Can anyone figure out why Jason Kenney is so obsessed with Justin Trudeau?
It can’t be that Kenney isn’t busy. After all, he’s supposedly a super-duper powerful cabinet minister, and he should theoretically be quite preoccupied with running Canada and whatnot.
But there the immigration minister was again last week, taking time away from his duties to excoriate the Montreal Liberal MP, who he clearly detests.
This time, Kenney attacked Trudeau giving paid speeches outside the House of Commons. “I think it’s really strange,” said Kenney, who would know. “He has apparently missed a number of votes in the House.”
Gadzooks! Missed votes?
Shocking as it may sound, so have members of Kenney’s Conservative caucus. In fact, the top 10 MPs with the worst attendance records in the House of Commons last year were New Democrats and Conservatives. Not a single Liberal MP is on the list, however. Funny, that.
But Kenney wasn’t finished with his arch-nemesis, who is arguably richer, smarter and better looking than he is.
“Mr. Trudeau,” Kenney said, “is not in touch with the values or the real issues that face ordinary Canadians. I don’t really know what his background is. I don’t think he’s ever run anything.”
This was an odd remark for the Calgary Conservative to make, too. Before he became a Member of Parliament , Kenney was the mouthpiece for a far-right tax lobby, and as far as we know he wasn’t ever called upon to meet a payroll. He hasn’t ever run a company.
Moreover, Kenney’s “values” — he raised values, not us — were always a bit, well, weird. When he arrived on the Hill, for instance, he bragged about being a 40-year-old virgin, and said he was saving himself for marriage. He still isn’t married and, as far as anyone knows, is still a virgin.
Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, has a drop-dead gorgeous wife, and two kids straight out of central casting. He has the looks of a Kennedy-esque matinee idol, while Kenney recalls a younger, swarthier version of Richard Nixon.
Anticipating the day he and Trudeau lead their respective parties, perhaps the values stuff makes Kenney nervous. Perhaps it should.
But the thing that really, really bugs Jason Kenney about Justin Trudeau clearly is this: People are prepared to pay the Liberal lots of money to hear him speak. Jason, not so much.
Where Justin can command tens of thousands of dollars for a single speech, Jason has never been so lucky. To get better known, then, Jason has been obliged to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars — taxpayer dollars — to promote himself. Thus, we learned last year, Kenney authorized the expenditure of $750,000 to track what was being said about him in the so-called ethnic media. (Wonder what his taxpayer lobby group would say about that? You should.)
Asking if Jason Kenney fears Justin Trudeau is rhetorical. He does; he should. On the day these two face off in a federal campaign — coming soon, perhaps — the smart money is on the telegenic Montreal boxer wiping the floor with the plump, 40-something virgin from Calgary.
And that is why Jason is so preoccupied these days with Justin. He saw what Trudeau did to his Conservative pal Patrick Brazeau, and he doesn’t want it to happen to him.
Good luck with that.