Stephen Harper’s issues with Justin Trudeau’s father

What the Prime Minister had to say about Pierre Trudeau

by Aaron Wherry

A week from now, barring something quite shocking, Justin Trudeau will stand in the House of Commons as the 13th leader of the Liberal party and ask the Prime Minister the sixth and seventh questions of the afternoon.

On that note, here again is the op-ed Stephen Harper wrote about Pierre Trudeau in October 2000, as published by the National Post a week after the elder Trudeau’s death.

(Also: Please note the prediction I made in the preamble.)




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Stephen Harper’s issues with Justin Trudeau’s father

  1. Thank you for reminding me how much of an asshole Harper is.

    • The progressive thing to do would be to make it a criminal offence to say anything bad about Pierre Trudeau. After all, the man was a God.

      • Sorry, are you saying Harper isn’t an asshole?

      • No, merely God-like.

    • So what specifically in the article that Harper wrote is inaccurate, improper, outrageous or unfair with respect to Pierre Trudeau’s legacy?
      Or are you one of those people who’s so obsessed with hatred of Harper that you’ll use whatever jumping-off point you can, however tenuous, to say he’s an asshole?

      • Diane1976′s comment below not illustrative enough for you?

        • You know, it’s possible to have a principled disagreement on an issue like that (e.g., Trudeau and the Constitution) without calling the person you disagree with an asshole. Just sayin’. I don’t see the word “asshole” anywhere in Diane1976′s post. No So with Austin. It’s not Diane’s post that I have a problem with.

          • I couldn’t care less whether or not Austin called someone an “asshole” nor whether or not you like it.
            I’m referring to your desire to know what was “inaccurate” in Harper’s piece.

          • Yes, and I don’t think Diane1976 has necessarily proven that anything in Harper’s piece is factually inaccurate, although I imagine she thinks she has. I think it’s a matter of a legitimate difference of opinion and interpretation regarding Trudeau Sr.’s legacy. People who are adoring fans of Trudeau Sr. interpret virtually every aspect of his legacy positively; people who aren’t interpret most aspects of his legacy negatively. It’s fodder for debate, not polarized, personality disordered name-calling

          • No, it’s not a “matter of legitimate difference of opinion”. He’s completely misrepresented what Trudeau said in the example provided by Diana.

            Nor is it a “matter of legitimate difference of opinion” that global energy prices rather than the NEP caused the end of Alberta’s first boom.

            “personality disordered name-calling”

            *snort* Said without a hint of irony, I’m guessing.

          • “Nor is it a “matter of legitimate difference of opinion” that global energy prices rather than the NEP caused the end of Alberta’s first boom.”
            Thanks for illustrating my point perfectly. You’re awesome.

          • Was Trudeau/NEP responsible for the almost simultaneous collapse of the industry in Texas too?

            At worst it seems to me he made a bad situation worse. In any case JT was right to apologize for allowing to be become an issue that divided the country. Not withstanding the fact that the way FPTP works the Liberals simply didn’t need to pay much attention to the west in the early 80s. As a westerner i’ve long thought this might come back to bite them in the ass – it did, big time.
            Harper should be wary he doesn’t make the same error in QC.

          • I think you’re probably reasonably close to the mark in saying the NEP made a bad situation worse. Much worse. The fact of the matter is that precise causation is impossible to prove, because an historical counterfactual is always impossible to positively prove or disprove. What exactly would Alberta have looked like in the early to mid 1980s if there had been no NEP? We don’t know the answer to that. What would Alberta have looked like if we’d had the NEP, but with no significant dip in world oil prices? We don’t know the answer to that either. That’s part of the reason why I’m saying it’s a topic for legitimate debate.

          • Whether the NEP made anything worse doesn’t really have anything to do with Harper’s claim that the NEP was the cause of Alberta’s oil boom ending, which is as complete, unadulterated horseshit as his characterization of Trudeau’s “sell your wheat” comment.
            The topic, if you’ll recall, is ” what specifically in the article that Harper wrote is inaccurate,
            improper, outrageous or unfair with respect to Pierre Trudeau’s legacy?”

