Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, contrary to Mr. Trump’s latest tweet, is not weak.
Trump blustered into Canada this weekend, Charlevoix, where I used to live. The Quebec countryside is peaceful and serene, perhaps deliberately chosen as a safe haven in which to discuss issues of economic importance among allies. Trump, like all the other participants, was among friends or at very least not among enemies.
When I was in grade school, there was always one student who simply did not fit in. Whether it was the schoolyard bully who knocked down lunch bags or the child who deliberately took too long at the water fountain on those hot days—there was always one child who’s behaviour separated themselves from the rest.
Trump may not be a genius, but he knows enough to surround himself with people he trusts, if not necessarily trustworthy people. Of late, we’ve heard whispers of Bannon being consulted along with John Kelly and Stephen Miller. Trump is not working alone.
We see this evidenced in some carefully worded tweets, and of course in the recent hiring and subsequent publicity tour of New York City’s ex-mayor, Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani was chosen for three reasons:
We first noticed it while Trump was still a presidential candidate. It continued into his presidency and seemed to have culminated with the events of Charlottesville, Virginia. While many may think I am referring to racism, I’m not. I’m referring to what may be a pillar of racism—intolerance. The most recent example may be the arrest of a female schoolteacher during what would have been an otherwise peaceful meeting of the Vermilion Parish, but for the fact that a woman dared to challenge the “white” mostly male establishment. But we’ll get back to this.
In Brampton, Ontario a public meeting also took place where a female heckler disrupted the meeting, walking to the front of the room to confront the male speaker, a Sikh. She continued to rant and interrupt the meeting for a little over four minutes as she physically and verbally chastised the speaker. He took control of the situation by speaking of an inclusive Canada where nobody is left behind leading the audience as they chanted, “We welcome you, we support you and we love you.” No violence. No arrest. No handcuffs. No joke. Welcome to Canada.
By way of contrast, let us return to Vermilion Parish where a woman at a school board meeting and is granted an opportunity to speak, during which time she is not unruly or disruptive in the least—not raising her voice or even making threats yet halfway through her questions she is forcibly escorted out by a Deputy Marshal. Seconds later screams emanate from the hallway where the woman is on her knees as the Deputy Marshal attempts, and eventually succeeds in cuffing her and removing her from the building. Continue reading “Opinion | Free Speech, Intolerance, and Violence in the Age of Trump”→
Popular culture aside, many people may not realize just how much our cultures differ. Gun control, health care and Tim Horton’s, just to name a few, but the list is longer than most may think. We’re different in Canada. Not better, just different.
In 1957 Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role as Canada’s External Affairs Minister, expounding upon what would later become known as a doctrine of non-interference.That policy has been reflected in Canada’s refusal to participate in the Vietnam War and more recently, our refusal to invade Iraq under the guise of ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction.
In 1958 the Avro Arrow was destined to become one of the world’s finest interceptor jets, except the project never got off the ground, so to speak. February 20, 1959, the day the Canadian government cancelled production of this Cold War plane came to be known as Black Friday, the day thousands of employees, laborers, scientists, and engineers alike were scattered in the wind.