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Does Justin Trudeau risk being overexposed?

In prioritizing public appearances, the Prime Minister may have a hard time finding balance


 

It’s as though he never stopped campaigning.

Nearly a year since Justin Trudeau was propelled into office on a near-narcotic wave of optimism, he remains the personification of “sunny ways,” the Liberal party’s de facto mantra, mode de vie and campaign slogan.

It was on display last fall, when Trudeau was mobbed by civil servants after his government “unmuzzled” government scientists, thus allowing them to speak freely with the media. There it was again in December, when a room of First Nations leaders erupted in cheers when Trudeau emphasized Canada’s “sacred obligation” to the rights of First Nations communities across the country. And again this summer, when Trudeau photobombed fellow vacationers, always with that smile and sometimes without a shirt.

We see it almost constantly with the general public. From the moment he set foot on the streets of Montreal for the city’s annual Pride parade, Trudeau basked in the adoring embrace of the crowd. He smiled, waved, shook hands, posed for pictures, brandished a rainbow flag and otherwise became as fabulously sweaty as the multicoloured throngs of Pride goers swarming around him. It would be the same atmosphere of well-documented adoration a week later, when Trudeau made a show of attending the last Tragically Hip concert in Kingston, Ont.

“I like the energy, the proximity to people,” he says, at the parade’s starting point, dressed in white pants, grey sneakers and a turquoise button-down shirt. “In my job, I have a range of experiences, with heavy serious work mixed with moments where I get to share in this kind of thing. It’s about finding the right balance.”

Has he found it yet?

“It’s a moving target.”

There is substance behind the flash, those around him insist. In interviews with Trudeau and members of his inner circle, a picture emerges of a Prime Minister who has adopted the insouciance and flesh-pressing humanity in crowds that so defined the tenure of his father, Pierre Trudeau. He has also taken on his father’s ethic of intense work juxtaposed by daily family time, weekends at the cottage and an ironclad edict that he get eight hours sleep every night. He has taken a total of 25 vacation days in his 10 months in office, according to Prime Minister’s Office staff.

CANADA, Montreal: Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau takes part in Montreal's Pride Parade on August 14, 2016. The parade took place on Rene-Levesque st. A minute of silence was observed in memory of Orlando's shooting victims. (Cristian Mijea/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in Montreal’s Pride Parade on August 14, 2016. The parade took place on Rene-Levesque st. A minute of silence was observed in memory of Orlando’s shooting victims. (Cristian Mijea/CP)

Yet when it comes to the mechanics of governing, the younger Trudeau has moved away from his father’s approach, in which he and an all-powerful Prime Minister’s Office dictated the agenda and policy decisions. Pierre Trudeau’s top-down style of governing was enduring—and perfected, most recently, by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.

Under Harper, the PMO was at once protector of the prime minister’s image and enforcer of his whims, decisions and diktats. Under Trudeau, the PMO has been cut from 100 staff members to about 65, and the power shifted to his ministers. “I govern by cabinet,” Trudeau says.

The government is working on or has fulfilled 106 of 220 electoral promises, according to TrudeauMetre.ca, which tracks such things. When the doors are closed and the cameras off, his advisers and cabinet ministers say a different, seemingly less carefree Trudeau emerges—one who is both exacting and consensus building. “He can be very playful and he can be deadly serious,” says Roland Paris, who until recently worked as a foreign affairs adviser in the PMO.

Related: The marketing of Justin Trudeau

Yet as popular and resolutely positive as his government is, all of it risks being undone. There’s the matter of its $113-billion gamble on deficit spending over the next five years. Or, as his senior adviser Mathieu Bouchard readily admits, Trudeau might suffer from sheer overexposure. “How much rope does he have? That’s something you look at after the fact and say, ‘That’s how much he’s had.’ You don’t know until you’ve hit it.”

“The major stumbling block for both the Conservatives and the New Democrats, however, remained Pierre Trudeau. The press continued to follow each of his moves, providing their readers and viewers with a steady stream of Trudeau memorabilia,” read the 1969 edition of the Canadian Annual Review.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his daughter Ella-Grace enjoy a ride during their visit to the Calgary Stampede, in Calgary on Friday, July 15, 2016. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his daughter Ella-Grace enjoy a ride during their visit to the Calgary Stampede, in Calgary on Friday, July 15, 2016. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

It might have been written 47 years later about his son. In the first 10 months in office, Trudeau has generated 27 per cent more media coverage across the country than Harper’s first 10 months, according to a report by Quebec-based media monitoring firm Influence Communication.

