Trudeau couldn’t resist smearing Canadians

by Chris Nelson, For The Calgary Herald

He couldn’t stop himself. No, for Justin Trudeau it was too tempting. The world was watching, after all.

So after avoiding the question for 24 hours, he did what, in our bones, we knew he’d do. He agreed Canada was guilty of genocide in its dealings with Aboriginal peoples, following the same explosive wording in the report into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.

Now Trudeau likes messing with words — “peoplekind” springs to mind — but you’d hope a prime minister would look up the definition of such an immensely loaded word as genocide before accusing his own nation of a crime against humanity.

Oh, he didn’t say it was his fault. But isn’t the serving leader of a country responsible for the state-sanctioned, deliberate slaughter of an entire ethnic group?

So if not him, then who’s to blame? The nice old lady who does my dry cleaning?

Or maybe Trudeau is implying his predecessors in Canada’s top job should carry the can. Well, those folk must be overjoyed to know they might be dragged into the same dreadful category as Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao and Idi Amin.

There are seven former PMs still with us: Joe Clark, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper. I’ve met all but Turner and they didn’t seem in the least genocidal. They all appeared to be decent enough people, who cared deeply about Canada regardless of whether everyone agreed with their politics.

And surely Trudeau can’t mean his own father? Come on, Pierre might have had it in for Alberta, but he wasn’t into promoting Indigenous pogroms.

Of course, his wet-behind-the-ears son isn’t going to name anyone responsible for this so-called genocide. Instead millions of regular Canadians will face the stigma.

To our prime minister, it’s just mere words: a chance to show his overwhelming compassion — just like he showed that Indigenous woman who dared protest about mercury poisoning on her reserve while Trudeau was giving a fund-raising speech at a swanky hotel in Toronto a while back.

There were no false tears shed for her, just a bully boy shout-out about how glad he was she’d paid the entrance fee and subsidized his Liberal party.

He later apologized, but that’s the real Justin Trudeau, a man who waxes lyrical about being the first feminist prime minister but happily boots a couple of uppity females from caucus when they whine about something as seemingly inconsequential as the rule of law.

So how could he let a chance like this go by? A few crocodile tears, some breathless commentary, then a designation condemning his own country to now stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Rwanda.

He probably doesn’t think it matters much. Certainly, there’ll be little real change in the broken system that Indigenous people have to wade through in this country — one in which huge numbers are managing to do with remarkable aplomb, though we rarely hear about those success stories.

But his words do matter. They aren’t just a literary equivalent of Christmas tree ornaments you pick because they happen to catch the light. That’s why Trudeau’s designation of genocide has spurred the Organisation of American States to consider an investigation to see if our country is guilty. Yes, step right up and give us your verdict Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and all you other heroic defenders of human rights.

Isn’t that just swell. Better rip those Canadian flags off the back of your luggage when travelling abroad because, thanks to Trudeau, we’re on our way to becoming an international pariah.

Chris Nelson is a regular columnist for the Calgary Herald.

Nelson: Trudeau couldn't resist smearing Canadians

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