, 08.15.2023 09:38 AM

My latest: “Respect our privacy.”

Weird, weird, weird.

“For the well-being of our children, we ask that you respect our and their privacy.”

That is a quote. That is what Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire wrote, in both official languages, when they announced their separation on August 2.

Some commentators, this one among them, strongly urged everyone to heed those words. Justin Trudeau is Prime Minister of Canada, yes, and a public person. Criticism of his votes, his quotes and his spending of bank notes are always fair game, we said.

But not Sophie Grégoire or their three kids, all aged 15 and under. They’re unelected. Leave them alone, we said. (We still say it.)

The “respect our privacy” request is heard a lot. Sometimes couples – separating, divorcing or “consciously uncoupling,” per the vagine visionary, Gwyneth Paltrow – add: “at this difficult time.”

Couples who have used those words, or a variation on those words, recently include TV star Sofia Vergara, Yellowstone lead Kevin Costner, movie star Reese Witherspoon and Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher. Usually, the call for “privacy” during “this difficult time” happens when kids are involved, but not always.

Sometimes the paparazzi and the press respect the request for privacy, often they don’t. It depends.

What about those occasions, say, when a famous person requests that everyone “respect our and their privacy,” and then – a few days later! – does the exact opposite, themselves? What happens when they preach one thing on one day, and then practice another thing the next day?

We speak, here – reluctantly, regretfully – of one Justin Trudeau, he of the “respect our privacy” statement, issued on Instagram on Tuesday, August 2.

Who then posted, on Sunday, August 6, a photo of himself on Instagram with his son Xavier, 15, going to see the movie Barbie. And who posted a photo of himself with his daughter Ella, 14, going to see the movie Oppenheimer on Tuesday, August 8.

They were nice photos, and everyone looked happy. The kids look like great kids.

Except this: the person who put those photos up on Instagram – the person who did not respect the kids’ privacy – was the person who asked everyone to “respect their privacy” less than one week before.

Do you get that? I don’t. Does that seem wildly, bizarrely contradictory to you? It does to me.

It is arguably vintage Justin Trudeau, however: say one thing, do another. Preach Indigenous reconciliation, then hit a beach where he likes to surf. Promise ethical governance, then get caught breaking conflict of interest rules not once, but twice.

Condemn racism, get seen wearing racist blackface. Pledge to reform elections, balance budgets and finally end boil-water advisories and…anyway, you get the point. The guy is (in)famous for saying one thing and doing another. It’s practically in his DNA.

And, in fairness, you can say the same thing about most politicians. They break promises all the time. They get in power, and are persuaded – by bureaucrats, by lawyers, by circumstance – that what they said they’d do before they won the election isn’t very practical after the election.

Things happen beyond their control, in other words, and they have to reverse themselves. They have to flip-flop. Happens a lot. Happens too often. But the reversals aren’t always solely their fault.

However, in this bizarre instance, it’s pretty hard for Justin Trudeau to blame someone else for violating his kids’ privacy, when he’s the one who did it first. Him.

Is it possible the kids themselves said they were okay with being photographed, and memorialized, on Dad’s official Instagram account? It’s possible. God knows teenagers aren’t strenuously opposed to social media.

But, until someone produces exculpatory evidence, it looks very much like the guy who requested their privacy is the selfsame guy who violated their privacy.

Which, as we say, is weird.

And typical.


  1. Martin Dixon says:

    I had one of my rare engagements on twitter with someone who was defending the above pic when I said it was planned(and successful) trolling and I didn’t think the kids should be part of that(forget the fact that JT just asked for privacy but I digress-I had no idea who the kid even was when I saw the pic-I sure do now). Justin and his peeps knew exactly the result they would get(in both official languages). The response was they thought that if it were their 18 year old, the kid would be in on it. But, the son is 15. If he was in on it, that is actually worse and on his parents.

  2. Curious V says:

    I had a nephew who was a very gifted athlete, and ended up with a scholarship to play for his university – same with his sister, she’s on her way to a university scholarship. Twitter pages with their athletic exploits in their formative years, and I’d always say – you should respect their privacy, and realize how many lunatics there are out there. That was a few years back, but these days it’s a mainstream media habit, to splash your kids all over Facebook and twitter every time they have some success at sports or academics, or when involved in big events. So, as much as this habit annoys me, I’m a loner on this one – most parents choose to splash their kids all over their social media, and Trudeau’s no different. I used to think it was in poor taste, no matter how proud I am, but it’s just a mainstream media habit these days that most parents engage in.

    • Martin Dixon says:

      Yes but Justin LITERALLY just asked for said privacy. LITERALLY. 4 days earlier. You are missing the point.

  3. Daphne says:

    So a newly separated father treats his kid to a fun night out wearing a shirt that says “Love You More”? That’s pretty on the nose messaging, isn’t it? Especially when it appears that the mom is moving out and the kids stay with him.

  4. Warren,

    To use a question which has been, or should have been, applied to Justin Trudeau at least a hundred times in the past: what was he thinking, or was he even thinking at all? Deep and serious contemplation beforehand is seemingly not his forte.

    • Martin Dixon says:

      Ronald, he knew exactly what he was doing. They gamed this out and released it in both official languages to get the trolls to respond and it worked. And he used his son to do it. You could say he was complicit but he is only 15 years old. This is why we have Children’s Aid Societies.

  5. Sean says:

    I don’t follow why anyone would agree to be pictured with Justin Trudeau under any circumstances.

  6. Gilbert says:

    Meghan Markle and Justin Trudeau have two things in common. They’re both liberals and they love attention.

  7. Greg says:

    That request for privacy was written by Sophie. But typical vindictive Trudeau took his kids out on a photo-op to spite her.

  8. Warren,

    Too funny. LOL. 56% of respondents to the Abacus Data poll want Trudeau to step down. 27% want him to stick around. I want him to stay too, it’s so good for the CPC campaign!

    We all know that our ego driven, prideful narcissist couldn’t possibly conceive of leaving. His humongous ego just couldn’t take it. In short, he’s going NOWHERE, fast.

    • Martin Dixon says:

      Ronald, the only rational explanation for a number as high as 27% is that there must be conservatives in there. I have already said I would rather he step down even though that is bad for us. Just not worth the risk.

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