Justin Trudeau “tries to remember” his scripted SNC-Lavalin talking points
During a stop in Sudbury, Ontario today the Prime Minister momentarily forgot his script when asked about why Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from his cabinet.
According to his itinerary, Trudeau was in Sudbury touring the Maley Drive Extension construction site and discussing infrastructure and road improvement.
At one point during his appearance a reporter asked him what reasons Wilson-Raybould gave him as to why she resigned from cabinet.
“Do you want me to answer that question in English?” asked the Prime Minister.
“Um, uh. I’m just trying to remember,” said Justin Trudeau, before proceeding to talk about something off topic.
The statements were made while the justice committee was putting forward a motion to investigate the claims about political interference in the SNC-Lavalin case while Jody Wilson-Raybould was the Justice Minister.
She has since totally resigned from the Liberal cabinet over the scandal.
Canada 'slightly delinquent' on alliance military spend, cracks 'payment plan' joke: Trump-Trudeau at NATO talks London
Canada is “slightly delinquent” when it comes to defence spending, said United States President Donald Trump during a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of NATO talks in London Tuesday.
According to NATO figures, vis-a-vis individual members’ benchmark defence spending at two-percent of their Gross Domestic Product, Canada rang in below that level for 2019 at approximately 1.3 percent.
“But Canada, they’ll be ok. I have confidence. (They’re) Just slightly delinquent. Some are major delinquents, some are way below one percent and that’s unacceptable,” said Trump, who hinted at leveraging trade to get members to pony up.
This ‘two percent of GDP’ obligation of NATO alliance members, or what became an “aspirational goal”, was a watered down demand by U.S. President Barack Obama and Britain in 2014; then they wanted Canada to double its expenditure on defence.
Trump made the remarks when pressed to categorize Canada’s current military spending as it stacks up against others.
“We are talking to Germany tomorrow and they’re starting to come along. They have to. They have to. Otherwise if they don’t want to, I’ll have to do something with respect to trade. And with trade I have all the cards.”
Germany’s defence spending as percentage of its GDP is slightly higher than Canada, while Spain, Luxembourg and Belgium are below one percent.
“And that’s unacceptable and then if something happens, we’re supposed to protect them,” Trump continued. “It’s not really fair and it never has been fair.”
Trump rounded off the comments by quipping that “well, we’ll put Canada on a payment plan, I’m sure the prime minister would love that” in answer to a question about whether Canada “should have a plan to meet the two percent standard.”
“Where are you at? What is your number?” Trump asked regarding the NATO benchmark.
This caused Trudeau to repeat what he noted earlier in the press scrum: that Canada’s military spending would increase by 70 percent through the coming decade.
“Over these past years, including for the coming years including significant investments in our fighter jets, significant investments in our naval fleets,” Trudeau said.
“We are increasing significantly our defence spending from previous governments that cut it.”
While the Twitter universe lit up with conjecture, in the moment Trump was not interested in the minutiae of Canada’s incremental budgetary increases over the next 10 years and pressed Trudeau.
“Ok, where are you now?” Trump asked again.
Trudeau: “We’re at one-point-three-five.”
“One-point-three?” asked Trump.
“One-point-four, and continuing to move forward,” replied Trudeau who later reiterated Canada’s leading role in military operations in Latvia and Baghdad during the half-hour media confab.
“United States and all NATO allies know that Canada is a reliable partner. We’ll continue to defend NATO, and our interests.”
In addition to Trump’s expression of confidence in Canada, he added that “two percent is very low. It should be four percent.”
For the 2019-20 fiscal year, Department of National Defence budget allocation was $21.9 billion. In terms of “significant investments” Trudeau noted in Canadian air and sea power, two years ago Canada bypassed Boeing for interim CF-18s and instead paid $90 million for 25 Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18s. Retrofitting them is expected to run another three or four-hundred million dollars.
This was after Trudeau scrapped the former Conservative government’s sole-sourced contract to buy Lookheed Martin’s next-gen F35 fighter after defeating Stephen Harper in the 2015 election.
In July of this year, the federal government reopened the project and invited multiple companies, including Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin (F-35) and Saab to bid on a $22 billion contract to supply the Royal Canadian Airforce with 88 new fighter jets.
The Royal Canadian Navy is also in the throes of a major $4.3 billion rebuild, having already retrofitted several interim vessels and constructing four of six scheduled Arctic and offshore patrol ships.
A further 15 larger, surface combatant vessels based on “type 26 BAE warships” are also in the design phase, according Public Services Canada. The department estimates that construction could begin as early as 2020 with a $60 billion budget.
