Please don’t grind your teeth!
We are now fully into an election campaign in Canada and the gloves are clearly off. If I were a betting man, at this early stage, I would predict a minority Liberal Government, backed by the NDP who have come out of the gate more strongly than anticipated. Clearly, I hope I am wrong.
My beef is not so much with the Liberals. They and the Conservatives have been the governing parties in this country since Confederation. Over those years Canada has become and remains one of the most prosperous and envied countries in the world. Inevitable mistakes aside, not a bad record of achievement for either party.
No, my beef is primarily with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I believe he is a weak leader whose substance is more charismatic than politically wise. He talks from one side of his mouth and delivers from the other. During his tenure, he has created a deficit many times higher than he promised, he has demonstrated an apparent lack of respect for the rule of law and he has divided this country as it has not been divided in decades.
Justin Trudeau prides himself as an environmentalist and yet it is he who allowed the City of Montreal to dump millions of tons of sewage into our waterways. He hails himself as a feminist and yet he punishes women for not acting like men. He has painted himself as the champion of human rights and yet he has ducked, for political expedience (as, to be fair, has Andrew Scheer) the issue of state-sponsored discrimination in Quebec which prevents many people from teaching or nursing or working in other public service jobs because of their religious beliefs and obligations. And in recent weeks, Mr. Trudeau has blocked any investigation into his conduct related to the SNC-Lavalin scandal by stopping a Parliamentary enquiry, restricting the Ethics Commissioner, and denying access to relevant documents by the RCMP.
Now, as we enter this election period, where is the record of accomplishments that Mr. Trudeau should be proud of? Instead, there seems to be an election strategy based on two elements. The first is pure pork-barreling. During the past few months the government led by Justin Trudeau, in an unprecedented spending spree, made more than 1,000 announcements in promised funding, totalling $10 billion. Most of this was in ridings held by the Liberals and all of this at a time our country is facing an extraordinary and escalating debt, which unchecked will result in catastrophic consequences for Canadians, no less severe than our challenges with climate change. I am holding my breath to see if Mr. Trudeau sees this election campaign as an appropriate time to send Canadians a cheque for his promised rebate on the so-called carbon tax.
The second component appears to be a strategy of character assassination. This from a man who promised that politics would be conducted differently under his watch. Just today, the first ten posts I saw on Twitter were from Trudeau trolls who castigated Andrew Scheer for having a candidate who happened to have a friend with unacceptable alt-right views. The Toronto Sun said it best recently, when they wrote this: “In this election Trudeau has basically suggested that anybody that supports Conservative Andrew Scheer is backing a white-supremacist sympathizing, immigrant-bashing homophobe.” It is sadly clear from old videos being released by the Trudeau camp and by statements made by him and his cohorts that this is an important element of their campaign.
I do not know Andrew Scheer. I have never met him. But nothing I have seen has led me to believe he is not a person of high character. And I will say the same thing of Justin Trudeau. I disagree with him profoundly, but I do not question his character.
Mr. Scheer is a man of faith and in Canada he is still entitled to his beliefs which evolve from that. What he is not entitled to, is to impose those personal views on others, especially as Prime Minister, should he ever hold that office. He has promised not to do that and I know of no reason why he should not be believed. Critics often point to Stephen Harper in order to criticize Andrew Scheer. They should remember that Stephen Harper was also a man of faith and never once did he abuse his office to impose those views on others.
Now, a note to my Liberal friends and to those who disagree with me, who, if they have read this far, are probably grinding their teeth. Please don’t. What I have written is my viewpoint. That is what I do. I write opinion pieces based on my background, experience and beliefs. I have voted Liberal in the past and I may well do so again in the future. But I am just not a fan of Justin Trudeau in his role as Prime Minister. That is my opinion and I am entitled to it.
It is important to be clear however, that this is not a one-way street. All opinions are important, especially during an election cycle. We will post any respectfully written viewpoints, whether they be comments or articles. A healthy debate is based on differing opinions.
Surely that is what democracy is all about.
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