By now you are probably familiar with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement on the death of Fidel Castro. The statement in part said:
It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.
Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.
While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.
I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.
To say that people were upset at Trudeau was an understatement. Twitter mocked him relentlessly, he was blasted by Conservatives in Canada as well as by Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio on Twitter.
After reading his statement you might be asking, “Who exactly is Justin Trudeau’s father?” “Why would anyone care what his father thinks?” It just happens to be that Justin Trudeau’s father was perhaps the most important prime minister in Canadian history.
Pierre Trudeau is known as a lot of things to a lot of people, apparently including being best friends with communist tyrants. His main claim to fame is being the prime minister who “brought the Constitution home.” To make a long story short, Canada had been independent since 1867, but total and complete independence, for lack of a better term, was not achieved until 1982. The reason this took as long as it did can be summarized in one word: Quebec.
Despite this, Pierre Trudeau could also easily be remembered as a classic political hack. He subsidized certain interests groups in the dame of “diversity.” Oddly, all those groups were tended to support him.
Pierre Trudeau’s worst policy was the National Energy Program. In Canada there is something that is known as “Western alienation.” Politicians know that the heavily populated provinces of Ontario and Quebec are crucial if they want to win nationally. Thus, the western part of the country feels that they exist to serve those two provinces. This is why we have equal representation in our United States Senate, but we digress.
The NEP was in place from 1980 until it was repealed in 1985 by Brian Mulroney’s Progressive-Conservative (yes, I know it sounds oxymoronic) government; it was Pierre Trudeau’s policy of, in part, imposing price controls on oil. This kept gas prices down, which benefited people in Central Canada. However, as the oil industry goes, so goes the economy of the western province of Alberta, and when forced to sell oil at below market prices, Alberta’s economy sunk as if attached to a boat anchor.
Their belief that all of Canada bends at the knees of Ontario and Quebec is not crazy. An estimated 50% of Canadians live within the so-called Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. The 710 mile corridor includes Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City. This is why we have the electoral college, but we digress again.
The people of Alberta are still angry, believing that they worked hard so that Pierre Trudeau could win voters in Ontario and Quebec. The Liberal Party of Canada won its first seats in parliament from Calgary in 2015 for the first time since 1968, and it has not been uncommon for the Liberal Party to win zero seats in the entire province.
Up to this point, Justin Trudeau to American conservatives was the guy who “made Canada, Canada again.” He was the naive lefty who thinks the way to defeat ISIS is not to fight them. He is the guy who puts women and ethnic minorities in his cabinet because he’s Mr. Affirmative Action on steroids. He is the guy who left-leaning women blush over (he really is quite the feminist). Now he is the guy who says of his father’s friend, who executed political dissidents, “At least he gave them free health care.” When looking at his father’s policies, one can see how the current prime minister could issue such a statement.