The election is over, Justin Trudeau won the most number of seats, and Canada now has a Prime Minister who cannot remember the number of times he wore blackface throughout his life.
As Liberals nationwide celebrate their ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, pundits have been left to wonder just what Trudeau’s victory in 2019 could mean for citizens, politics and the nation as a whole.
While the long-term implications are hard to predict, one consequence certainly is not.
In a matter of four short years, the Liberals under Trudeau have gone from the promised heroes of progressive values to the gritty practitioners of Realpolitik, with no other goal in mind than winning.
No longer are they concerned with broken promises, such as electoral reform, skyrocketing deficits or lacklustre help for injured veterans on a pension. Nor are they bothered by the federal government’s continued attempts to hold money designated for Indigenous child welfare, or heck, their willingness to campaign off the climate change issue, while putting forward plans that all but fail to meet Paris requirements when it comes to carbon cuts.
This doesn’t even include the gigantic mess that is the SNC-Lavalin affair, and Trudeau’s habit of violating ethics laws and throwing powerful women in his own government under the bus on a regular basis.
Heck, after this, it seems MPs and voters are still somehow all too happy to support a PM who considered blackface only racist after being elected as a member of parliament in 2008. Photos and videos have shown that Trudeau wore blackface more than three times before 2008, with the most recent known instance occurring in 2001.
With seven years of space between the time the Prime Minister was last known to wear blackface and the time he learned blackface was wrong, it is possible that the number of times it was worn stands to be far higher than three.
For the many Liberal MPs who are having difficulty keeping up with the scope of this, It’s wrong to wear blackface in 2019, just at it was wrong in the year 2001. Typically the cancel culture mob, which so intensely has concentrated into the progressive wings of politics, would have ensured a politician with such a history would have all but failed to ascend and then dominate the heights of politics.
There’s a catch though. To successfully cancel a person, normally their own fans must turn on them. And here’s where Canadian progressives are similar to Republicans in the US. Forced to campaign with a flawed idol and the protector of their views on the international stage, the willingness to cancel these individuals evaporates, principles be damned.
Instead, the boogyman of the other side has been used to ensure dedicated voters continue to push forward, regardless of moral deficiencies.
For Justin Trudeau, and perhaps the Liberal party, that level of voter control is a life-saving relationship worth its weight in gold. For the nation, it potentially sets us up the country to be defined by the actions and moral makeup of Trudeau and his government.
Said simply, there is no getting around the fact that Canada today has a leader who takes Indigenous children and veterans to court, breaks ethics laws, can’t keep simple promises, and can’t even keep count of the number of times he performed an act he himself now considers racist.
Liberal members and parliamentarians voted for that, and unless action is taken from within the party, the country alongside the Liberal movement as a whole, will come to be maligned and defined by it.
The PM’s plane crashed in a hangar back in October. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be forced to take numerous different planes for his travels.
The 30-year-old aircraft was moved by contracted maintenance personnel at a military airbase in Trenton, Ontario, when it “suffered significant structural damage to the nose and right engine cowling,” said air force spokesman Lt.-Col Steve Neta to the CBC.
The aircraft then rolled into the back wall of a hangar.
Political observers have noted how old the plane (Canada’s equivalent of Air Force Once) is, similarly out of date like the PM’s official residence, 24 Sussex.
“On 18 October 2019 a CC150 Polaris was towed from the North ramp to 10 hangar,” a post from the government’s official site reads. “This space is not normally used by the CC150, and the D-14 tow tractor normally used is too large for the limited space available inside 10 hangar. Before entering the hangar, the ground crew were required to stop and swap the tow tractor from the bigger D-14 to the smaller D-12.
“Once the aircraft reached a position in front of 10 hangar, the tow crew stopped the aircraft, set the chocks and the parking brake. During the tow tractor change, while no tractor was attached, the aircraft started moving forward and over the chocks. Attempts to stop the aircraft by the tow crew were unsuccessful. The right engine struck the D-12 tow tractor parked inside the hangar, before the nose contacted the hangar far wall structure, finally stopping the aircraft.The aircraft sustained very serious damage.”
An investigation is currently underway, focusing mainly on human error and mechanical malfunction.
“We do not have sufficient detail about potential costs, or the attribution of those costs, to provide any detail at this time,” said Neta to CBC.
The Liberals own planes are no stranger to fender benders with multi-million dollar aircraft.
Three months ago, the Liberals crashed their campaign plane in Victoria, British Columbia.
Photographs and videos posted on social media showed a scraped or dented wing of the plane Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was supposedly riding on at that time.
CBC reporter David Cochrane said the crash happened as the bus was leaving to drive towards the hotel.
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.