Justin “Little Potato” Trudeau: a foreign policy in shambles
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is undoubtedly an amateur when it comes to foreign policy. Canada has lost ground not only amongst its conventional friends and allies, but also in the eyes of some of its political adversaries. The US, Saudi Arabia, India, and China are some of the countries with which Canada’s relations have weakened since Trudeau took power.
During the US election season, Trudeau invited Barack Obama to a state dinner. At this point of time, Obama was immersed in campaigning for Hillary Clinton, who ultimately lost the election to Donald Trump. Trump has since not even been invited once for a single state dinner. While ideological differences between Trudeau and Trump overshadow their relationship, Trudeau should have realized that at the end of the day, no matter how much he may dislike Trump, America is Canada’s largest trading partner.
Coming in to office, Trump visited Canada in less than a month and around this time, praised Canada’s pipeline purchase while also possibly suggesting a bilateral trade negotiation with Canada. Trudeau proceeded to try to show himself as the “bigger of the two” by, for example, trying to demean Trump for pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords, targets for which Trudeau himself hasn’t even been following.
Trudeau’s attempt to belittle Trump without realizing the consequences led to a horrendous diplomatic blunder in the shape of the USMCA trade deal in which Canada was effectively left out of Mexico-US negotiations and had to “accept what it was given”.
By eroding Canada’s dairy protections and farmers, carrying on with high steel tariffs, adding a “Sunset clause” and raising the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, the deal was mostly a disaster for Canada. So much so, that Research In Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie said “This is a bad deal for Canada’s plans to build a 21st-century economy”. The final “Chinese Sunset clause” is effectively a warning for Canada as it states should Canada choose to engage in a trade pact with a “non-market country” (codeword for China), Canada will face Trump and the US’ “Fire and Fury”.
Trudeau’s other failure comes from the entire debacle with Saudi Arabia. Leaders from the Conservatives and the NDP both criticized Trudeau for carrying on with Saudi arms deals, a nation that beheads the very feminists and LGBT persons Trudeau stands for, while engaging in blatant war crimes in Yemen. Some even point out that Trudeau’s damp criticism for Saudi Arabia came only after the diplomatic debacle began, effectively singling him out as an ideological hypocrite.
One of Trudeau’s most “colossal failures”, was his trip to India. Trudeau is suspected of being cozy with Sikh separatists (pro-Khalistanis), especially after photos emerged of his wife and other Liberal ministers with Jaspal Atwal,. Trudeau was hence on received by India’s Junior Minister of Agriculture when he landed in New Delhi, in contrast to a week later when Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally received the Jordanian King at the airport for his visit.
Trudeau’s India trip sprung out only a $1 billion investment deal, which is miniscule compared to the size of deals other nations have been able to nurture with India. His overdressing and lack of work ethic drew criticism not only from Canadian media, but also from the Indian media, which also mocked him diligently. In contrast, Andrew Scheer visited India where he met with far more important dignitaries than Trudeau while being respected by Canadian, Indian, and other foreign media.
The nail in the coffin comes with the People’s Republic of China. Under US pressure, Canada detained Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou. She was being detained for “fraud in a scheme to violate American trade sanctions against Iran” and the US ordered her extradition. She was released on a $10 million bail with 24/7 surveillance and travel limitations to only within Vancouver; she has subsequently sued RCMP and the Canadian Border Service Agency for what she describes as “violations of her constitutional rights” during her arrest.
In retaliation, China arrested two Canadians and raised the sentence of a third to capital punishment. When Trudeau said China was arbitrarily applying this punishment, he was told by the Chinese foreign ministry to “stop making such irresponsible remarks.” The US also has not helped Canada in this diplomatic crisis, even though Canada worked with the US in detaining Meng. This weakness of Trudeau in front of both the US and China cost him his relations with the US, his trade pact with China, and his respect for failing to secure the rights of Canadians abroad.
As is thus evident in Andrew Scheer’s latest criticism, Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy has been abysmal. So much so, that he has earned himself the nickname of “Little Potato” in China. By losing out to his allies and adversaries, Trudeau has set Canada’s foreign policy on a crash course; recovering from it will require intense diligence, experience, and hard work.
The Liberal government has won a minority under Justin Trudeau, returning to the House of Commons as the party in power.
