FERNANDO: Two Years Is Too Long To Wait

Two Years Is Too Long To Wait, Canadians Deserve To Have Our Say On This Government And Prime Minister Now

By Spencer Fernando, Exclusive to the National Citizens Coalition


Taking responsibility is the first step in making things right when a wrong has been committed.

And if everyone is responsible for something, then no one is responsible.

If someone crashed a car into a restaurant, got out, and said “we all learned something today about the importance of safe driving,” nobody would see that as a reasonable statement. Rather, it would be seen as a laughably absurd attempt to displace responsibility.

So, when – despite repeated opportunities to do so – Justin Trudeau refused to take responsibility for the invite of a former Nazi fighter to the House of Commons and instead tried to displace responsibility onto all Canadians, the prime minister yet again failed a test of leadership. 

All the benefits, none of the responsibilities

Being the leader of a nation – particularly a relatively advanced nation like Canada – comes with a lot of perks and benefits.

International recognition. 

Historical significance.

The exercise of real power.

A chance to put your ideas and beliefs into practice.

With those benefits come some responsibilities.

International recognition means your actions – and the actions of the government you lead – reflect upon millions of people, not just yourself.

Historical significance means your actions – and the results of those actions – will be long-remembered, whether positive or negative.

Exercising real power means you can do real damage to a large number of people, and your errors have consequences far beyond your close inner circle of direct influence.

And putting your ideas and beliefs into practice means that you may discover your ideas and beliefs are deeply flawed and potentially unworkable – in which case you face a choice between being humble enough to learn and change course, or deciding to impose your failed vision anyway.

But what happens when a leader believes they should get all the benefits of the top job, with none of the responsibilities that come with it?

You get Justin Trudeau.

Nobody thinks that Justin Trudeau should be sitting in a room and personally approving the guest list for every event.

But what people do think – and rightfully so – is that when a massive international incident takes place while he is in power, ultimate responsibility rests with the prime minister.

One of the meanings of the word ‘prime’ is ‘of first importance’. 

Justin Trudeau is indeed the most important member of the government.

We don’t have two prime ministers. 

There’s one prime minister, and it’s Justin Trudeau.

If he’s not responsible for what happens under his watch, then why should he hold the job?

That’s surely a question many Canadians are asking, as evidenced by some of the truly brutal poll numbers for the Liberals as of late.

When there’s something positive to announce, Justin Trudeau can’t wait to let everyone know that he’s responsible. When things go wrong, he either doesn’t show up, or he blames everyone else for it.

The completely self-centred ‘governing’ style of Justin Trudeau renders him singularly incapable of managing this country at a time when Canada faces increasingly complex challenges. Indeed, by focusing so much on his own short-term political self-preservation, Justin Trudeau appears willing to ‘burn it all down’ just to get through another news cycle.

Deliberately undermining national unity

Watching Question Period yesterday, I was struck by how desperate Justin Trudeau appeared to be to politicize Canada’s support for Ukraine.

From the beginning of Russia’s invasion, support for Ukraine has been perhaps the only big issue on which Canada’s political parties have been unified on.

Pierre Poilievre and Justin Trudeau both spoke at a rally in support of Ukraine. High-level Conservative MPs like Shadow Minister of Defence James Bezan have been among the most forceful and eloquent advocates of Canada’s support for Ukraine.

Despite manipulative Russian propaganda narratives designed to undermine support for Ukraine on both the left and the right of the political spectrum, the Conservatives have refused to indulge in the kind of anti-Ukraine, pro-Putin rhetoric we’ve seen from some unprincipled politicians in the United States and parts of Europe. In fact, the Conservatives have pointedly noted that one of the most unfortunate outcomes of the government inviting a former Nazi fighter to Parliament is the way in which it has undermined Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and provided Russia with an easily exploitable propaganda opportunity.

And so, the Conservatives under Pierre Poilievre have shown a tremendous level of political principle, courage, and national leadership in making sure that Canada’s support for Ukraine has not become a divisive political issue. (Notably, this bodes well for how Poilievre would govern the country, as it demonstrates that – unlike Justin Trudeau – he recognizes there are some things more important than short-term political gain).

Unfortunately for Canada, when it comes to the one significant area of political unity we have, Justin Trudeau is trying to undermine it.

During Question Period, when asked about his responsibility for the invite scandal, Justin Trudeau repeatedly tried to deflect by talking about how Canada supports Ukraine – something that is not in doubt, and something that was not even up for debate during Question Period. Trudeau then made it clear exactly what he was doing, as he ‘asked’ Pierre Poilievre if he ‘would actually say the name Volodymyr Zelenskyy and if he would actually express support for Ukraine, falsely implying Poilievre had done neither.

Now, nobody should be under any illusion that this was anything other than an attempt by Justin Trudeau to try and turn support for Ukraine into a wedge issue in Canadian politics.

Trudeau knows that Poilievre has said Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s name over and over again and has expressed support for Ukraine. Trudeau also knows that Poilievre – and many Conservative MPs – have accurately noted that Ukraine is fighting for its life against Russia’s brutal invasion, and that Ukraine has been hurt by the fact that Russia can now point to the debacle in Canada’s Parliament in an attempt to spread false narratives against Ukraine.

In fact, Russia has already done this, putting out images of a fake stamp honouring the former Nazi fighter in Parliament and falsely claiming the stamp was issued by Ukraine. The image was of course spread rapidly on social media by many of the usual spreaders of Russian propaganda. And those posts were seen by many more people than saw the actual information about the source of the image, a stark example of the adage that “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

If Trudeau had even a shred of humility, he could simply have acknowledged this, acknowledged that an error that took place under his watch had done damage to Ukraine.

Instead, Trudeau tried to subtly question whether the Conservatives really support Ukraine, a narrative that his most aggressive partisans will surely try to spread in their effort to boost their crumbling position in the polls. 

And so, in contrast to Pierre Poilievre, Justin Trudeau has demonstrated that there is nothing that he places beyond the realm of politics – not even Canada’s support for an allied nation fighting for its life.

Justin Trudeau’s lack of integrity and lack of leadership ability is now a growing problem not just here at home, but for our closest friends and allies around the world.

There seems to be nothing that he won’t put at risk in order to try and save his political career, even after having been in the top job for eight years – years in which he should have gained some sense of the immense responsibility that comes with the role of Prime Minister.

It is long past time for all Canadians, especially Jagmeet Singh – the guy single-handedly propping up the Liberals – to recognize that this cannot go on. 

Canadians deserve to have our say in an election as soon as possible, not two long years from now. If the Prime Minister is unwilling to be accountable, then that accountability must come through the electoral process. 

It can’t come soon enough.

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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