The planned address
Boldly fighting hiccups, Trudeau began by acknowledging that racism is an issue, particularly for those who don’t understand the experience.
He noted that the $2.2B announced for municipalities was insufficient and that more solutions are being sought.
Made-in-Canada PPEs is a focus for the government, and they have struck four new production contracts with Canadian firms. Half of the shields used in Canada are made in Canada. More than 100 million PPEs have been secured.
The startling question
During the Q&A, Trudeau was asked about his continued refusal to directly comment on the actions of Donald Trump, and what message his silence sends.
He was clearly rattled by the question and paused for an extended period (21 seconds according to CBC) as he considered how to respond.
He broke his silence with the statement, “We watch in horror and consternation” and then shifted to a standard strategy of refocusing the question inward, noting that Canada was also struggling with racism. Canada, he said, must watch and learn. Canada needs to stand up for its interest and its values; that’s what he’s always done, he said, and will continue to do. Not commenting on the words and actions of the US president has become a standard mode of operation for the Canadian Government.
That his opening words included “horror and consternation” may be the closest to what the PM may be feeling when watching the American situation unfold.
Trump yesterday had the national military forces clear the path to “the president’s church” yesterday by tear-gassing a path through peaceful protesters, so he could pose for a photo opp with a Bible before that church. The Right Rev Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington and of that church expressed outrage at the theatrics of that move. From the Washington Post: “I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing [the area] with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop.”
Antagonizing this one American can pose significant risks for the Canadian economy, and the Canada/US border. In 2018, Trudeau contracted the American president, and was severely reprimanded by the president who next threatened Canada/US auto trade agreements.
At the same time defying any criticism of his leadership, Trump is demanding that world leaders denounce the actions of China’s political leaders.
In a world where one emotionally volatile fact-challenged “stable genius” holds the balance of political power worldwide, these are tentative times. Walking on eggshells and sidestepping questions calling for opinions on Trump’s leadership has become par-for-the-course in Canada’s political realm (federally and provincially) as well as worldwide.