Along with the constant adoring crowds, Justin Trudeau has also benefitted from an opposition rendered disorganized in the wake of last year’s election. The Conservative party will have an interim leader until May 2017; NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair already has one foot out the door, having been rejected by his own party members last April.

Coverage of prime ministers and their governments tends to drop off after an election: Harper’s fell off by 79 per cent one month after the 2006 election. Brian Mulroney’s coverage dropped by 69 per cent in 1988, and Jean Chrétien’s by 30 per cent in 1993.

Related: Why the opposition is responsible for all the talk of shirtless Trudeau

Media coverage of this Prime Minister since the 2015 election has actually increased by 40 per cent, according to the report. And unlike in Harper’s case, it is overwhelmingly favourable. “In Canadian and foreign media, the tone used to describe Trudeau is far more positive,” says Influence Communication president Jean-François Dumas. “The People magazine-style coverage he gets plays a major role in this.”

It’s perhaps why Trudeau’s appearances at Pride parades, Tragically Hip concerts and at the Toronto Zoo, where in March he cuddled two panda cubs and birthed the mother of all Internet memes, feel like tightly scripted displays of the Prime Minister’s cheerful spontaneity. Under Trudeau, such things have become part of the job—though he couches it in different language.

“The social media age means that people are used to feeling connected and they want to see their leaders out and articulating the values that they stand for. When I show up for a Pride parade or at a multicultural park celebration or whatever, these are articulations of things that are values that we all share,” Trudeau says.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, pets a sheep at the Junior Sheep Show during Old Home Week events in Charlottetown, P.E.I., on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. (Darren Calabrese/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, pets a sheep at the Junior Sheep Show during Old Home Week events in Charlottetown, P.E.I., on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. (Darren Calabrese/CP)

Harper’s embrace of social media was awkward at best. For Trudeau, it has been a key part of his ascension. He first used his personal Twitter account on March 30, 2008. Ostensibly a reluctant tweeter at first, Trudeau came to embrace the platform and its tendency toward broadcasting 140-word inanities. He wished Chuck Norris a happy 70th birthday, kibitzed about his moustache grown in the name of cancer research and sporadically cheered on the Montreal Canadiens. “Wohoo! Rockets in my pockets! I love Hallowe’en,” he tweeted on Oct. 29, 2009.

Today, the @JustinTrudeau account is overseen and largely written by a small team headed up by Dave Sommer, a PMO staffer with the title of “digital creative lead.” Less frivolous and far more bilingual, the account nonetheless provides a breezy account of Trudeau’s thoughts, activities and pronouncements. It is also a repository of soft focus (and often partisan) pictures of Trudeau scooping ice cream in P.E.I. and polishing the Grey Cup with his sleeve in Ottawa.

If @JustinTrudeau is the party, @CanadianPM is the suit and tie. Maintained by the Privy Council Office, the account is a far more straightforward take on the Prime Minister, from trade missions to visits with foreign dignitaries and politicians to commemoration ceremonies. It has 51,000 followers. @JustinTrudeau has nearly two million.

Both accounts carried the news of Trudeau’s appearance at the Tragically Hip show last weekend. @JustinTrudeau featured pictures of Trudeau signing an outsized farewell card to the band, and of him hugging Hip frontman Gord Downie. “PM Trudeau attends Tragically Hip’s final show. Watch this historic moment live,” read the @CanadianPM feed—tying, inadvertently or not, Trudeau’s attendance to the Hip’s indelible legacy. Photographers from Canadian outlets were barred from the venue. Trudeau’s personal photographer snapped away unfettered.

(In Sudbury, 450 km northwest, much of the Liberal cabinet was in preliminary meetings for a planned retreat, which would begin the next day upon Trudeau’s arrival.)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and his daughter Ella Grace Trudeau, hidden, paddle in a canoe during the "Paddle The Rouge" event at Rouge Beach Park, following a federal government announcement to amend the"Rouge Nation Urban Park Act", in Toronto, Saturday June 18, 2016. (Mark Blinch/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and his daughter Ella Grace Trudeau, hidden, paddle in a canoe during the “Paddle The Rouge” event at Rouge Beach Park, following a federal government announcement to amend the”Rouge Nation Urban Park Act”, in Toronto, Saturday June 18, 2016. (Mark Blinch/CP)

Trudeau appears genuinely shocked when asked about the perception that he is rarely behind a desk. “I spend an awful lot of time behind a desk. The work that I do as Prime Minister has me on phone calls, conference calls, briefing notes, briefing books all the time. There’s an awful lot to do, and I’m glad to do it. But you also have to do it in a way that stays connected with Canadians and in order to do that, I’m continuing what I’ve been doing for years, which is doing the hard work of getting out, meeting with Canadians, listening to them, talking with them, and being part of this country that I have the responsibility to serve.”

