice. It is in the face of the rape and pillage, so long the hallmarks of Canada’s big three telecoms—Bell, Rogers and Telus.

The visitor is not Poe’s raven, but a chance to reform. We were promised the reform during the 2019 election. The Trudeau liberals promised Canadians a 25 per cent reduction in broadband fees. It can be matched with more competition in telephones and fees. They still have time to bring this reform into legislative reality before the coming election.

Fool us once Mr. Trudeau and there will not be a second chance.

We have, for too long, seen the failure of the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The commission is the weak sister—for too long the brunt of the telecoms’ manipulation. It has failed us. It no longer serves the users but is obsequious to its telecom masters.

Let the telecoms set the stage for reducing costs by decimating the lobbyists that work for them. These people work against the needs of Canadians. They are an affront to our members of parliament.

We need commissioners of the CRTC who represent the users, who understand the industry, and who can resist the blandishments of lobbyists.

And we need members of parliament who can truly represent their constituents. Nobody is stopping them from standing up in caucus and asking that the liberal government keep its promises. Nobody denies them the right to report the desires of their constituents. Nobody denies them the right to be liberal—in practice, as well as name.

Those MPs who act as though they are sheep will be shorn of their positions and pay in the coming election. There are worse things than the visit of a raven ‘on a midnight, dark and dreary.’


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Can I change my mind?

Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Recently I have been thinking October for the election that Trudeau wants. That could be wrong. The problem is that I was basing my thinking on the end of the pandemic. I realize that there will be a time when people want to go out and make love in the sun and then there will also be a theoretical end to the pandemic. I am beginning to realize that both can happen in June.

I am not totally in sync with this but Justin needs to pull the plug in May for a late June election. I am not saying that the pandemic will not carry on for a while but Canadians will try to forget it. We have places to go, parties to attend, people to hug. An election can also be something of a celebration.

If we leave the election for October, it could be risky. And it’s not just the risk of getting your ass sunburnt. There are going to be other regrets. The realization of the deaths will have set in. We should also worry about the small businesses Canada has lost to the lock-downs of the pandemic. These businesses are often critical to support tourism. We hardly want to spend the summer regretting actions taken during the pandemic.

And we hardly want those cheap conservatives to have time to hammer home the real costs of the pandemic. In a long summer, people could become more aware of the collapse of the new democrats—which is bad for Justin’s liberals.

It’s the reverse for the Bloc Québécois. They have to be seen as losers. A strong Bloc is bad for liberals in Quebec. Elections can be complicated.

Trudeau might not be much of a leader but he brought us through the pandemic. He got us the vaccines. He made a strong case for himself as a leader popping in and out the front door of Rideau Cottage. He might have overdone it but he is still getting credit for it.

I think he also needs to be the leader who will welcome back the full parliament in the temporary house on the hill in Ottawa. Those Zoom parliaments were confusing and unimpressive. He also needs the time on the hustings to get Canadians to looking forward again. He will fail if he gives them time to reflect on the past.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Biden is ahead of Trudeau on climate.

Friday, February 26th, 2021

Hey Joe, what did you think of the hypocrisy you got from Trudeau during your virtual summit on Tuesday? One of the first items of business when you became U.S. president was ending that Keystone XL pipeline that was designed to take Canadian bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to the Texas gulf coast tanker ports. Did the Canadian prime minister mention to you he is still twinning the TransMountain pipeline to take bitumen to the tanker access in the Burrard Inlet at Vancouver?

If you were really congratulating each other on your being environmentalists, Trudeau is letting the side down. Many of us in Canada are annoyed with him about that. He not only spent C$4 billion buying the 67-year-old pipeline that runs from Edmonton to Vancouver but cost estimates for the twinning of the line are now running at an additional C$12.6 billion. The government is hoping that they can get 20 years at least out of the dual pipeline with revenues of C$1.5 billion per year. (The company has signed contracts for this much.)

While everyone involved is proud of the performance of this old pipeline for so long, they are really stretching the envelope. The difference when you are pushing diluted bitumen through the pipes is that you are heating the bitumen and pushing it at considerably higher pressure.

But Canadians are not just concerned about the possibility of a pipeline leak and fouling of the fresh waters for the people of British Columbia and northern Washington State. The heavy traffic of ocean tankers through the Georgia Straits is an extreme concern for the orcas and other whales that summer in the area.

All we know is that the supreme court in Ottawa does not want any more appeals to stop the twinning of the pipeline. The appeals have failed us. The construction is in process. Short of laying our bodies in front of the construction equipment, there is little we can do.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Damaged Democracy.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

It is catching on. This writer is delighted that more and more Canadians are starting to question our commitment to democracy. Many point to the United States and say, ‘Boy, isn’t that democracy a mess. The bad news is that our mess is no better than theirs. It is just not as divisive.

What Donald Trump did to democracy in the United States over the past four years was in plain sight. It was because he had little understanding of political processes and the use of the levers of politics or where they are located. That weakness was key to the Biden-Harris victory last November.

The difference in Canada is that people who do understand the levers of politics are undermining the political parties themselves and destroying them from within. Who are these malefactors? You know them. Their names are Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair.

Stephen Harper never seemed to like the political party that Peter Mackay brought to him when they combined it with alliance-reform to create their new conservative party of Canada. Even without a majority at first, Harper created a fortress prime minister’s office (PMO) that treated the party membership with a fair amount of scorn.

