Let’s just come out and say it: Justin Trudeau is a great ambassador for Canada. He’s famous, handsome, well-spoken, progressive in his ideals and has a beautiful family. He has done a good job raising Canada’s profile around the world in his first year in office. That’s all very nice, but, (bet you could sense that “but” coming), he has failed to deliver even one actual benefit to everyday Canadians using this star status.
Sure Trudeau wines and dines well, is the toast of cocktail parties, says all the right things about inclusive values, makes elaborate statements about Canada’s rightful place in the world, and spends Canadian money overseas to buy even greater good will. But, (there it is again), Canada remains mired in its economic slump, the Canadian market continues to bleed jobs and there is not even a glimmer as to when all this doom and gloom will end.
Trudeau has cast himself as the defender of diversity, gender rights, peaceful solutions to global problems and environmental stewardship. But, the reality is those values tend to be quite malleable in the face of ongoing economic strife. This is easily evidenced by the Trudeau government’s decision to approve the $27 billion Pacific Northwest LNG gas project last week, (despite several reports raising major environmental concerns), and his government’s decision to sell $15 billion in military hardware to Saudi Arabia last year, (despite the fact it could likely be used for the government’s crackdown on domestic strife in that country). Ideals are easy to speak about, but it’s hard to be absolutist, as Trudeau has claimed to be, when money and power are on the line.
So bully for Mr. Trudeau for being handsome, well-liked and famous. The question remains as to when Canada is going to see the benefit of any of it. Canadian taxpayers cannot continue to be Trudeau’s private piggy bank to fund his passion projects. We need to see job creation, economic growth and some of that well-timed stimulus he was elected on the promise of, but has, so far, failed to deliver to struggling industries in this country.
And yet, he has no problem spending over a billion in deficit funds so far on Syrian refugees, a U.N. Peacekeeping mission to “somewhere,” NATO European defense initiatives and on U.N. global women and health programs. Trudeau has spent more time globetrotting in his first year in office than touring the country he is the Prime Minister of. He has never come out of halls of Parliament to ask what Canadians’ local problems are, and how his government can help with any of them.
Governance is about more than photo ops. and hobnobbing with celebrities. It’s about meeting ordinary Canadians in the places where they live, and finding ways to make those lives easier. It may not be exciting to a man as fashionable, jetsetting and in vogue as Trudeau is at the moment, but it was the job he was elected to do.