          • Look bud, if someone has an issue with policy and the outcome of that policy, and presents a cogent argument for that position (which he barely does…great to have a one-sided argument with yourself perpetuating myths of economic victimhood), that is one thing. But peppering the op-ed obituary (remember, within a week of his death) with snide comments like:

            “There I came face to face with a living legend, someone who had provoked both the loves and hatreds of my political passion, all in the form of a _tired out, little old man_. It was an experience at once unforgettable, nostalgic and haunting. For Mr. Trudeau had obviously diminished as much as my assessment of him over those 22 years.”

            “But he was also a member of the “greatest generation,” the one that defeated the Nazis in war and resolutely stood down the Soviets in the decades that followed. In those battles however, the ones that truly defined his century, Mr. Trudeau took a pass.”

            That is the mark of an asshole, not just an idiot.

          • It should have a capital “A”

      • I love that you’re complaining about somebody else using a tenuous jumping-off point to say something nasty.

        • I’m sorry, I forgot that I constantly call other people assholes and all kinds of other nasty names on this site. It’s all I ever do, in fact. Call people nasty names. My bad.

          • I’m sorry, when I said “say something nasty” I could only have meant specifically calling people names like “asshole.” Because there’s no other way to say something nasty except to call a person a nasty name. My total bad, dude.

            Ugh, all I did was mimic your style for the purpose of mockery and I feel dumber for the experience. How do you do this over and over again and not lose all self-respect?

          • Hey, no hyperbole there. Jesus.

          • Awesome.

      • Hey, if it walks like a duck……

  2. My main problem with Justin’s dad was that Pierre was a proper fascist who admired the worst tyrants of 20th century.
    —————-
    A: Yes, well there are a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don’t like to see people with helmets and guns. All I can say is, go on and bleed, but it is more important to keep law and order in the society than to be worried about weak-kneed people who don’t like the looks of …

    Q: At any cost? How far would you go with that? How far would you extend that?

    A: Well just watch me.

    • Yes, Hitler and Mussolini and Franco and Salazar and Peron and all the others worked so hard to ensure a significant minority of their populations were able to fully participate in the political process and they all left as their legacies Charters of Rights and Freedoms by which any of their citizens could challenge the government’s policies.

      Sheesh.

      • Yes, because Trudeau brought in official bilingualism and the Charter, he should be exempt from criticism of any kind.

        • I find it odd you felt the need to complain about mtl_bcer’s comment which was rather OrsonBeanian in its over-the-topness. Keep in mind, this thread started with the comment “Pierre was a proper fascist who admired the worst tyrants of 20th century.”

          If nothing else, now you know how I feel to read this crap. On all sides.

          • Ottawa Citizen – May 2006

            A new biography of the former prime minister, whom Canadians have long been taught to regard as a great liberal politician, reveals that as a youth and young man, Mr. Trudeau was an anti-Semite, admired fascist dictators such as Hitler and Mussolini, promoted revolution and longed for an independent and Catholic Quebec that would be home only to francophones.

            “We discovered a Trudeau who was remarkably different from what we and everyone else had assumed,” authors Max and Monique Nemni write in their book, Young Trudeau: Son of Quebec, Father of Canada, 1919-1944.

          • Yes, he clearly applied that while he was in power.

          • Quoting without the relevant link again i see T. Trying to leave the impression they had discovered something Trudeau wanted hidden? Why don’t you bother to mention the Nemnis were given full access to PT’s papers by the man himself; in fact they were friends?

            The purpose of the book was never to show the man retained those early flaws or exorcised his demons…man you can be a throughly dishonest clown.

        • Who said he should be exempt from criticism? All I would ask is that the criticism be supported by facts. Calling him a fascist is putting him in the same league as the gentlemen I named. He should be judged by what he did when he held power. What the Arsenal supporter wrote is not criticism, its just slander.