When Justin Trudeau ended the Harper era, he did Harper one better. He abolished the senate liberals and the membership structure of the liberal party. He did not like either. There are those who refer to the current enrolment of what is left of the party as Trudeau’s ATM. They are just a source of funds. He fails to understand that these people are the core of party workers, listening posts in the electoral districts, sources of ideas and future MPs.

And then there was Tom Mulcair of the NDP who might have done better as a liberal. He left a hollowed-out and dispirited party for Jagmeet Singh to swamp with Sikh memberships and walk away with the leadership. He leads a party that time and Canadians have forgotten.

Susan Delacourt wrote a book recently about Shopping for Votes that tries to explain the new consumer approach and treatment of voters. I think it is more complex than that, but that would make another book on it a tough sell.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Our fearless leaders fix the gun problem.

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

Did you not see the sign as you drove into town that handguns are forbidden? That is part of the announcement that the government is banning assault rifles and municipalities are at liberty to ban hand guns. And does that make sense to you?

Frankly, it is stupid.

Yes, assault rifles should be banned. Automatic weapons do not belong in homes and assault rifles do not belong on hunting trips. No ifs or buts about it. No serious hunter wants their venison salted with high velocity bullets from an AR-15 assault rifle. It is also dangerous for other hunters. A bullet from an AR-15 can be deadly a kilometre from where it was fired.

But any cop, on any street, anywhere in Canada, will tell you that the biggest problem is hand guns. Hand guns are used to commit murder. And, according to the prime minister and his expert on kettling Canadians, hand guns are being left to the by-laws of municipalities—if their province allows it.

This is the most asinine bill that the mixed minds of Justin Trudeau and Bill Blair can come up with! This is not a liberal solution. This is a coward’s way of failing to solve the problem.

The person who smuggles a hand gun across the border from Murder Inc., U.S.A. is as guilty as the fool who pulls the trigger.

When what we need are serious fines for careless collectors, Blair /Trudeau are willing to spend millions of our money to buy their banned weapons from them. Those weapons should be confiscated. The only purpose of assault weapons is to kill as many people as fast as possible.

And leaving municipalities across Canada to ban hand guns is a pitiful joke.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Going where no politico dares to go.

Monday, February 8th, 2021

It always amazes me when some politicians will wade into subjects about which, they know nothing at all. It is what can get them in trouble, most of the time. Take Justin Trudeau’s supposed expertise in vaccines. It is like the other day when he was assuring parliamentarians that he talks regularly to the CEOs of the vaccine producing laboratories.

What does he talk to them about: their golf scores? You need more than a few lessons in pharmaceuticals to try to understand the complexities of developing vaccines for a coronavirus that attacks the respiratory system, and can kill.

And for the laboratories to be as far ahead of the expected curve in developing more than one vaccine is amazing in itself.

The bad news is that no firm has ever developed a new product that did not have any production problems, shipping delays, storage problems or arguments about priorities. Add another month.

But people have now heard about it and they want it. Too bad instant gratification is not available in this case. Best you listen to the promises of when you get your shot(s) and add two months.

And you can be sure there will be as many queue jumpers as there will be anti-vaxxers who would rather die than get a needle in the arm. Add another month.

What causes the most hilarity is the idea of getting senior military people to organize the injections for us. The first move is to get us all to march in columns and in-step. Add another month to teach generals that civilians are neither obedient, in-step, easily sorted, organized or that any new product arrives on its promised schedule.

If you have ever wondered why all political people sound alike is that their party leaders’ offices spend a lot of time writing answers to questions that might embarrass the party leader. The leader and all his party sing from the same songbook. They might sound stupid but it seems to work.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Did you know the campaign was on?

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

Jagmeet Singh has been heard from. He did not exactly come down from the mountain with tablets of stone. The new democratic party leader has decided that the low-hanging fruit of for-profit, long-term care homes was as good an issue as his party needs in the looming federal election.

It is likely that he figured that is all he needs if Canadians are to be presented with a campaign fought over the handling of the pandemic. The NDP might not be aware that there are no heroes while the battle still rages. Our prime minister, Justin Trudeau is hardly looking like a leader popping in and out the front door of Rideau Cottage like a cuckoo to repeat the advice of medical personnel. And conservative leader Erin O’Toole has hardly won kudos from the voters complaining about how Trudeau does, or does not, do the job.

O’Toole might not remember that it was conservative Brian Mulroney who sold off the Connaught Laboratories that might have helped Canadians get vaccinated as fast as citizens in other countries. Nor does it help Justin Trudeau if the liberals did give out more money per capita than any other advanced country during the pandemic.

It might come as a surprise for those who pay attention to politics that Justin Trudeau is doing as well in the polls as he is. You would think that some of his record as prime minister would work against him.

But his real secret weapon is the opposition. The reason Justin Trudeau and the liberals are likely to win any election called this year is the sad condition of his party’s opposition. There really is none. Erin O’Toole is a mistake. He is a conservative who thought the military taught him leadership. He is no leader. Jagmeet Singh has already proved that he is incapable of leading the new democrats anywhere. His leadership of that party is being endured.

There are only a few Canadians who would bet on the new leader of the Green Party. Annamie Paul, leader of the Greens, is an unknown to the majority of Canadians.

That leaves us with Yves-François Blanchet of the Bloc Québécois. That is hardly an alternative for anyone who cares about our country.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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