, 02.28.2018 08:14 AM

India to Canada: your Prime Minister’s claims are “baseless and unacceptable”

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:

India’s government formally says your claims are “baseless and unacceptable.” That’s a quote. Are they lying or are you?

India is only the world’s largest democracy, with whom we are trying to boost trade. No biggie. Keep insulting them, Prime Minister, instead of taking responsibility.

For once.

Sincerely,

Canadians Mystified By Why You Prefer A Diplomatic Incident To Admitting You Made A Mistake

P.S. Way to stomp all over your budget’s most important full day.



32 Comments

  1. Peter says:

    Wow. Canadians, especially on the progressive side, love to see themselves as great internationalists knowledgeable and and respectful of foreign sensitivities and complexities, especially compared to those gun-totin’ cracker-jingoists south of us. The reality is it doesn’t seem to take much for us to toss a grenade into our foreign relations if it helps boost the opinion polls in Algoma East.

  2. Terence Quinn says:

    Does anyone think the Indian government would admit that they have Sikh issues within their regime. I am not suggesting Trudeau is factually correct but its pretty certain any government would deny any circumstance like this.
    WK I would have thought you would be more aware of how politicians react to negative news. The Indian government has had issues with Sikh nationalists since 1947.

    • KS says:

      I think “issues with Sikhs within their regime” is a much more accurate way to describe the nature of this relationship that dates back decades.

      To say that it is possibility that the Indian regime was completely aware of the optics trap Trudeau would be walking into is an understatement.

  3. Sean McLaughlin says:

    India does about as much international trade as Belgium, so let’s not over-inflate the stakes of this trip.

    Should we really be surprised that a vocal progressive like JT failed to connect with Modi, a Hindu chauvinist whose rule has been characterized by growing illiberalism? The whole trip was regrettable, but that doesn’t mean the results weren’t predictable.

  4. Pedant says:

    This is all about pre-empting Jagmeet Singh’s native-son appeal in the Indo-Canadian community. Nothing more. Like PM DressUp cares about trade with India or has the slightest idea how to boost it?

  5. Sam White says:

    In 2015 the election did not go the way I wanted, but I still was thinking in the back of my mind “well, lets give this kid a chance, perhaps he is not the clueless dilettante many are making him out to be”

    I also proclaimed to any that cared to listen, that I predicted by the end of his mandate, the nation would be more divided and much more deeply in debt than it was in 2015.

    It appears today that my prediction was more accurate than my guarded optimism. This guy is a clueless dilettante, I can think of no better or more accurate description of him.

    What’s worse is, he is damaging our brand internationally as our international stature is dropping like a rock. The rest of the world is laughing at us, not with us.

    And he’s only half way through his mandate.

    • Luke says:

      Preface: This response is not a defence of Trudeau’s comments about the India issues.

      I disagree about a few things. I don’t get any sense our international stature is nose-diving, rather I would imagine it is somewhat better than it would’ve been in the Harper years. If I’m right about that, it might just be because Trudeau is so good at obtaining favourable press coverage (most of the time), whereas Harper wasn’t exactly the international poster boy for youthful optimism. Another reason would be because of the horrendous state of affairs with the leadership in the USA. By comparison, we could have a doberman as Prime Minister and the international community might make a favourable comparison.

      Clueless dilettante? I don’t think so. For every stupid remark or blunder one could provide counterexamples of savvy politics domestically and internationally.

      All that said, I did feel embarrassed and angry at the sight of various images and headlines from this last India trip, that’s for sure. And indeed the missteps or at least actions I disagree with add up over time. Can’t recall them necessarily, but there’s a bin-of-things-that-annoy-me-about-the-government somewhere in my brain that I notice keeps getting a bit fuller.

  6. P. Brenn says:

    lying on national stage for all to see..so sad

  7. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Their strategy is obviously based on the fact that no matter who takes a shit in the PMO, the end result can’t help but be anything but golden…

    Trudeau is going to stick with that no accountability strategy for his closest advisers (read his friends) as regards political errors. And that will cost them dearly as they lurch from one unforced error to another.

