FERNANDO: Can Justin Trudeau Learn Not To Hate?

Justin Trudeau Should Listen To Anthony Housefather

By Spencer Fernando, Exclusive to the National Citizens Coalition


(Image via True North)

In our divided and partisan era, it’s not too popular to praise someone in a political party you don’t support.

But, it’s important to offer praise when the facts justify it.

After all, we share a country, and we have to find some common ground before our political divisions tear us apart.

With that in mind, recent comments by Liberal MP Anthony Housefather are a step in the right direction.

“We really need to end personal attacks in politics. If only we could stick to disagreeing on issues and arguing about the solutions instead of attacking opponents’ characters & insulting them. Most people are legitimately trying to do their best.”

Housefather’s sentiment is an admirable one, and it’s not the first time he has demonstrated a willingness to push back against the increasingly divisive nature of Canadian politics.

Housefather was among the earliest group of Liberal MPs to begin calling for a timeline on the removal of pandemic restrictions, at a time when Trudeau was stubbornly trying to keep restrictions in place even as most of Canada’s peers had already moved on and sought a return to normalcy.

So, Housefather’s recent remarks seem sincere and consistent with how he has generally conducted himself as an MP.

Of course, I won’t praise Housefather that much, because he would probably face some questions from the PMO if a vehement Trudeau critic like myself was too positive towards the Liberal MP.

Additionally, Housefather’s remarks create some interesting questions for Justin Trudeau, questions the PMO probably doesn’t want to be asked.

For example, why doesn’t Justin Trudeau conduct himself the way Housefather suggests?

And why is Justin Trudeau in fact moving in the opposite direction and doubling-down on dividing Canadians?

After all, consider Justin Trudeau’s recent remarks attacking Pierre Poilievre & Poilievre supporters in a Toronto Star interview, and then ask yourself if they match up with Housefather’s call for more respectful Canadian politics:

“What is he actually proposing? He’s saying everything’s broken. He’s playing and preying on the kinds of anger and anxieties about some Canada that used to be — where men were men and white men ruled.”

To show the contrast again, here’s what Housefather said:

“We really need to end personal attacks in politics. If only we could stick to disagreeing on issues and arguing about the solutions instead of attacking opponents’ characters & insulting them. Most people are legitimately trying to do their best.”

Did Trudeau acknowledge that Poilievre and Poilievre’s supporters are “legitimately trying to do their best”?


Did Trudeau avoid “personal attacks?”

Nope. He’s accusing Poilievre and Poilievre supporters of being racists.

Did Trudeau “argue about solutions instead of attacking opponents’ characters”?

Nope. Trudeau launched what is obviously an attack on the character of Pierre Poilievre and by extension all who support him.

So, while Justin Trudeau should really start following Anthony Housefather’s advice, he’s clearly doing the opposite.

Following Housefather’s advice would be in the best interests of the country, since Trudeau’s willingness to indulge in divisive politics has had a deeply corrosive effect on the nation. There’s a reason he’s being met with more protests in Hamilton – and of course, he has again sought to inflame, and has deployed anti-democratic rhetoric.

Trudeau is a long way from where he was in 2015, when he was saying “Conservatives are our neighbours” and ran a much more positive campaign – the only one in which he won a majority.

Trudeau’s arrogance and willingness to demonize people is even more appalling given the fact that he’s a deeply unpopular politician.

Having lost the popular vote in the past two elections, Justin Trudeau should have some humility about his political position. Canadians have largely rejected him two elections in a row, yet he acts as if he commands massive popular support. 

What this says is that there simply aren’t enough Liberal MPs like Housefather, or that Trudeau simply isn’t listening to them.

Neither would be a big surprise, since Trudeau has shown an unwillingness to listen to either internal or external critics and has removed individuals like Jody Wilson-Raybould who were willing to stand up to his worst impulses.

In many ways, this is sad for the country.

If we think back, we can see how Trudeau could have chosen another path, building on his relatively unifying 2015 campaign and majority victory.

Helming a party that had a history of being reasonable at times, Trudeau could have adhered to a more moderate and positive course.

Instead, he chose to veer far to the left, exploit regional divisions, weaken the Western Canadian energy sector, demonize his opponents, purge the government of free-thinking individuals, sell out to China (until public opinion and allied pressure made it impossible), campaigned against unvaccinated Canadians, kept restrictions in place far longer than many other countries, imposed the Emergencies Act, and more.

Each of those steps pushed Canada in a more negative direction and contributed to the terrible state of Canadian politics today.

Time and time again, Trudeau chased short-term political benefit at the cost of long-term damage to the country.

That leaves us to conclude that as much as Justin Trudeau really should listen to Anthony Housefather, doing so would be completely out of character for him.

Spencer Fernando is one of the most popular and prolific political voices in Canada. He is a Campaign Fellow for the National Citizens Coalition. For more from Spencer, visit his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter

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