  3. Liberalism and a Hyper sense of Personal freedom pitted against family values has tore a hole in the fabric of our country. Sex and Money are the hot points of Moral issue in the real life of a society. Liberalism erodes both.

    • Right, liberals own all the porn shops and banks too don’t they!

      • likely,

        • Is your info first hand then?

          • funny guy. But seriously, (story time.) one time, I was working as a machinist, and switched jobs and was on my 3 month trail period. I ended up with this guy training me who was a Porn shop owner. Anyways, I tried not to let him know but because I wasn’t swearing, he figured it out, that I was a Christian, and Porn Shop owners Hate Christians.


            He basically sabotaged my work. gave me wrong measurements, then blamed it on me, I was using a lathe to make valve bodies for a nuclear power plant, and I because of him over sized the hole, costing thousands of dollars and time. Lost my Job because of him, and his Hate.

            So First Hand I have had direct contact with Liberal, cut throat, Atheism. Thats not to mention other stories of Physical abuse by Drug smoking Pill Popping Atheists at the work place.

            Its one of the reason I am an employer rather than an employee for the last 18 years.

          • Get some perspective…the guy who did that too you was an a’hole…his religion or politics probably had little to do with it. And even if it did, you can’t draw such broad brush generalizations as…all liberals are atheists – i’m not.
            What’s more take a look at the church’s role in the abomination of residential schools and the abuse of children. There are bad people [and good] both inside and outside of religious and secular organizations…yes, even in the liberal party.

          • One time because I wouldn’t smoke dope with the guys at work on night shift, they took me and nailed me to a lift of wood. Those where the days when I was quiet and much smaller. Now, they would have met a different fate.

            Who promotes Drug use and wants to legalize the crap? These guys would ut pills under their eyes, use nail guns to shoot at you. come to work Drunk. Lets not blame the victim.

          • Ever consider changing your work place?

          • That was about 30 years ago. long since had several jobs and am self employed for the last 17-18 years of so.

          • You’re a member of a poor, oppressed majority. You’ll get your reward in heaven, if there is one. If there isn’t, you apparently wasted a lot of time on your knees.

  4. Harper’s quote of Pierre Trudeau, suggesting he was refusing to sell western farmers’ wheat out of spite, or possibly hatred of the West, was typical cheap, dishonest politics, and ironic, as this article explains. Trudeau’s question was rhetorical, a prelude to a defence of the wheat board marketing method, something Harper put an end to, for better or worse, but apparently against the will of farmers’ groups.

    http://stevespoliticalthoughts.blogspot.ca/2011/10/why-should-i-sell-your-wheat.html

  5. In his article when Trudeau died, Harper ignores the importance of Canada finally having a Constitution as a law of its own, rather than an act of the British government, after over a hundred years since Confederation, and the challenge involved in getting Canadians to accept it, which is why it took so long, in order to diminish Trudeau’s legacy. These days the Harper Government likes to play up Diefenbaker’s accomplishment of getting the bill of rights passed, and rightly so. Trudeau, of course, picked up where he left off and got it into the Constitution, which Harper ignored, if not indirectly criticized.

    Harper wrongly implies the language guarantees in the Constitution are related to identity politics or a hierarchy of rights. They give the English minority in Quebec and the French minorities outside Quebec, where numbers warrant, a guarantee of federal services and schooling in their own language. Trudeau hoped this national assistance to the dwindling French minorities outside Quebec, in lieu of anything Quebec actually wanted, would satisfy it, but Quebec did not buy it and the Constitution was implemented without them.

    Harper’s reference to Quebec dismantling Trudeau’s bilingualism shows ignorance of the two separate issues of Canada’s recognition of two languages which has always been done in some manner, and Quebec’s concern about shoring up the French language in Quebec, and the fact that Trudeau’s Constitution did nothing in regard to the latter. In fact some thought it undermined the effort at the time. Regardless of who was right about that, the notion that this Constitution was gift to Quebec, or disadvantaged English Canada in any way is absurd, but this was the notion often sold by politicians like Harper.