  8. Montréalaise says:

    Whenever you think the India trip fiasco couldn’t get any worse – it gets worse.

  9. Matt says:

    Guess the Indian government faked all those pictures of Atwal with Liberal politicians through the years including former leaders Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae. Not to mention at least two with Justin Trudeau – one from the 2015 election, the other undated but based on Trudeau’s hair, it’s from a few years befor that.

    Guess the Indian government also faked the donations Atwal made to the Liberal Party of Canada too.

    Anyone see Trudeau’s performance in the HOC yesterday? He tried to blame Harper, said the CPC just don’t understand India-Canada relations, and when asked directly, repeatedly to provide evidence to support his claim against the Indian government, he let other Liberals read their talking points that didn’t answer the questions.

    • Matt says:

      And you still can’t bring yourself to admit when your hero fucks up.

      You railed against yhis behaviour from the “Harpercons” yet here you are doing the same thing.

      Lib Bot Scott.

      PS -How did Atwal get off CANADA’S no fly list? His travel to India would have had to be cleared by BOTH countries.

      PPS – The Canadian civil servant who gave this story to the press has been identified by several media outlets. Let him bring his evidence forward.

    • KS says:

      You’re aware that Atwal has relationships with conservatives in the lower mainland as well, correct?

      He has a well documented history of interactions with members of all the three main political parities.

      • Matt says:

        And when the Conservatives get him off our no fly list, take him to India, invite him to several functions, have him pose for pictures with Scheer’s wife, invite him to a State dinner, rescind the invite, blame the Canadian High Commissioner in India for him being on the guest list, then when nobody buys that blames a backbench MP for the invite, then when nobody buys that blames India and claims they did it to embarrass the PM, I’ll be the first in line to call bullshit on them too.

        • Wayne says:

          Golf clap. Well done, sir.

        • KS says:

          So, there are degrees of offence that are acceptable here?

          Inviting Atwal to political fundraisers in Canada, accepting his donations, taking pictures with him, seeking his political advice and endorsement are all acceptable in contrast to what you’ve described above?

          Am I to understand that Atwal can be a reformed ally during elections, but a pariah during controversy affecting your political opponent?

          Thats a grossly hypocritical rationale.

          Matt, I’m going to save us both some time here: I’m not here to defend Trudeau or his party, nor engage in a back-and-forth with you on that basis either.

          I simply wanted to point to out the irrefutable fact that Atwal is a politically active community member in the lower mainland with interactions with members of all parties. If you’re looking to call bull-shit on someone, you have an opportunity to start with yourself.

          • Fred from BC says:

            ” simply wanted to point to out the irrefutable fact that Atwal is a politically active community member in the lower mainland with interactions with members of all parties.”

            Yes, but only one party invited him to India, then realizing what a horrendous mistake they had made, panicked and started pointing accusatory fingers at everyone but themselves. This isn’t even about Atwal (or who he is) at all: it’s about how the Liberals made an amateurish protocol blunder, embarrassed Canada and then refused to accept any responsibility for doing so.

            They *could* have just admitted their ineptitude and apologized for it. Instead, they made it worse…and that is the real issue here. Not the mistake: the reaction to the mistake.

            Warren has touched on this same type of subject several times before; as a PR professional, he knows that sometimes the responses are more damning than the incident itself (gee…which is exactly why politicians might want to have a skilled ‘spin doctor’ on call, right?).

  10. Warren says:

    So they are not the duly elected government of India? Should we be dealing with someone else?

  11. Ron Benn says:

    When the federal Liberals anointed Justin Trudeau as leader I wondered if he was the equivalent of David Beckham posing in Calvin Klein underwear. Did either really have any input on product design?

