Dissecting Justin Trudeau's apology - Macleans.ca

Dissecting Justin Trudeau’s apology

Politics on TV: Talking with premiers Dexter, Clark and Wall, and talking all about Trudeau’s apology


Justin Trudeau apologizes, November 23, 2012. (Richard Lam/The Canadian Press)

Message of the day

“It’s always better to have the Prime Minister at the table.”

Hot Topics

  1. The First Minister’s meeting in Halifax
  2. Justin Trudeau’s apology
  3. The gender bias problems of the RCMP

Questions not answered

  • Will Trudeau and McGuinty’s comments really influence the Calgary Centre by-election?

First Ministers’ Meeting:

Power & Politics spoke with Nova Scotia Premier Darrel Dexter, who said that the premiers agreed to a framework for collaborating between provinces and the federal government, particularly around skills training and workforce development. Dexter said that it would have been different if they could have dealt with issues like skills development with federal government if they had attended. Dexter said that while he always appreciates the time individual premiers get to meet with the prime minister, it’s always better if he has an opportunity to meet with all of them.

On Power Play, Dexter added that the agenda was set back in July, which allowed them to be focused during the meeting, and that premiers Redford and Marois put together a working group on the technical aspects of an energy deal going forward. Dexter added that Marois struck the right notes on her first time out as premier.

Hannah Thibedeau spoke with BC Premier Christy Clark, who said that Mark Carney told the premiers that the best thing they can do to attract investment is to have fiscal discipline, and to that end, she will be tabling a tough but balanced budget for BC in the spring. Clark said that the premiers have agreed to fight for more control over immigration, because it’s a shared jurisdiction, and that the federal government currently has a special deal with Quebec, which other provinces would also like to have. She added that she has not yet had another conversation with premier Redford about the Northern Gateway, but her position hasn’t changed.

Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall was on Power Play, where he said that the bi-lateral relationship with Harper works, and that he is actively engaging Harper on the immigration file. In particular, there was a refugee in Saskatchewan in need of chemotherapy who was turned down by doctors because of his status, which the province will be covering instead. Wall said that while government has made good moves on immigration, the decision around refugee healthcare is one they don’t agree with.

Trudeau’s apology:

Power & Politics had an MP panel of Michelle Rempel, Linda Duncan and John McCallum to discuss Justin Trudeau’s apology about his comments about Alberta. Rempel said that the apology amounted to “oops, I got caught,” that he needs to resign his critic portfolio, and that it is indicative of comments about Alberta from the Liberals that go back to the NEP. McCallum reiterated that Trudeau apologised for the shorthand of referring to Harper’s Conservatives as Albertans writ-large, and that he has shown by his actions of reaching out and denouncing his father’s NEP that he doesn’t hate Alberta. Duncan suggested that Trudeau was an “amateur” politician instead of critic for amateur sport, but didn’t call for his resignation.

On Power Play, pollster Bruce Cameron of Return on Insight said that the comments have the possibility of giving Joan Crockatt a way of getting her voters out by appealing to divisive politics, or to rally some of the Conservative troops in the last 72 hours.

Power Play’s strategists panel of Tim Murphy, Anne McGrath, and Gerry Nicholls weighed in, where Murphy said that Trudeau generates attention, enthusiasm and money for the party, and if he’s being attacked then he must be doing something right. Nicholls said that Trudeau’s weakness is a lack of political savvy, while McGrath said it looked like he waited to gauge reaction before apologizing.

On P&P’s Power Panel, Kelly Cryderman said that Trudeau’s comments felt personal because they were directed to Alberta as a whole and that may stick, but there is also a lack of surprise from Albertans. Marie Vastel noted that Conservatives and the Reform Party made similar attacks about Quebec, so it was hypocritical for them to make a fuss out of it when they refused to address their former comments. Rob Russo said that these types of incidents may suppress the Liberal vote in the by-election, or bring out Conservative voters who were planning on staying home.