    • well said

    • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a priceless document. Imagine if Harper and Vic Toews with the assistance of other mouthbreathers in CRAP had written it?
      For this document alone, Trudeau deserves to go down in history as one of our greatest PM’s.
      Harper simply needs to go down.

  6. There’s another irony in the Harper article, in the accusations against Trudeau and Mulroney with regard to identity politics and a hierarchy of rights. This was not the case with Trudeau’s language measures at all, and to the extent it applied to Mulroney, it also applied to Harper’s own move to recognize Quebec as a nation. This went further than Mulroney and would have horrified federalists like Trudeau. Trudeau’s goal was to kill Quebec nationalism, not to nurture it. Trudeau is also wrongly blamed for every bad thing people associate with multi-culturalism, since the measure in the constitution was a response to those who felt the language measure somehow left other people out, and so the clause reflects that Canada has only two official languages but a number of people of other groups who are welcomed, etc.

    Mulroney tried to kill two birds with one stone, to get Quebec to sign onto the Constitution and deal with western demands related to the Senate. It was a brave attempt on his part, but collapsed and came to nothing. The symbolic declaration of Quebec as a distinct society didn’t impress Quebecers, but seemed a bridge too far for others, and so it was rejected by both sides. Why exactly Harper came up with the Quebec/nation line, I don’t recall, but the sky didn’t fall, and I bet Harper wishes Mulroney had got something done with the Senate.

    Harper’s flippant assessment of complex issues and years of history and apparent conclusion that not one good thing was done in time of Trudeau, the suggestion that Canadians only admired the man who had died because they weren’t as wise as Harper, and the insult at the end, say more about Harper and his brand of politics, at least at the time, than about Trudeau. Maybe he actually has gotten wiser and less disdainful of the work of previous PM’s since being in the job himself.

    • Stephen Harper is going down the tube and Justin Trudeau will do much good for Canada!

  7. From Harper’s essay:

    “Under his stewardship, the country created huge deficits, a mammoth national debt, high taxes, bloated bureaucracy, rising unemployment, record inflation, curtailed trade and declining competitiveness. From these consequences we have still not fully recovered, and they continue to have an impact on my pay cheque, and my family’s opportunities, every single month.”
    Now think about what has happened under Harper’s watch. Huge deficits and a mammoth national debt? Check. Rising unemployment? At one point, definitely, and despite the “900,000 jobs” mannta we still have not recovered to pre-2008 numbers. Curtailed trade and declining competitiveness? Depending on the measures, yes – and the increase in tariffis in this latest budget will exacerbate that.
    I’ll grant that Harper has been trying to trim the bureaucracy, but the cost – despite claims to the contrary – is poorer service to those who need it, and in some cases (see: EI claimants; veterans) even a degree of persecution just for seeking those services. Meanwhile, he has more Ministers and departments than any of his predecessors, yet accountability has dropped to an all-time low. Talk about a waste of taxpayer dolars!
    And yes, Harper has lowered our taxes… for now. Really, by creating a structural deficit and racking up our debt, he is just transferring the tax burden to a later date. A nice shell game that fools far too many Canadians, but in the end does us all a disservice.
    And that’s just addressing the points from that one paragraph. It will take this nation a long, long time to recover from Harper’s governance. In my view, given a (Pierre) Trudeau vs. Harper comparison, Harper loses in almost every category.

    • Harper would say that he can’t be blamed for anything because anything negative is caused by external factors, domestic and international, and the context of our times, or only appears bad because of unfair criticism. Of course, in his snide assessment of Trudeau he ignores all that.

      Cheap politics is common, but what kind of politician engages in it on the occasion of the death of a man who had been retired for years?

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