There is an interesting article by Rachel Browne in Global News‘ ‘Decision Canada 2019‘ section headlined: “In 2015, Justin Trudeau declared ‘Canada is back’— so where are we now?” It begins by remembering that “Right after Justin Trudeau led the Liberals to a strong victory in the 2015 federal election, he declared that he would also guide Canada back to its rightful place on the global stage in the aftermath of a decade under the Conservatives … [saying that] … “To this country’s friends all around the world, many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world … [and] … Well, I have a simple message for you. On behalf of 35 million Canadians: We’re back.”” Ms Browne also reminds us that Prime Minister Trudeau’s very personal (photo-ops über alles) handling of the Syrian refugee arrivals which led, directly to the Rolling Stone cover (which, later, annoyed US President Trump) made him a global celebrity.
The rest of the article, however, lists a litany of failures, many brought on by Prime Minister Trudeau’s and Foreign Minister Freeland’s personal penchants for
allowing forcing virtue signall, flair and style and photo-os, again, to trump substance, including:
- Annoying Australia and Japan during the final round of the TPP negotiations;
- Just barely (maybe) managing to avoid a disastrous NAFTA renegotiation;
- Sour relations, at best, with the USA ~ although how anyone, other than Kim and Putin, can have good relations with Trump is beyond me;
- The Saudi fiasco wherein an ill-conceived social media post led to a break in relations;
- The Philippines helicopter deal failure and garbage incident;
- The mishandling of relations with China; and
- The India fiasco.
These weren’t just rookie mistakes. They were a pattern of ineptitude based upon poor judgement and a serious lack of strategic depth. Prime Minister Trudeau and Global Affairs Minister Freeland are celebrities (sometimes for all the wrong reasons) but, like so many celebrities they are, also, air-heads.
I am over 75 years old. There has not been a single day in all of my lifetime when Canada’s foreign relations have been in worse shape. It is not because the world is worse or more dangerous … it is not. It is, totally, because Justin Trudeau is a weak, inept, dishonest leader and because Chrystia Freeland is out of her depth. Please think about that when you vote, tomorrow.