While the government has celebrated victory in what can only be described as a disastrous campaign after it became public the Prime Minister had worn blackface more times than he could remember, the nation should be wary about the rather large number of broken promises coming back with the Trudeau Liberals.
According to the Trudeau Metre, the Liberals broke 67 promises throughout their first term, accounting for 29 percent of all promises made.
These broken promises include massive campaign planks such as electoral reform, failing to properly restore the veteran’s pension system, and the continuation of massive deficit which put a balanced budget potentially decades into the future rather than 2019.
With the minority governments in Canada rarely lasting more than two years, it will be interesting to see what the government attempts to do in order to keep both previous promises made and new ones brought forth during the campaign. The Liberals must make compromises with other parties.
With both the NDP and Greens cash-strapped but needing wins, and the Conservatives facing an inner-party revolt against the current leader, we will likely see a relative calm as parties adjust followed by a truly harsh period as weakened parties attempt to regain ground lost in 2015.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Senate point men have tendered their resignations. Senator Peter Harder, the Government’s Representative in the upper chamber, and Government Liaison Senator Grant Mitchell made the announcement Friday.
“The start of a new Parliament is the best time to welcome a new face in the role of Government Representative,” Harder said in a statement.
“With the Senate now well advanced on the path to becoming more independent and less partisan… it simply made sense for me to pick this moment: a new cabinet has been sworn in, new Senate groups are emerging along non-partisan lines.”
According to Harder, his term as the Senate’s government rep will expire on Dec. 31, 2019 while Senator Mitchell said he would remain in his liaison role, previously called Government Whip, until Trudeau finds a replacement for Harder.
“Serving in this role has truly been a highlight of my career. It has been a privilege to have been so directly involved with Prime Minister Trudeau’s initiative to create a more independent Senate,” said Mitchell.
For nearly 150 years, senators were appointed by the sitting prime minister, and for the most part showed unbroken partisan loyalty to their caucuses. But that all changed in April 2014 when Trudeau cut existing Liberal appointees in the Upper Chamber from the national caucus.
The decision has factionalized the Senate with both Senate Conservatives and Liberal castaways coalescing in various groups, including the Independent Senators Group and a pair of nascent upstarts; the Canadian Senators Group and Progressive Senators Group.
Harder, who is a “non-affiliated” senator entered the upper chamber in April 2016, as the first “independent” appointed senator under a purportedly, non-partisan selection process. Mitchell was appointed to the Senate in 2005 by Prime Minister Paul Martin.
Known as the “chamber of sober second thought”, the Senate is intended to provide regional oversight for government bills as well as the power to introduce laws unrelated to spending.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted a photo of himself—sort of.
At 10:54 am on Wednesday, Trump unveiled a gem to the world; a photo of himself, photoshopped on the body of Rocky Balboa.
The photo, which is actually of Sylvester Stallone from the poster for Rocky III, received a warm reception from his supporters and screeching hatred from the never-Trump crowd.
A flurry of memes from those who didn’t seem to get the joke came in, with many of them pointing out that Trump is actually overweight.
This is the latest in a series of Trump tweets that have utilized Photoshop.
Trump previously tweeted a doctored photo of himself putting a paw-shaped medal around the neck of Conan the terrorist-slaying dog, which led to joyless organizations like the New York Times to fact check the post, as if it wasn’t clearly photoshopped.
The photo, made by the team over at Daily Wire, became a thorn in the side of the Times, as they ran a headline reading “Trump Tweets Faked Photo Of Hero Dog Getting a Medal.”
“The dog appeared to have been edited over a 2017 Medal of Honor recipient,” stated the Times’ article, which has since reached a fine ratio of 516 Retweets to over 2,800 replies.
Trump also previously tweeted a doctored photo of himself with larger hands, which has roots from comments made by former Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio, wherein Rubio said Trump had small hands.
Pierre Poilievre is a six-term Member of Parliament, former Minister of Employment and the current Conservative Shadow Minister of Finance.
Lots of advice is pouring in for Conservatives these days.
Much of it from people who have never or will never vote for the party. They have concluded that the Conservative Party, which won the most votes in the election, is so unpopular that it must abandon its entire platform and the 6.1 million people who voted for it. The Globe and Mail, for example, has called for the party to drop its weird obsession with fiscal responsibility and low taxes.
