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April 17, 2019

Lest We Forget: Trudeau Rolled Back Harper's Dark Era

It's safe to say that Canada has always been one of the cooler countries in the world. It's important to remember that despite Trudeau's scandal, Canadians remain unshaken in the values of liberal democracy, fair governance and the international rules-based order.

In his fourth year in power, Trudeau’s government is rocked by accusations of meddling in the criminal prosecution of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, which was charged with corruption over alleged bribes paid to secure contracts in Libya. Trudeau has addressed the allegations head-on, telling reporters in Ottawa that he had learned “lessons” from the crisis — but denying any wrongdoing. It really was about the prospect of job losses, he said, and there was no breakdown in the rule of law. Raybould speaking to the House of Commons Justice Committee confirms: ‘nothing illegal was committed, nothing criminal was committed”. Justin Trudeau catapulted Raybould and Philpott from obscurity to power and prestige from their first day in parliament. Raybould’s secret recording of her conversation with Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick amounts to deception and a hidden agenda.

Since becoming PM Trudeau has fumbled a few times along the way: a disastrous overseas trip to India, broken promises on electoral reform and on short-term deficits. Now, heading into his fourth year in office, his government is sounding a little less breezy and looking a little more battle-scarred.

Marcel Chartrand, a communications professor at the University of Ottawa, is nevertheless optimistic that Trudeau’s party and Canadians in general will forgive his missteps. “He is young, he learns from his mistakes and I think Canadians will give him the benefit of the doubt,” he said.

Meanwhile, Clement Chartier, president of the Metis National Council, took issue: "I don't think the press should be doing what they're doing in making it an Indigenous or non-Indigenous issue." Reconciliation is real and we're going to move forward with this prime minister for as long as he is prime minister and with this government for as long as they are in government. And personally, with the record that we have, we wish them well."

Andrew Scheer ─ Stephen Harper 2.0

‘Scheer is a Harper lite’.

John Ibbitson of The Globe and Mail is calling Scheer — “Harper with a smile” ─ a Harper déjà vu. Ottawa Citizen calls him Andrew Scheer is Stephen Harper in a threadbare cardigan ─.

Scheer essentially takes the same approach to conservatism that Stephen Harper brought to Ottawa the right-most frontier of the political landscape which Canadians are weary of Tories vindictive nature of what they had seen the divisive and the dog whistle politics.

Calgary Herald: “We are focused on what is truly important while Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are stepping up the same divisive and negative politics we saw from Stephen Harper,” Scheer has run five times under Stephen Harper and has never said how he would differentiate himself from Harper and Canadians have every reason to worry about Stephen Harper part two. In fact Scheer described himself as "Stephen Harper with a smile," Canadians have witnessed Harper’s rule stacked with scandal after scandal; in the 2011 election, robocalls misdirected voters away from the polls. A Conservative staffer was convicted in that scandal.

While Canadians were mourning, Scheer came under fire for playing footsie with white nationalists; he denounced the horrific attack in New Zealand while initially failing to mention that Muslims were the victims of a terrorist attack. But hours later he retracted. 

Scheer has repeatedly said he wants to focus on the common ground that all conservatives share. And wants to re-commit Canadian warplanes to the coalition bombing campaign in Iraq. He opposed Motion M-103, condemning Islamophobia, because he felt it limited free speech, which it does not. He also would ban federal funding to universities that “limit free speech,” although how he’d determine that remains to be seen.

Scheer’s Alt-right Connection’s

Georgeanne Burke is Scheer’s campaign’s outreach chair is linked to the so-called alt-right or anti-Islam groups. Scheer’s Campaign Manager, Hamish Marshall, was a director of Rebel Media, an alt-right media outlet that pushes narratives of white genocide and hosts prominent alt-right figures, and worked out of the Rebel offices during the campaign. He has been named as a campaign chair for the 2019 general election.

Trudeau is humane, grounded in the innate decency of Canadians, humble, generous in spirit and welcomed Syrian refugees at the Toronto airport by putting his arms of sympathy around them. He wept openly when several worshippers were killed by a terrorist in a Quebec mosque. Unlike his predecessor who was heartless and refused to extend Canadian generosity and refuge to the families fleeing brutal violence in Syria and Iraq. Harper appealed to the most prejudiced and nasty opinions of his base, without much regard for honesty, fairness or civility. He prorogued (Shut down) Parliament four times, silenced scientists, killed detailed census data gathering. Twisted foreign and refugee policies to pander to selected ethnic communities. Harper made Canada a pariah in the world. There is more, a lot more.

Harper’s record might very well place him as the worst prime minister in Canadian history. Come October 2019, Canadians do not want to repeat this horror in the name of Andrew Scheer, the leader of the Conservatives. 

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