Cheery tweets and campaign-style jaunts into adoring hoi polloi are the most visible part of a government that has substantially changed its course and tone in less than a year. On foreign policy, for example, the government has shifted to a more multilateral stance than the previous Conservative government. “I think that his view was that the Conservative’s foreign policy was ineffective more than anything else,” says Paris, who worked in different capacities for the Liberal party and the Trudeau government until this past June. Under Trudeau, the country has re-engaged with the United Nations, lifted sanctions against Iran and attempted to repair strained relations with China.

Domestically, government ministries have been given more latitude and, in some cases, more money. At Status of Women Canada, a relatively small ministry with a full-time staff of 99, the arrival of the Liberals has brought “an enormous change in tone,” according to a department source. The minister, Patty Hajdu, is the first in the department’s 40-year history to have full ministerial authority without another portfolio attached.

In November 2015, shortly after the new government was sworn in, the words “advocacy” and “research” reappeared in the ministry’s mandate. The ministerial mandate letter itself, which remained secret under the previous government, was published on the government website (as were the mandate letters of all government ministries). Along with a modest budget increase, the ministry received $23.3 million over five years for “more consistent gender-based analysis.”

Past prime ministers, Harper very much included, usually had their fingerprints on the more substantial legislation. Trudeau, though, has taken a hands-off approach and delegated authority to his ministers on such matters. In April, the government introduced its medical-aid-in-dying legislation. Written in response to a Supreme Court of Canada decision striking down the country’s prohibition of doctor-assisted death, the legislation was at once important and fraught.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who co-wrote the legislation with Health Minister Jane Philpott, says Trudeau stayed largely in the background, despite its relative importance. “His was one of many voices that we heard in crafting the legislation,” Wilson-Raybould said. “We had formal and informal discussions where the Prime Minister would check in with Jane and I just to see how things were going. He always made himself available and always made it clear that we could bounce ideas off of him.”

Ministers are usually required to give presentations at caucus meetings every Wednesday morning. Trudeau is almost always there. “The Prime Minister always gives his perspective,” says Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly. “He’s not a micromanager. He always says: be available to the media. Be positive, avoid excessive partisanry. Humility is very important to him.”

Justin Trudeau sits down for an interview at a table on the 46th floor of Montreal’s Place Ville Marie. He nods confidently and, at the behest of a mindful aide, flicks his hair off his forehead.

“I haven’t had my post-vacation haircut yet,” he laments.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plays a game of foosball at the Boys and Girls Club in Toronto with students from St. Mary's School. The PM announced a budget increase for summer jobs program for students to $113 million. (Chris So/Toronto Star/Getty Images)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plays a game of foosball at the Boys and Girls Club in Toronto with students from St. Mary’s School. The PM announced a budget increase for summer jobs program for students to $113 million. (Chris So/Toronto Star/Getty Images)

Downstairs, 46 floors below, a cortège of 10 black cars await to take him to the Pride parade, where he will be mobbed. He’ll be mobbed again the next day, in Newfoundland, in P.E.I. and Toronto after that, then in Kingston when he strode, resplendent in denim, through the throngs outside the Tragically Hip concert.

Liberals bask in Trudeau’s honeymoon, which has lasted well into his first year in office. Others wonder when and how badly it’s going to end.

And it’s not just cynics. Economists have lamented the slow pace of the Canadian economic recovery. It has lagged behind the United States, shedding 31,200 jobs in July alone. Exports are flat despite a low dollar, while the country’s oil patch languishes in low crude prices and successive natural disasters in Fort McMurrary. A Conservative attack ad had Trudeau on a milk carton, suggesting the Prime Minister had gone missing.

