Opinion Column

Celebrating unity while breeding division

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

Leave it to Justin Trudeau to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation by creating division and breeding animosity.

Forget his so-called gender parity cabinet, his pseudo feminism, or that he believes “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”

Apparently, he doesn’t believe we’re all equal, after all.

In an interview leading up to the big celebration on Saturday, he said immigrants and their families have more stake in the country than the rest of us.

“Anytime I meet people who got to make the deliberate choice, whose parents chose Canada, I’m jealous,” he said on CTV.

“This is your country more than it is for others because we take it for granted.”

Really?

There’s room for everyone to be more grateful and thankful for how blessed we are to live in this country - but I do mean everyone quite literally.

To insinuate that somehow those who come here are more Canadian than the rest of us, that the country belongs more to immigrants than those who were born here, isn’t exactly helping to bring the country together.

As if that wasn’t enough, he then failed to mention Alberta as part of his Canada Day speech.

Conservative MP for Calgary Nose Hill Michelle Rempel said she didn’t believe it was a mistake.

I’ll admit, I find it hard to believe it was one, too.

For one, there was a teleprompter at the event. For another, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s openly looked down upon Alberta.

In French, he once blamed ”Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda,” for everything that was wrong with Canada. He’d follow that by saying all of the country’s best Prime Minister’s came from Quebec.

Then, he’d neglect to mention Alberta at all, and only apologized after being called out by host Sandra Oh, prior to two new astronauts, who just so happen to be from Alberta, being named.

“I’m a little embarrassed. I got excited somewhere over the Rockies,” Trudeau said.

“Alberta, I love you. Happy Canada Day.”

Buddy, you skirted around the Rockies, not over them.

Blowing a kiss to us on national television isn’t going to make this boo-boo, among many created over the weekend, disappear.

Maybe it was just a slip, but at this point, it’s a bit of a “boy who cried wolf” scenario. He’s put down Alberta enough that the one time he (perhaps) didn’t, few are going to buy it.

This isn’t about the fragility of Albertans or Albertans being special snowflakes and getting offended because we were forgotten. It isn’t that those who live here think that it’s part of some conspiracy theory. It’s bigger than that.

The fact that this is part of a pattern from our Prime Minister, one that he’s done nothing to address, is a problem. It’s also why I believe Trudeau deserves criticism over this whether it was intentional or not.

Canada 150 might’ve been a big party on Parliament Hill, but the gaffe was a pretty good indicator he still doesn’t take his job seriously.

Throwing out quotable phrases and appeasing any minority group that calls for his attention is little more than virtue-signalling from the PM.

I hate to go back to the opposition campaign slogan: “He’s just not ready,” but he appears to be proving them right.

It’s one thing to make a mistake - but this is far from his only one, and someone who is so quick to virtue-signal and criticize the previous government for virtually any problem that arises should be more mindful of his own actions and words.

He made a special trip to the ‘reoccupation’ teepee to reach out to Indigenous people (pointing out he was the first Prime Minister to ever do so. Give yourself a pat on the back), but then he forgot about the province which is home to one of the larger First Nations populations in the country. Are First Nations Albertans less Canadian than those in Ontario and Quebec? Are they less Canadian than immigrants, despite being here first?

For all the inclusivity and tolerance he preaches, his words are creating the opposite.

As PM, Trudeau is in a unique position where he has the power and opportunity to help bring a county together, but he seems to be more concerned with his image and snappy quotes being picked up by certain media outlets.

It’s probably a good thing he isn’t showing up at the Calgary Stampede - I can’t see his appearance doing anything to bring unity to the province. Except, perhaps, unity against him.



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