Christmas is supposed to be over and done with but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided his western Canadian based critics with a big gift — bow and all — over the weekend. In a TV interview Trudeau was trying to communicate the flexibility that Saskatchewan will have under his carbon tax plan and he blew the opportunity by stating:
“All of the revenue from the carbon pricing will stay in that province and if Brad Wall is concerned about the cost on his farmers or the cost on a particular industry, he can return all the money to them from the carbon tax .”
You can see the video in the tweet from Brad Wall below.
— Brad Wall (@PremierBradWall) January 3, 2017
The Trudeau government made some positive impacts on agriculture in its first year, specifically on the trade file with the Canada-EU deal. There is work ahead with TPP and a potential NAFTA renegotiation but I feel confident in Trade Minister Freeland and her team. Good work was also done on the canola deal with China. The Trudeau government was very successful in coming to a resolution in a timely matter that did not adversely impact the very important canola industry.
When compared to some of the recent Donald Trump tweets (on New Years Day he wished Happy New Year to his “enemies” and another where he congratulated Vladimir Putin for his US sanctions against Obama), Trudeau’s is a light offence for a global leader.
Having said that, Trudeau wins no points with this verbal slip and the insincere tone in which it’s delivered.
It’s a slip, but a very big freudian slip in terms of showcasing the lack of attachment he has to Western Canadian farmers. Liberals will defend by saying that it was a wrong choice of words and the Prime Minister truly is committed to agriculture. Critics of Trudeau will disagree adamantly.
Unlike the time his communications department confused mustard and canola, this slip up seems to showcase his lack of compassion in general for westerners and agriculture.
Many are comparing this to the antics of his father, but it seems that his father was more polished and precise where this Trudeau version seems just careless in communications.
The thing is Trudeau campaigned and built his global political brand on being compassionate and caring for all, Saskatchewan farmers notwithstanding. His anti-Harper persona won him many votes during the election from Canadians that wanted a leader that was more inclusive. When you do that and then come across as uncompassionate and uninclusive, you get burned for it.
Saskatchewan farmers are Canadian farmers Mr. Trudeau, and that means they are your farmers. Some of them probably even voted for you. Too bad that you don’t recognize that either.
A word of advice to the Prime Minister:
Even if you don’t care, at least try to make it look like you do.