Trudeau says he doesn’t worry about his own popularity. “Polls will go up, polls will go down. My focus is, what are we doing that is the right thing. I’ve pulled together a great team, we are working very hard on that, we’re remaining engaged, we’re listening to Canadians, we’re working with the top scientists and engaging the civil service in terms of finding solutions for how we move forward,” he says.

Besides, help is on the way, in the form of targeted middle-class tax cuts and billions of dollars in economic stimulus. “These are things that are setting us on the right path. None of them were ever designed to be quick fixes. They are things that will get our economy on the right footing for the next decade.”

How long is it going to take?

“It’s going to take the time it does.”

Few interviews with Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister are complete without a stirring (and unmistakenly self-serving) narrative, and it comes moments later, when he’s asked about his pro-immigration, pro-trade government’s place in an increasingly isolationist, nationalist world.

“Canadians made a choice that people around the world would make if there was a strong, compelling authentic narrative of how we’re better than our fears and insecurities. Listening to Canadians for years, getting out there and working hard and engaging with them told me that we should trust in the better angels of our nature, and that’s exactly what we put forward.”

An hour later, Trudeau is arms deep in the Montreal Pride crowd. Other politicians momentarily appear at his side, through circumstance or otherwise. All five candidates for the separatist Parti Québécois find themselves campaigning in his shadow. Montreal mayor and former Liberal cabinet minister Denis Coderre, himself no stranger to the camera, is reduced to being Trudeau’s hype man as the Prime Minister strolls along Boulevard René Lévesque.

Mathieu Bouchard walks 10 m behind his boss, dressed in a comparatively modest red polo shirt and jeans. The 39-year-old has worked for Trudeau since 2015. Since the election campaign, he has become used to shaking his head at the kind of spectacle playing out within spitting distance from him. “He’s got so much energy,” Bouchard says.

The boss is well grounded, Bouchard insists. Trudeau gets two nights a week to spend time with his kids—there’s a make-up night if one is missed. He sleeps regular hours. He goes to the cottage regularly, where staff has set up secured phone, email and Internet so he can work. “Harrington Lake is his refuge, where he can let go,” Bouchard says of the Prime Minister’s official retreat in Gatineau, Que. [Trudeau’s wife] Sophie, it’s basically her job to make plans for the family.”

As for the Trudeau spectacle, Bouchard doesn’t know how long it will last. “Is there a risk of over-exposure? There’s always a risk. But he’s conscious of it. It’s in his brain,” he says.

Twenty minutes later, Trudeau and his entourage shoot down a side street into flashing lights and idling limousines. Soon enough, they’ll be another crowd waiting for him.


TACTILE TRUDEAU

Justin Trudeau has never shied away from getting close to constituents—or colleagues—when he’s out in public. A few of his more personal moments caught on camera:


 

Does Justin Trudeau risk being overexposed?

  1. Justin Trudeau is a phenomenon a person completely unlike his Father, okay, non inspired, innclusive of middle class values he termed himself, in defeating of equality of definition during his inaugral victory of the Prime Ministers election campaign. This phenomenon is supported by the Canadian Mental Health Association and built a cabent of aristocracy, something his father was accused but never did partake in conflicts of the mind, Margret Trudeau however has, and influenced the young Man. Middle class manipulation and pandering to the strategies and selecting time and place where he may be seen or heard is the strategy used and photo opportunities today still appear as though he and his party are buying votes, against the open electoral will, that should be selecting politicians dynasties are not credible. (No, I am not a Conservative nor any other party supporter in fact only voted once for the Pierre Trudeau liberals, 40 years past.) So for all that is said that he is the next thing to Canadian royalty, sickening yes, smile and wave and go with the flow, is not a leader but a wall flower of ill passions, mentally ill, pollyanna. Contoversial position onn oil piplines the liberals won with the suport to this not hearing the Citzens, attempting reason againnst fossil fuel and single resource slavery, his father tried to protect against, in innvestment of taxpayers money, into diversity, his bargaining is devoid of purposes just infrastructure that serves oil, transportation mechanisms, of the unrequired. Billions upon billions allotted, when people cannot even afford a home or food, the highest ever in Canada, if not the world. The Olympic games winter 2010 promoted BC as the best place on earth, okay, now its the most expensive place on earth to live, and homes average 1.8 million dollars, sure the middle class truly loves the monarchical nature of Canada and the twists they have played and Trudeau Justin is part of the game that has been created though he does not truly know it. Who is now goinng to protect the nature of our lives an aristocracy moved by British Canadian resource companies, linked to the rest of the commonwealth of nations, for which his father determined tried to leave once and for all…he knows nothing of this, a child in his mothers arms of betrayals, MOM what should I do? Who knows, leave politics, air brain. The population of this nation Canada, has only grown 10 million in almost 50 years….importinng almost half of those in the past 30 years….defending Canada, from slavery is not in the messages of this liberal party only spending the premeditated profits of oil and resources held by the former monarchical governments of the Tory regime.
    Photo ops with the chief supreme court justice, Beverly McClennan and himself should be arranged for our amusement, pollyanna plus, they have the same level of acumen in law and politics, and both look and appear credible to the middle class, so designated, in disgrace as the Constitution and charter of freedom of rights deprived of enforcement. Shallow navy and human management govern the Canadians deftly.