Likewise, this headline recently blazed the pages of the Toronto Star: “Conservatives will pay for Andrew Scheer’s anti-tax stance.” Low taxes are not compatible with “a big-tent party in 2019 Canada, and we know from the past few weeks of federal election campaigning that voters are not won over by the concept,” wrote the paper’s federal finance columnist Heather Scoffield. “It’s an anti-tax, small-government dogma that hearkens back to Stephen Harper and channels Jason Kenney and Doug Ford,” she wrote, referring to three leaders who won majorities on tax-fighting platforms.
Premiers Kenney and Ford won victories in the last 18 months, with many seats in urban centres. But never mind, we’re told that their low-tax messages are unelectable or out-of-date. As for Mr. Harper, the Parliamentary Budget Officer calculated that he “reduced federal tax revenue by $30 billion, or 12 per cent. These changes have been progressive, overall. Low and middle income earners have benefited more, in relative terms, than higher income earners.” The policy helped win Harper three elections (including a majority) and become the longest-serving Conservative Prime Minister since John A. MacDonald. (We wouldn’t want to repeat that track record, would we?)
Canada already has four parties—the New Democrats, Liberals, Greens and Bloc—clamoring for bigger and more powerful government. The media believes Conservatives should become the fifth. It would not be without precedent. Past “conservative” leaders have embraced higher taxes. How did that work out for them?
When Prime Minister Joe Clark’s budget hiked gas taxes, he lost a confidence vote and an election after only nine months in office. When President, George Herbert Walker Bush, broke his “read my lips: no new taxes” pledge, he lost to Bill Clinton. Alberta Premier, Ed Stelmach, raised taxes on the energy sector by jacking up royalty rates and was gone as Premier within ten months. Ernie Eves raised taxes soon after becoming Ontario Premier and promptly lost an election, reversing the back-to-back majorities of taxfighter, Mike Harris. In the early 1990s, the federal Progressive Conservative government introduced the GST and went from a majority government to merely two seats. New Brunswick Premier David Alward’s 2013/14 budget raised taxes by $200 million and in the following year’s election he lost his government and half his caucus. Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government announced hikes to income, gas and alcohol taxes in the 2015 budget and two months later lost to the NDP, finished third place and ended their 44-year dynasty, the longest of any party in Canada’s history.
It is true that there are many factors that lead to parties or leaders losing office. But is it just an extraordinary coincidence that voters have promptly driven out of office every federal or provincial conservative leader who raised taxes in the last three decades?
No. It is no coincidence. When conservative parties support tax increases, they get crushed.
The reasons are clear.
First, how can a conservative candidate who supports tax hikes criticize the socialist parties for doing the same? If all parties are going to cost taxpayers more, the election becomes a bidding war where parties compete to offer the most generous government-funded goodies—a bidding war left-wing parties with no fiscal responsibility will win every time.
What we can believably offer is a chance for hardworking and ambitious people to build better lives for themselves, by keeping more of their earnings.
That is who we are. Without our best product (low taxes), we lose our customers. We become a baker without bread or a logger without lumber.
“How boring,” groans the left. Ms. Scoffield, for example, laments that low taxes leave no “room for big thinking on how to confront the next economic downturn, or how to take care of an aging society, or how to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing unless the private sector takes front and centre.” Confront the next downturn through tax hikes? Care for an aging society by raising taxes on retirement savings? Make housing more affordable by taxing the business that builds homes, or the worker saving to buy one? These ideas fulfil the socialist fantasy of making people helplessly dependent on government, but betray people’s desire to fulfil their own potential and chart their own destinies.
Low taxes are not a “gimmick”, like 30 cents off paper towels. Rather, they allow free workers and entrepreneurs to choose what to do with the fruits of their labour and enterprise. Costing people less is just the means. Empowering them to do more is the end.
A dollar can only be in one place at a time. Who decides where it goes?
The person who earned it or the politician who taxed it; the entrepreneur whose investments produced it or the politician who faces no real consequence for squandering it?
Whose dreams are fulfilled in the end, the family saving to start a business, buy a home or afford to make lasting memories taking the kids somewhere special; or the politician who dreams of buying himself a legacy with that family’s money?
Conservatives must be the party of human aspiration and free choice. That means ignoring the big-government cabal and always standing with the hardworking taxpayer.