Gender bias in the RCMP:

Power & Politics spoke with Candace Bergen and Randall Garrison about the strongly worded letter that Vic Toews sent to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson in the wake of the gender-based analysis of the Force. Bergen said that the time for study is over and that it’s time for an action plan with benchmarks, and added that Bill C-42 provides the foundation to move forward. Garrison wondered why it took a year for Toews to ask for a plan, and he questioned Toews’ depth of commitment as the word “harassment” doesn’t appear in the letter or in C-42, and their attempts to add it in amendments were voted down.

On Power Play’s journalists panel with Bill Curry and Laura Stone, Stone said that it’s possible that Vic Toews didn’t appreciate Paulson expressing frustration publicly in the past couple of weeks, but perhaps he really does want action taken on this issue. Curry noted a similar strategy with cyber-security several weeks ago where Toews demanded action in advance of an AG report, just as he did here with the gender-based analysis.

Worth Noting:

  • CBC’s Alison Dempster said that the Calgary Centre by-election still has the Liberals polling close to the Conservatives, but the consensus is that it is still Joan Crockatt’s to lose.
  • Immigration lawyer Chantal Desloges described an immigration case where the court has ordered the IRB to re-examine the case of a Libyan family that was deported after the court found actual bias from the visa officer, that he based the decision on an erroneous set of facts, and that the court ordered costs against the government because the family never had a chance.
  • Canadian Press bureau chief Rob Russo said that people are expecting holds in the Victoria and Durham by-elections.
  • Former UN ambassador Paul Heinbecker said that the language in the Isreal-Hamas ceasefire is very unclear, and despite one incident, the fact that it’s otherwise holding is a testament to the commitment on both parties to see it hold.
  • Senator Larry Smith, four-time Grey Cup winner and former CFL commissioner, spoke about the 100th Anniversary of the Grey Cup.

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Dissecting Justin Trudeau’s apology

  1. i guess its o k to call calgary the best city in canada,harper,but its not o k for JT to call quebec the best province in canada.a bit of hypocrocy i think isnt it ?.

    • That’s not what JT did.

      • What exactly did JT do that is so offensive to you s_c_f? Did he hurt your feelings? As I recall, your favourite man date did as much and more to disparage people and ideas he opposed. Could it be that JT’s words, while disturbing to those in Alberta, might ring true somehow? Could it be that your “white knight” is a fraud that will lead us all to ruin? Could it be that everything that defines us derives from a rich history that Alberta would prefer to pretend is “too old” to be relevant (funny for a place that refuses to forget the NEP)? Frankly, I fail to understand why Albertans, with so much privilege and such good fortune, spend so much of their lives whinging about the behaviour of their neighbours to the east. Remember, we’re the ones you want to let “freeze in the dark”.

        • ‘Frankly, I fail to understand why Albertans, with so much privilege and
          such good fortune, spend so much of their lives whinging about the
          behaviour of their neighbours to the east.’

          Yup, weird isn’t it?

        • Three things:
          1. JT did not offend me at all. But I certainly disagree with his opinion and I think he should be criticized (see 3).
          2. I’m not an Albertan, I’m an Eastern Canadian. Why do you judge people like me so quickly? Why do you hate Albertans?
          3. Do you have a point? Most of us want all Canadians to have opportunity and success. Others, like JT, want to denigrate some regions of the country.

          • If you aren’t an Albertan currently living out of province….then move there.

          • No thanks. You go ahead. I’m happy where I am.

          • No ‘money where your mouth is, eh?’

          • It’s not a matter of money, nor has my mouth ever indicated a desire to change residence. You seem confused.

          • You talk like an Albertan, act like an Albertan….live the dream, dude. LOL

          • I take that back. You are confused.

          • No, I’m an Ontario separatist.

          • Last time you said Ontario should separate with Quebec. Changed your mind?

          • No.

          • Let me quote JT’s dad:
            “I just think you Westerners should take over this country if you are so smart.”
            And they have. Perhaps JT is reminding us it might not be working out so well.

            1. Good to know you’re certain about disagreeing. Do you agree with Stephen Harper then, that we are “… a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it…” ?

            2. You’re Canadian. It matters. Our geography encourages hand-holding because we live in a narrow and long place. Everything done that divides us threatens our survival. JT sucumbed to the same selfish impulse YOUR man has perfected. JT was wrong. He said “sorry” and I hope he meant it. Harper? Pfft.

            3. Yes I do have a point, in case you haven’t guessed already — politics can be a game for some; it’s really serious business for others. You are a frequent and earnest commenter in this space and I sense you like the game. Are you serious though?

          • “Everything done that divides us threatens our survival”

            You need a valium. Get a little perspective.

    • Its not comparable. If Harper had said Canada is better served by Quebec MPs over Alberta MPs and claimed the failure of the Martin and Chretien governments (in his view) was because they were from Quebec, than you’d have a case of hypocrisy. Love of one’s adopted home city is very different from attacking a province.

      • A PM is PM of all

        ‘Adopted’ home cities/provinces is irrelevant.

        • I’d agree if we were talking about Harper ensuring that money meant to go to Montreal instead went to Calgary. But we’re not. I mean the man just can’t catch a break from some people. He’s either a man without passion, or a vindictive man, which is proven not by policy decisions but by that passion that previously was stated not to exist. Its like how some Canadians treated Chretien, where he was the stupidest man on the hill one moment, and a corrupt mastermind, a one man Illuminati, the next. Our PM’s are human, which makes them flawed, a lot more boring, and a lot less sinister than we might like to imagine them.

      • its always different when it comes to a con.never fails.

        • I’m not a con. I’m afraid your world view has failed. I think you might find the weakness, in retrospect, in framing politics in absolutes.

      • because your a conservative,right ! always find some other excuse or throw someone under a bus.your all alike(cons).

        • Nope not Conservative. Not associated with any of the political parties. Just trying to keep an open mind.

    • its still devide and conquer and the harper con gov thrives on it,and they perfected it.harper went after the east,and attacked quebec.

  2. Stick a fork in it. He is done.

  3. Trudeau is acting like the future Prime minister but he does not have the guts, the experience and the support of the whole country. That’s why he does not feel comfortable in other provinces than Quebec. Nationally, his popularity is quite limited.

    • Actually his popularity is nation-wide. Check the polls.

      • Yup Alberta wants to bear his children

        • Given the SoCons confused view of biology, that wouldn’t surprise me.

          • Is One your IQ. Fontana,McGuinty and Trudeau what a great week for CPC

          • Whatever, dude

  4. Which polls, the liberal party’s polls. Of course!

  5. He is the son of the other one, that what makes him popular but the other one was not either popular nation-wide, not at all.

    • Yeah Farid, he was.

  6. In the nicest possible way; Justin you are a tool!

    • it will be an eating crow moment for all these right wing posters if harvey locke wins the seat in calgary centre.the cons had JT on the mat before the boxing match started and what happened,they ended up eating crow.what a bunch of marrons(cons).

      • So winning an exhibition boxing match over an overweight senator qualifies Trudeau to run the country

  7. Copied from another forum:

    Let’s look at Canada, shall we? A population of almost 35 million people. What this means in stark and realistic terms is that if 100 people lived in Canada and based on the current population and where this population is, we find that the breakdown would be as follows:

    The Maritimes (PEI, NFLD & LAB, NS and NB) = 7 people
    The 3 Territories (Yk, NWT & Nunavut) = 1/3 of a person
    Manitoba = 4 people
    Saskatchewan = 3 people
    Alberta = 11 people
    British Columbia = 13 people
    Quebec = 23 people
    Ontario = 39 people

    The prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta = just 18 of the 100 people. Throw in the real western province of B.C. and it = 31 people.

    Quebec and Ontario together = 62 people, exactly twice that of the 4 most westernmost provinces.

    Given these ‘facts’, where would you do your heavy campaigning if you wanted to be Prime Minister and head the next federal government?

    • EXACTLY!!!

  8. it all about politic games