    When Justin Trudeau was elected PM, I wondered whether he was just an actor, playing the role of PM. When he stays on script, he can be an effective communicator. When he strays from his script, or worse when his screenwriters fail to provide him with a script, he gets in trouble. The latest fiasco involving the implication that he was set up by the Government of India is but the latest in a long list of fumbles and bumbles.

    I have seen enough evidence to conclude that I no longer need to wonder about the parallels to David Beckham or an actor.

  12. James Smith says:

    um, is this from a Government that requires a visa of all Canadian visitors lead by a man who was deservedly so, persona non grata in most of the “west” until he was elected PM. I suspect this was an off the cuff invite that Mr T accepted for Canadian retail political reasons. As an armchair viewer it looked to me that that nasty man in the Indian PM’s office thought, “damn! he’s coming this week?! Lets look busy & maybe he’ll go away.”

  13. KS says:

    Curiously, if the Indian government sees fit to have Atwal removed from their black-list and engage him as an NRI, where exactly is the issue?

    Yes, the Indian government didn’t invite him to the event – that has already been conceded.

    But they knew who he was, they allowed him into the country and they were aware that he would present at the event.

    • Matt says:

      Awwww, sweetie. Your obsession with me is cute. Disturbing as hell. But cute none the less.

      • Steve says:

        Atwal has not been on a no fly list to India for some time now and he has visited India multiple times in recent years which puts the the Trudeau conspiracy theory to shame. Trudeau is making a fool of himself (again) by choosing to initiate a diplomatic incident with India rather than simply putting the issue to rest by accepting responsibility for this whole fiasco. Unforced errors indeed. Lately Trudeau reminds me of an actor who has missed his mark and then flustered, forgets his lines and starts to adlib, leading to a disastrous performance. Whether you are a fan of Trudeau or not, it has been cringeworthy for a while now watching him. He seems unable to comprehend what all the fuss is about, almost petulant that anyone would dare to question him. I am not sure if it is arrogance, or someone needs to tweak his dosage, but the man appears to be totally out of touch with reality.

  14. billg says:

    With the exception of die hard partisans most Canadians don’t really care a lot if Liberals are in power or Conservative are in power, thru my lifetime we’ve been served well by both.
    But, I don’t know how anyone can look at the antics of this Prime Minister over the last year and honestly believe that “its no big deal, inside baseball” stuff. Its not. This PM has been lead story’s on CNN twice now in a month, and they haven’t been positive story’s. How many times are die hard partisans going to look the other way. He’s a fraud, he’s an intellectual light weight. If his last name wasn’t Trudeau he’d be trading witty remarks with Cheryl Gallant as a back bencher. Lots of good people in the Liberal Caucus, lots of very smart people, lots of people who gave up gobs of money to serve the public as an MP. Liberals won an election, they deserve to be on power, but this guy leading our country continues to embarrass us on a regular basis and until die hard partisans speak up more often it wont stop.

    • The Doctor says:

      My expat friends overseas have sent me a ton of stories and op-ed pieces from reputable foreign publications about this incident over the last few days. All of those accounts paint Trudeau in a very unfavourable light. Liberal partisans need to wake up about this one and stop with the lame deflection, projection and denial.

      • Peter says:

        I wonder whether Warren could incorporate an algorithm into this site that automatically posts one-sentence comments from Scott dismissing any criticism of Trudeau or the Liberals as right-wing bullshit.

      • Steve says:

        Ummm – your “European relatives”. Haha. Hilarious but sad. Almost desperate, grasping at straws type of thing.

  15. Michael Bussiere says:

    Speaking of (or not speaking of) Jagmeet Singh, where the hell is he? I thought he won the NDP leadership. Maybe he won a free 6-month vacation out of the country.

    • Pedant says:

      It is very weird, the near completeness of his disappearance.

      I get that it’s not easy for the leader of the 3rd place party, without a Commons seat, to get media exposure. But this has to be some sort of record.

    • Peter says:

      Rumour has it he’s about to leave for a working visit to London. Following Canadian tradition, he will arrive wearing a Savile Row suit, a bowler hat and an umbrella.

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