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Tribalism: Justin Trudeau Dismembers His Father’s One Canada Vision

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19Jan

by Graham Lane

Published in the Winnipeg Sun, January 19, 2018

Pierre Trudeau (PT) remains the most divisive Prime Minister in Canadian history – he is both loved and loathed. But, for all of the controversy, he championed One Canada. He boldly fought against what he perceived as “The Two Solitudes” – in which English and French Canada did not speak. He fought to bring them together. There has never been a stronger nationalist leader in our country. PT believed in the rule of law, equal rights for all Canadians, and a limited role of government in the social fPierre Trudeau (PT) remains the most divisive Prime Minister in Canadian history – he is both loved and loathed. But, for all of the controversy, he championed One Canada. He boldly fought against what he perceived as “The Two Solitudes” – in which English and French Canada did not speak. He fought to bring them together. There has never been a stronger nationalist leader in our country. PT believed in the rule of law, equal rights for all Canadians, and a limited role of government in the social fabric of our society.

While his economic policies – deficits, borrowing, National Energy Policy, and the Constitution and Charter of Rights, reman controversial, the commitment to One Canada does not. No mod-ern Prime Minister has done more to foster a sense of unity and pride in One Canada than Pierre Trudeau.

It is, therefore, deeply disappointing that his son, Justin, has moved in the opposite direction. Within the liberal movements in Canada there has been a trend to abandon Pierre’s one-country policy and use identity politics (tribalism) to ‘dice and slice up’ the electorate into smaller seg-ments of society. Justin’s goal is to define each group, then to make a pitch to each group about how his political foe, the Conservatives, are against minorities, claiming that only liberals will pro-tect minorities from the prejudice of the majority.

Gone is JFK- like “think not of what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. Justin dismisses his father’s statement that “(Canada) will only remain united – it should only remain united – if its citizens want to live together in one civil society.” The idea of one coun-try, with a multicultural basis, a strong belief of Pierre’s, has been weakened.

Pierre Trudeau was a strong believer in the law and one Canada. If it were not for his passionate belief in one country, it is almost certain that Canada would have broken up during the rise of Rene Levesque and the Parti Quebecois and its separatist mandate.

With his son, we see him carving out niche after niche after niche. Catering to any and all groups that claim special status. The reality is that under the first Trudeau, PT, we ‘all’ were hap-py to be Canadians. The second Trudeau prime minister wants us all to be hyphenated Canadi-ans – be LGBT Canadians, First Nation Canadians, Indo-Canadians, first generation Canadians, Muslim Canadians, etc. etc..

The only time that Justin Trudeau has spoken in similar tones to his father – saying “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian” – was in connection with Zakaria Amara, a Jordanian-Canadian serving a life sentence for a plot to kill scores of Canadians. When legislation to remove his citi-zenship was enacted by the previous Harper government, to allow for Mr. Amara to be deported to Jordan, Justin had the law repealed after he became PM. Justin ensured that Amara (and others of his ilk) will remain in Canada. Justin insists that even recently immigrant terrorists should remain Canadians.

It is sad that Trudeau Junior hasn’t learned the lessons taught by his father as to believing in one country, one Canada. I wonder how Pierre Trudeau would think about the hyphenation of Cana-dians under his son.
abric of our society.

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