From next week’s Hill Times column:
Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, regularly refused to make apologies when he was Prime Minister. In 1984, when pressed by Brian Mulroney to apologize to Japanese-Canadians who had been interned during World War Two, Pierre Trudeau refused.
“I do not think the purpose of a government is to right the past,” Trudeau told Mulroney. “It cannot rewrite history. It is our purpose to be just in our time.”
He could have added another reason, one that would have later had particular relevance to his eldest son: when you apologize a lot, people will expect you to continue to issue apologies – and particularly when it is right and just to do so.
But, this week, Justin Trudeau wouldn’t. He refused.
The occasion was the proposed apology to Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, whose life and career had been effectively destroyed by the aforementioned Justin Trudeau and Trudeau PMO.
Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt, supported by the New Democrats, rose in the House to ask that Members of Parliament “recognize Vice-Admiral Mark Norman for his decades of loyal service to Canada, express regret for the personal and professional hardships he endured as a result of his failed prosecution and apologize to him and his family for what they experienced during their legal conflict with government.”
Everyone was in favour of Raitt’s motion. Every Liberal MP voted for it.
But not Justin Trudeau. He had slipped out of the Commons chamber mere moments before the vote.
And he didn’t come back to support the apology to Mark Norman, either.