    • You must be Independent, definition of Independent, cop out, using independent as way not to be attacked by both sides of the political spectrum.

    • @ Bernard – That was almost completely incoherent. No, I’m wrong. Take out the word “almost”.

        • I had a lot of difficulty trying to decipher what Bernard was trying to convey as well. So, I’ll make my comments about Trudeau simple:
          -He has his father’s swagger and his mother’s brains.
          -He is the most narcissistic, arrogant politician in Canadian history. And Sophie is tied for first place.
          -He participates in policy making from a distance since he has nothing to offer other than gratuitous support.
          -His capability to communicate unscripted is non existent and his prepared remarks sound like a 15th century play.
          -His entire focus is on trying to remove any legacy Harper had. Get ready for the HST to rise by 3%. Harper did this to restrict government spending and size. Of course, bigger government and excessive spending are a major part of Trudeau’s DNA. His father amassed unheard of debt and we had to live with 18% mortgage
          rates as Pierre’s primary legacy.
          I watched Harper resign from politics today and it emphasized how much we’d lost
          with the new regime.

          • You got it!!!

          • … and thank God that Harper’s policies are being lost.

  2. I wish Trudeau some very challenging times, hopefully a Trump presidency to deal with. That will break his sunny ways.

    • MSM needs to get used to a new modernized way of doing things in government, it’s 2016. The MSM are sometimes like past governments, ‘Dinosaurs’. Every skipper of a ship needs to have trust in his or her mates and engineers, even the rest of the crew, but the skipper has the last say in how his or her ship run, if you hit an iceberg, the skipper goes down with the ship. MSM needs to forget what past governments.

      • “MSM” is a lazy person’s abbreviation that, in fact, means nothing.

        • I guess if you were chatting on twitter, you would use the whole phrase, Main Stream Media, that’s 13 characters of wasted wording, knowing you only have 140 characters to get your message out. Actually you used ‘MSM’ to criticize my comment, isn’t that considered lazy on your behalf?

          • I thought only twits use twitter.

  3. Just to add, Trudeau did what no other leader of the grits could do since they were in government in 2006, he took down the ‘Ontario Trifecta’, Harper, Hudak ,and Ford. That sir, was the TKO of Trudeau’s career, and they(HH@F) and the MSM underestimated Trudeau then. Wait four years, and then have your say.

    • That’s hilarious!! Trudeau wasn’t even on the radar screen when the scandalous, Ontario Liberals last oozed into power and left Hudak in the ditch. What are you going to say when Wynne is burned at the stake next time around while your man-child in Ottawa will still be bouncing the big ship off the rocks?

      • That’s not going to happen, Wynn, will win in he next election, Ontario don’t want to go in the past, where and when dinosaurs ruled(Harper, Hudak@ Ford), no matter how big of a hole the province is in financially. I can promise you again, Wynn, will win in the next election. Patrick Brown is a hand picked Harper lackey, it’s just he hasn’t been exposed to an election yet, Brown is an ideologist, he is not progressive enough to run a province with so much cultural diversity. Just today, Brown went after sex-ed, you see, that’s an example of progress, when our children and teens learn more about who they are and what they are, in a era of both parents working in a new and fast paced world, most parents don’t get time to help their kids with homework these days, not alone sex-ed. The PC party in Ontario is presently a spawn of the Conservative Party of Canada, with con party members working covert inside, trying to get a conservative foot hold back in central Canada, if they keep calling for the assassination of a PM Trudeau, they may end up being a permanent fixture in the rear view mirror.

        • I think you’ve been struck in the head by one of your own bombs. I have a large number of Liberal friends and even they are finished with Wynne.

