My latest: how to know who Justin Trudeau really is, in the place where his soul is supposed to reside
Pretend, for a moment, that you are a big wheel in the federal government. Prime Minister, even. Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, too.
Pretend you are running a government that styles itself as feminist.
Would you then permit someone to run for you, as a candidate, who said he was looking for a girlfriend to do his “cleaning, folding, cooking?”
Your government proclaims it is anti-racist, too. Would you take that same candidate after he’d mocked the way Chinese-Canadians speak?
Your federal political party says it’s against homophobia and sexual assault, too. Would you accept that guy into your caucus, after he joked that men’s tennis “sounds exactly like gay porn?”
How about after learning that he would like to “accidentally sexually assault” someone? How about then?
You’d still take him? Okay, let’s say you are considering which MP to give a big raise and make the Parliamentary Secretary for Crown-Indigenous Relations. Would you hire that same guy, after he wrote that “every skinny aboriginal girl is on crystal meth?”
You wouldn’t, would you? No. No decent, sane person would. When a man makes that many racist, homophobic, misogynistic, anti-Indigenous remarks, you wouldn’t hire him for any task, would you?
But you’re not Justin Trudeau. And Justin Trudeau did indeed promote Jaime Battiste — the Liberal MP for Sydney-Victoria, N.S. — to what is a junior cabinet minister post. Gave him a big raise, too.
And made him one of the most powerful elected people in Ottawa — on the Indigenous file.
Now, governments don’t usually reveal themselves in grand, sweeping gestures. Sometimes they reveal themselves — their absence of a soul, say — in the little things. Like promoting someone like Jaime Battiste to help oversee Indigenous issues.
In a way, it isn’t really surprising.
I mean, this is the prime minister who solemnly promised to bring clean water to Indigenous reserves — and then just didn’t.
This is the prime minister who said he’d clean up the poison in the ground at places like Grassy Narrows — and then mocked a young woman who came to an exclusive Liberal event to talk to him about Grassy Narrows, telling her “thanks for your donation” as security men threw her out onto the sidewalk.
This is the prime minister who said he wanted a day for Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous people — and then lied about where he was on that very day, and jetted out to B.C. to hang out in a millionaire’s mansion. On a beach where he likes to surf.
This is the prime minister who pushed his minister of justice and attorney general to stop the prosecution of one of his party donors — a donor who was facing corruption charges on a massive scale.
And then, when that minister — a proud and respected Indigenous leader named Jody Wilson-Raybould — refused to obstruct justice, he kicked her out of the Liberal Party. And when another respected female cabinet minister named Jane Philpott spoke up to defend Wilson-Raybould, he kicked her out, too.
That’s who this prime minister is. That’s who he is, in his soul. In his essence.
A man who claims to be a feminist, but isn’t. A man who professes to oppose all racism and homophobia, but doesn’t. A man who says he wants reconciliation with Indigenous people — but will never attain it.
In his words and his deeds, we all know who Justin Trudeau is.
He’s the prime minister who recruited, and promoted, Jaime Battiste — a jerk, a creep, who says that “every skinny aboriginal girl is on crystal meth.”
That’s who Justin Trudeau really is.
— Warren Kinsella was a Ministerial Representative on Indigenous files across Canada under Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper