Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau and the Boston Marathon bombing -

Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau and the Boston Marathon bombing

The Prime Minister seems displeased with the new Liberal leader


The Prime Minister seemingly makes reference to what Mr. Trudeau said to Peter Mansbridge—at the 13:10 mark here— about the Boston Marathon bombing.

“When you see this type of violent act, you do not sit around trying to rationalize it or make excuses for it or figure out its root causes,” Harper said before leaving London after attending Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. “You condemn it categorically, and to the extent you can deal with the perpetrators, you deal with them as harshly as possible.”

Mr. Trudeau then came out after Question Period this afternoon to respond.

I’ve already scrummed today so I’m not really supposed to scrum again but someone just handed me the news report of the Prime Minister lashing out.  Two days ago, there was a horrific tragedy and I expressed clearly both today and yesterday the shock that I can only imagine that father feels that his son was killed for wanting to give him a hug. I really hope that Mr. Harper rethinks the extents and the lengths he’s willing to go to personally attack people and to politicize tragedies like that. That’s all I have to say.

The bombing occurred in Boston as Question Period was occurring in Ottawa. In his scrum after QP, Mr. Trudeau was asked about the attack and commented as follows.

Well, I think we have to be very, very careful about politicizing troubling news immediately. Obviously, I just heard about the Boston Marathon bombings and my first thought goes out to the thousands of people who every year are involved in the Boston Marathon and I just hope there’s as few victims as possible and few injuries as possible and we will – deal with any changes or any security issues in the coming days in – once we’ve secured the safety and expressed our condolences and worries for the people who’ve suffered.

A statement was then issued by Mr. Trudeau’s office.

“I was shocked and saddened to hear of the explosions that occurred today at the Boston Marathon. During what was an event worthy of celebration for thousands of people – including many Canadians – this senseless act of violence has left us reeling. My thoughts and condolences are with all those in Boston at this time, especially the victims and their families.”

Mr. Trudeau would have spoken to Mr. Mansbridge around 5pm on Monday. The next day, Mr. Trudeau opened his scrum a statement about the bombing.

Like all Canadians and all parliamentarians, the images and the horrific stories come out from Boston after this senseless violence touch us deeply. Like I think probably every father across this country, the idea of eight-year-old Martin Richard running to give his father a hug and dying in a horrific explosion is one that is seared into my nightmares. We send all of our thoughts and prayers to our friends in the south and hope that we resolve this horrible crime quickly.

And then today, he commented after the Liberal caucus meeting.

On Wednesday, after a meeting with his caucus, Trudeau clarified his remarks when asked by a reporter what he meant by “root causes.” “Obviously, we have to make sure that as we move forward we look at creating a safe community, a safe country, a safe world for all citizens and all individuals and that happens both with security and with, with a significant commitment to peace, as highlighted in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Trudeau said.


Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau and the Boston Marathon bombing

  1. Well then. Fasten your seatbelts, folks: it’s gonna be a two-year bumpy ride.

  2. Betcha harper calls an election well in advance of his legislated fixed date. Prorogue and election. Just watch him.

    • They need some time to pound on Trudeau a while first, don’t they? A poll is only a poll, but the last one I saw had the Trudeau-led Liberals at 41, and the Tories at 30. That may very well be fleeting, but I’d still want to see it mitigated a bit before I forced an election if I was the CPC.

  3. This issue is ridiculous. Yes, Harper is politicizing it – using it as an excuse to slam Trudeau, unnecessary and disgusting … But seriously, the hysteria that has followed, “oh no – Trudeau really meant this … oh no – mean Steven is attacking little Justin … oh no – the NDP agrees with Harper … (uhmmm, I’d like to see what Garrison said and what exactly he agreed with …)”

    Media cannot complain that politicians are politicizing it – it’s the media that’s feeding the frenzy – Lib and Con media using the issue against each other (and it’s so serious, we must parse all words of Justin Trudeau for magical – or not – meaning) and then both groups gleefully repeating that the NDP agrees with Harper – because it makes NDP look bad in comparison to Libs and both want that.

    Embarrasing … all of you …

    • ” Yes, Harper is politicizing it…”

      “Media cannot complain that politicians are politicizing it…”

      I think you’re suffering from some internal contradictions. Maybe give this another think.

    • You can find what Garrison on Twitter, easily. And now that you have chastised “all of us” please indulge me and take a moment and copy and paste the line where you feel Justin Trudeau in any way politicized this issue. Because I can’t find that line anywhere. I can see it in Garrison’s, and I can see it in Harper’s and call me a foolish Liberal, but I just can’t see it in Trudeau’s.

      • Oh please. As soon as Junior started talking about “root causes”, and it’s all because somebody “feels excluded” he absolutely politicized it. His whole statement was essentially blaming the US government for the bombing.

  4. If the example of the G20 in Toronto is a guide, then Harper would likely escalate and declare the War Measures Act…. Oh, wait. Didn’t that already happen once already?

  5. I take it this is going to become so personal that the end result will be either an even more polarized Canada, or perhaps, an NDP/Green coalition minority government.

  6. Once again Canadians are reminded Harper is NOT the man you want weighing the options in a crisis, and we hope against hope another decision like Iraq doesn’t have to be made while he is at the helm.

    • And you think Trudeau should be the man at the helm in a crisis? He is barely out of diapers and has no clue whatsoever on how to run this country.

      • Really?Ageism? Your best position is prejudice and discrimination? Harper was 43 when he became party leader Trudeau is 41. Don’t know when you got out of your diapers but I hope you’ve been able to do as much with your life.

      • I want to join in here, your statement is pathetic, hopefully you will grow more.

      • The daily stupidity and rudeness of CPC supporters is really wearing thin.

        • Sir, do you have anything polite and intelligent to inculcate?

    • Remember Paul Martin Junior and the Canada Steamship Lines cartel?
      For 30 years they made a pretty profit by shipping cheap Canadian grains around the world from the Wheat Board thereby undercutting American and Ukrainian producers.
      When Junior made good profits, Trudeauism made good profits.
      Westerners however made far less profit.
      And then the potash, the Arab oil …
      Junior, you are a real piece of work.
      Trudeauism is a real piece of work.
      Bad work.

  7. And now Harper gets to hide from Canadians and the media, never to be held account for his distortion of truth and for embarrassing Canada.

    Run Harper, run. Heaven forbid you should be held accountable for your words and actions.

  8. Evan Solomon at CBC practically wetting himself about this issue. He was so excited to talk about all this. Really — there does not need to be such a crisis over this

    • I would love to be able to go back to be this naiive again, but alas, it’s war baby.

      • And war is a multimillion dollar business which must be fed with fear.

  9. I am really concern about Canada’s future with Justin’s arrival on the political stage.The best life scenario for him is to continue life as a drama teacher but not as a leader of the country like Canada!

    • substitute drama teacher – try and get your TP’s right eh.

    • All Canadians should be concerned if this Drama Teacher becomes PM.
      More for Quebec and less for the rest of Canada. He as much said it himself when he stated that Quebecers were better than the rest of Canada and Quebec owns the rest of Canada

      • ^ That was completely taken out of context. Instead of believing everything the media is feeding you, you should watch the full interview.

        • Ummmm, neither should you @nn… It’s called *backpeddling* and is a very automatic response when lying politicians get caught with their hand in the cookie jar of *woops! I pissed the wrong ppl off!*….. The still frame of his *apololgy* link says it all: He is all toothy smiles like a kid saying *sorry…… but I’m just gonna do it again*

  10. I’m a JT supporter, but he has to learn not to give Harper obvious openings like this. He didn’t really say anything wrong in that PM interview. But the timing was off. You don’t start talking about root causes right after an event like that. Surely you offer condolances and support and grimly say let’s get the bad guys.

    In his defense. At least he’s unscripted. He’s not spouting inane TPs. His mind is working on possible solution/causes. That is refreshing. It just wasn’t the right time. The risk is of course, if he gets too much flak over this kind of thing, he’ll go into a shell and become as boring and banal as Harper. That would be a pity. I hope he takes criticism in the right way.

    • “At least he’s unscripted.”

      “…the idea of Martin Richard running to give his father a hug and dying in a horrific explosion is one that is seared into my nightmares.” That’s definitely unscripted. In fact there’s a pleasing soupcon of George W. there. (JT has nightmares? Darth Harper nightmares, by any chance?)

      “He’s not spouting inane TPs.”

      “Obviously, we have to make sure that as we move forward we look at creating a safe community, a safe country, a safe world for all citizens and all individuals…”

      That was scripted…or ‘clarified’. I have a feeling yer man’s going to be giving a few of those over the weeks and months to follow, searing his face into our collective nightmares in the process.

      • It was a live interview. Unlike Harper he doesn’t try to limit or control the area of questioning[ and hold the implicit threat of no more air time with the PM if your’re too nasty] so how on earth can those responses be scripted or tps?

        • The first example quoted was from the live interview, the second from a “comment” given after his caucus meeting (at least according to Wherry).

          Wells describes why the PM “controls” the questions, or attempts to, in another area of Maclean’s today. Broadly condensed, it’s a Media Party problem the Tories have always had to deal with. They used to play along; now they issue pure bumf and dismiss them.

          • Yeah, right, whatever you say.

    • I’ll take boring and banal over Arrogance and stupidity.

  11. We need to heave Steve.

    • Heave Steve! I quite like the sound of that, would sound good coming from an angry mob with pitchforks, no? The Raging Grannies, maybe.

  12. The question Mansbridge asked Trudeau :
    What would you do if you were PM on the day of the Boston bombings?
    He would send condolences, you know, send stuff, you know, and look for the root of the problem that made the person feel so bad, you know.
    Watch the interview, he is in over his head.

    • Just watched it. Yeah, that was kind of…cringe-making. The poor guy is being so used by insiders. One look and you know attack ads are unnecessary. (Idiot, ill-considered attack ads even less so.) JT will provide all the material you’ll ever need. Too bad the cack-handed dolts in the Tory war/marketing room have to justify their jobs. They’ve got a gift-pony in JT but they’re too dim to exploit it properly.

    • The part where he’s smirking and chuckling about how terrorists might hate “Bostonians” is where I almost threw my beer through the screen. He’s completely out of touch.

    • What else should he do other than send condolences? Bluster about punishing the perpetrators? Declare war on Chechnya? None of that helps anybody.

  13. The Liberals should spend every second they have in Question Period today attacking Harper for politicizing the tragedy as LeBlanc did on TV yesterday afternoon.

    • My guess is that the Conservatives would be more than happy to have an excuse in QP to again attack Trudeau for what he said.

      Personally, I was shocked that he said something that could be construed as the bombing being the result of someone feeling “excluded”. It should be axiomatic, but there is no excuse for deliberately killing and maiming innocent men, women, and children.

      • I think he made a mistake. I will offer no excuse, but I think he was likely, maybe subconsciously, thinking of the ‘born in Canada’ London four when he spoke.
        Nevertheless Harper’s crass, petty, cheap shot from London was far more reprehensible.

        • I think part of Trudeau’s problem is that when talking unscripted he often does not speak in clear, unambiguous, parsable sentences. Like everyone else in the universe, I’ve had my fill of politicians repeating the same TPs over and over and over again. However, I would hope that someone who wants to lead the country can be counted on to be crystal clear when he speaks.

      • Did you watch the whole interview? becasue if you didn’t, then you have no right to make a comment. This is the problem we have in this country where people are so lazy to read, research and think for themselves, instead wait for soundbites from a abias source and assume they klnow what they are talking about. During the interview, JT clearly threw his support behind those killed and the bringing of the perpetratoors of the crime to justice and after words to look at what can be done to prevent such as crime and others like this from happening again. What is that saying again about “prevention being better than cure”. Do anybody in their right mind think after this incident, the U.S. is not going to find out why this was carried out and prevent it from happening again? President Obama has already called Russian Putin to discuss why it happened and how to prevent future occurances. Those who don’t know and acknowledge mistakes of past history are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past.

        • Since it’s apparently not obvious, let’s be clear on one thing: my right to comment is not contingent on conditions you set.

          With that out of the way let’s move on the to straw man that keeps popping up. Does anybody in their right mind think that anyone in their right mind thinks root cause analysis is useless?

          Any sane organization that has a failure will employ some degree of RCA. E.g.,

          Bob: The latest software release brought down our biggest customer’s network and they’re screaming bloody murder!
          Bill: ****! How did that happen? OK, we need a patch for them ASAP! Once that’s done we sit down with everyone and figure out how this bug slipped thru code review, unit testing, and QA.

          The need for RCA is fully understood. There are no legions of people running around shouting “Root cause analysis is stoooopid, and, BTW, the earth is flat”.

          If Trudeau had merely voiced a need for RCA, that would have been that. However, he did more than just that. He said:

          “We have to look at the root causes. Now, we don’t know now if it was terrorism or a single crazy or a domestic issue or a foreign issue. But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded. Completely at war with innocents. At war witha society. And our approach has to be, okay, where do those tensions come from?”

          The sentence “But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded” needed elaboration. Without this elaboration it can be taken several ways – at least some of which not favourable to Trudeau.

          It’s good to hear a leader not relying on talking points, and not answering the question he wished he was asked rather than the actual question he was asked, and not fabricating facts out of thin air. It’s not so good if he can’t get his message across in a clear and unambiguous manner. This harkens back to Trudeau’s comments re Albertans running the country, and is something that Trudeau needs to work on IMO.

  14. All politicians of a civilized nation must always be concerned with the causes of violence. Otherwise, we have leaders who are always motivated by violence as the unique answer to violence. I believe that Justin Trudeau is right and that Stephen Harper has made a meaningless comment on the sad event of Boston.

    • Yes, let us find out what the terrorists want, and give it to them. That’ll end wonderfully.

  15. just got one thing to say.. Harper has and always will be a LIAR.. his own words when elected leader of the alliace. I will never join the PC. first step .. join. Justin Trudeau has spoken from the heart. I realy hope we get that dumb bell out of office fast. and YES i am voting Trudeau.
    he cant do any worst that herr harper

  16. Sleazy stevie once again playing his favorite game of politics.. tongue twister!

  17. Why didn’t Maclean’s use this comment by Justin?

    “Now, we don’t know now if it was terrorism or a single crazy or a domestic issue or a foreign issue,” he said. “But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded. Completely at war with innocents. At war with a society. And our approach has to be, where do those tensions come from?

    “Yes, there’s a need for security and response,” Trudeau added. “But we also need to make sure that as we go forward, that we don’t emphasize a culture of fear and mistrust. Because that ends up marginalizing even further those who already are feeling like they are enemies of society.”

    Justin, you may not be aware of it but CSIS and the RCMP has warned Canada repeatedly that Islam is at war with our society. These muslims in Boston are already “enemies of society”. Group hugs and singing Kumbaya wont work anymore.

    Glad I cancelled my Maclean’s subscription years ago when they were starting to drift leftward.

  18. Once again Trudeau talking out the side of his big mouth.

  19. JT was right on with his comment on the perpetrators feeling excluded. The older of the 2 bombers has been widely quoted as stating that he had been in the USA for 10 years but had no American friends and didn’t understand Americans. This is in no way an excuse for their acts as the vast majority of immigrants and refugees take some time to assimilate and some never do feel comfortable with the way of life practiced by the majority in their new country. But they don’t find it necessary to express their feelings through violent acts and for the vast majority the opportunities they find for a better life for their children outweigh their own fears and discomfort. Why some of these children, whether the Boston Bombers or the young Canadians who died in Algeria, who appear to family and friends to live integrated lives, are attracted to the extremism of the Jihadist movement is the question that needs to be answered – not to excuse it but to understand it and take steps to prevent its occurrence.

  20. It’s wrong and unethical for ANYONE to repeatedly use the imagery of the horror that happened to those families to further his own political platform. I highly doubt it interrupted his sweet dreams THAT much… Nightmares? What’s that I read about him teaching drama???