          • Wynn is a curse, not an asset.

          • It would seem that your Liberal friends are Liberal-no-more.

  4. 1 week of vacation every two months…6 weeks per year. A pretty good gig.

    The mainstream media suddenly has a very different opinion of the permanent campaign now that it is Trudeau’s permanent campaign.

    We will see what happens when his economic policies fail miserably…and well the UN wars that he wants to involve Canada in in Africa.

    • LOL better than hiding in a cupboard Wheatabix…Harp took us through two recessions that way.

      • Nonsense! Harper took us very expertly through the worse recession since the Great Depression (which I remember). As for Justine we will see if he can out-arrogant or out-a**h**e the previous Trudeau. There is a lot of Liberal pseudo-intellectual tripe on this page and I expect my comments are not welcome. All I can say is that we have to suffer through four years of this c***p.

        • LOL Harper didn’t even know we were in one!

          Country likes Trudeau hon, only Cons are suffering

          After our Dark Ages, I’m enjoying the view

          • Oh Emily-another thoughtless comment. Those who like Trudeau are the same 40% group flower children who voted for him. The bloom is fading and will have withered by the next election. The disgusting thing is that the Conservatives will have to clean up the ugly mess the boy has created.

          • Yet Trudeau is PM….and you’re not

            Neither is Harp

            Go suck a sour grape.

        • Remember Harpers first term, he didn’t know we were I a recession until the MSM told him, and then he sucked every dollar out of the treasury, even the surplus the grits left behind 13 billion, we are still 150 billion in debt from the conservative spending sprees. Just to add, you said we will have to suffer another 4 years with Trudeau, well I guess you better leave the country in 4 years, because Trudeau is in for at least another 2 terms after this one, I don’t know what planet your living on. Canadians memories of conservative rule in this country, are not very pleasant ones, they high jacked the PC party of Canada, it was called the desperate move, just to gain power and nothing more so they could enforce their ideology on the people of this country, oppression was the Conservative mantra, just imagine, attacking women for what they wear(France should be ashamed of themselves), how barbaric, draconian and oppressive is that. I don’t care what people wear or do, as long as they are not breaking any laws, but picking women who choose to wear what they want, is pretty demented.

          • This Canadian’s memories under the PC’s are-lower taxes, less government spending, greater security, more engagement in fighting terrorists rather than just watching others do it and a statesman as leader
            rather than an arrogant showboat.

          • We got through that recession due to the policies of Chrétien and Martin, who insisted on maintaining heavy bank regulations. Where did Harper stand on those regulations again?

            I seem to recall Harper had a larger cabinet. And there’s all that tax money he spent on CPC advertising. Must make all fiscal conservatives proud…

          • Gayle: Nonsense! It was officials in the Ministry of Finance who told Paul that he couldn’t tax and spend anymore or the credit would disappear, hence the stringencies of the 90’s no great wisdom of the Later Liberals whose only belief was tax and spend. Unfortunately they are with us again for another four years.

          • First, you are not talking about the same thing I am. Second, no one has to tell anyone that cutting costs and increasing income is one way to address debt.

          • But they did Gayle because Paul Martin was all set to spread the green. Trudeau and Chretien were the tax and spendthrifts. I had friends high in Finance who were pulling their hair because the financial houses were about to lower the boom. Its the politicians who are clueless and want to spread the green, the mandarins who know what they are doing.

          • Well at least you’re not trying to pretend that addressing the deficit was Harper’s idea. But it is still amusing your “proof” is that you know a guy who told you.

            Anyhow…

  5. After the disastrous and divisive secret Prime Ministership of Stephen Harper, Trudeau decided to be different. But I also feel one of Obama’s failure’s was that he was invisible at times, because of the White House bureaucracy, when he was not in campaigning in fall elections.

    Trudeau has decided to be out there in the public, and I’m so glad he has. He is leading by example, being involved in the Pride parade, different cultural festivals, The Hip concert. Anything is better than the last ridiculous government, but I like the fact he’s out there leading. As for his economic policy, we’ll know in three years whether or not it’s working for Canada, and his detractors can try to vote him out, then. For now, it’s just so nice to be proud of Canada, after 10 years of brainwashed Rush Limbaugh American anti-Canadian thinking. It’s nice to see all the flags on backbacks and briefcases again while travelling, as we are proud nation once again.

    • What planet have you been on for the last 8 years? Obama was almost as narcissistic as Trudeau is!! Obama was on any talk show that would have him and, as with Trudeau, I wondered who the hell was doing the necessary work to grow the economy and keep the place safe. Trudeau and Obama are like two peas in a pod or should I say two drips in the faucet.

  6. Trudeau’s non stop campaign gives the strong impression that he is always traveling or vacationing and not “minding the store.”

    The recent string of poor economic data and expense scandals within his cabinet reinforces that impression.

      • He’s up against two opposition parties that don’t currently have leaders. His poll numbers are about as meaningful as a fart in the wind. If he’s still riding high after the NDP and CPC have elected new leaders and had an opportunity to establish themselves, then it will mean something.

        • That’s because the other two parties

          GOT THROWN OUT

          Face it Ark honey…Canadians don’t like either the far left, or the far right…and certainly not the alt-right

          • But in a mind-fit brought the Libs back in to mismanage the country.

          • Majority rules, Blacktop.

          • Soak it up em, Trudeau will be gone in three years. The economy is taking an ugly turn and the media won’t use the kid gloves on Trudeau for much longer. I predict a Conservative minority government in 2019.

          • Actually, Ark2, it’s unlikely Cons will ever be elected again.

    • Are you seriously suggesting that economic data we’re seeing today are a result of Trudeau’s summer vacations in the past 8 weeks? Really? Honestly?

      The CPC is actively recruiting people like you. People who walk into trees while playing Pokemon Go, and then blame the tree.

      • His vacationing is just symbolic of his lack of attention to anything but himself. The main point is that he and his band of merry cabinet members have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in their first year to improve the economy or create jobs. They are following the exact same approach as the Ontario Liberals and that sure has been a winner. The glow for Trudeau will fade as it has for Wynne-now the least liked Premier in Canada-once it becomes more obvious to all that he is spending much more money than he takes in with no positive results. And with his superb blithering communications skills I doubt he’ll be able explain what the hell happened.

        • I am pretty sure his vacations are indicative of the fact he is a young man with a young family. He is in a stressful job and recognizes the importance of taking time away from that job in order to ensure he is able to spend quality time with his family. You know, like any good father. 5 weeks vacation for a high level position is probably not uncommon.

          Fortunately for the country Trudeau is not a control freak. This makes it easier for him to attract talented, intelligent people to run for his party.

          • As an HR person it is uncommon – most people in high level jobs take almost no time off and certainly not when they are new to the job.

          • Yes, well you are an HR person, so of course I believe executives and CEOs never take vacation. It is undoubtedly the best way to get things done. Forget your family and ignore work/life balance.

            Since you are anHR person, could you perhaps direct us to the research that says this is the healthiest and best way to operate?

      • How does someone new to the job take 5 WEEKS of holidays in the first 10 months of his job? Yes, he may claim that he is working with his cabinet, but I’ve nothing fabulous coming from his cabinet.

        He can take that much time off because he is not actually doing anything – all we get is reversing everything the Conservative did – that is not much of a direction.

        • Actually, reversing the CPC damage is doing a lot. It is why we elected him.

  7. When I travel to the war zones – which I do on a regular basis – I see what people are saying about us – and a lot of it is not pretty. We stand for very little any more on the international stage – except where the stage is brightly lit and the cbc and micky macleans are waving the flag.

    Even this media outlet gets cash from the federal government.

    Always remember – the federal government actually has no money – it is tax payers money.

    Seldom indeed will you see anyone from this outlet critiquing the lib government and rare indeed will they actually criticize it.

    The average reader of this media outlet is in love with trudeau and will not stand for negativity.

    The average media outlet has fallen for trudeau and his pretty hair and his girl catching smile.

    The average Canadian has never truly delved into what trudeau has and has not done – they simply read the loving media and smile.

    There is a lot of ugly under that trudeau skin – yet no one takes the time to actually look and think.

    Most canadians truly are uninformed and happy as long as the government smiles and puts cash in their hand if they are unemployed.

    After all – the majority of Canadians are in fact quite spoiled, entitled, arrogant and smug.

    The above words will get me castigated by the majority – if any indeed do respond. I fully expect those responses to be ugly and emotional and not offering anything of substance – essentially telling me to shut up and sit down.

    Trudeau will be the down fall of this country.

    And people will smile all the way as they fall with him simply because they are unable to reason and think independently. They now think on the pack level – which makes all government people happy – far easier to control a pack than a thinking individual.

    • It amazes me how downtrodden the right wing types always feel….and yet at the same time they think they are the only ones who see the truth

      • Emily – your response is typical – you attack the messenger rather than address the points. Much as I predicted.

        • LOL your ‘persecution complex’ is getting bigger

          • You told me earlier to go suck a sour grape. To do that, I need your address.

        • See, this is why nobody likes Cons……thin-skinned and stupid….just like grapes.

    • You are right on.

      Much of the problem is that as a greater percentage of the population depends on government, they will vote for the one that promises the most of what others earn. And they are too dumb to realize that can not go on forever, or more likely they do not care about others. Alexander Tyler expressed it well:

      *****
      In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the
      University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the
      Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: “A democracy is always
      Temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent
      Form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until
      The time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous
      Gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority
      Always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from
      The public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally
      Collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a
      Dictatorship.”

      “The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the
      Beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200
      Years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

      From bondage to spiritual faith;

      From spiritual faith to great courage;

      From courage to liberty;

      From liberty to abundance;

      From abundance to complacency;

      From complacency to apathy;

      From apathy to dependence;

      From dependence back into bondage.”

      The Obituary follows:

      ” United States of America “, Born 1776, Died 2016

      It doesn’t hurt to read this several times.

      Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in

      St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning

      The last Presidential election:

      Number of States won by: Obama: 19 Romney: 29

      Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 Romney: 2,427,000

      Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million Romney: 143 million

      Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:

      Obama: 13.2 Romney: 2.1

      Professor Olson adds: “In aggregate, the map of the territory

      Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.

      Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low

      Income tenements and living off various forms of government

      Welfare…”

      Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the

      “complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of

      Democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population

      Already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase..

      If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million

      Invaders called illegal’s – and they vote – then we can say

      Goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years .

      If you are in favor of this, then by all means, delete this message.

      If you are not, then pass this along to help everyone realize just how

      Much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our

      Freedom..

    • Wow. You travel to “war zones” where you talk to people who say stuff. Sounds like good evidence to me!

        • I travel, and talk to people. And I work, and talk to people.

          What I don’t do is make the preposterous suggestion that just because I talked to a few people who said something I want to hear, it means that everyone else in the world agrees.

  8. We went from having one of the best PMs ever, to a brainless twit. Heaven help us.

    • Truer words were never spoken. Emily is a good example of the mindless twits who elected the man-child.

      • Again with the sour grapes and the whine. LOL

  9. Justin portrays a younger healthier Canada. It a positive accessible approach to govt. We spent 8 yrs. with Harpers mean-spirited divisive approach to Parliament, the press and science. I find Justins approach refreshing after that.

    • I find his approach enough to gag a maggot.

      • Of course you do…..it doesn’t involve being cheap and miserly

        Don’t misuse old quotes from Barney Miller

  10. That so called photo bomb in Tofino was created by the photographer, not Trudeau. She deliberately put him on the frame. Do we expect our pltical leaders to never leave the house or the House unless on official business?

    • So far he’s not done any official business other than promoting himself.

      • Actually he’s working all the time Jerome…….he carries it with him

        • The only thing he carries with him is his smart phone and selfie stick.

          • That’s sufficient m’dear.

        • Yes in China he will be remembered as Mr. Potato. this makes some of us Canadians so proud.His 2016 Cabinet charmer managed to get the name for him.He also carries with him Canada’s credit card which he uses freely,
          but we pick up the tab.

      • If just saying things magically made them come true, you’d be the smartest person here!

  11. “Does Justin Trudeau rick being overexposed?”
    Excellent question.
    The short answer is “No”. Overexposure will only come with exposure of his external genitalia.
    At the risk that Justin may not measure up anatomically however, his genital “selfie” will most probably be photo-shopped. Which is another way of saying that Justin will continue to remain under-exposed.

    • That article is not about muzzling scientists. Further, the content of the article contradicts the headline.

  12. Trudeau is selling Canada down the river. This is his first step in globalization, investing money in a Chinese lead bank, doing everything possible to hand control of Canada over to the U.N. putting our troops in the middle of an African meat grinder. This pinocchio need to go.

  13. Putting the words “Justin Trudeau” and “hard work” in the same sentence is a contradiction in terms.

  14. Start fixing Canada Mr Trudeau.

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