Common Sense Canadian

Why Justin Trudeau may be more dangerous than Harper

Posted May 6, 2013 by Damien Gillis in Politics
Why Justin Trudeau may be more dangerous than Harper

Adrian Wyld/CP

AUTHOR’S NOTE – Oct.20, 2015: This column, published two and a half years ago, has resurfaced leading up to and following our recent federal election. Many of the concerns raised within remain valid to this day – heightened, even, by the strong majority mandate Mr. Trudeau now holds. At the same time, he has grown considerably as a leader since assuming the Liberal Party leadership and fleshed out his vision with a series of election promises. I have summarized my latest thoughts on Mr. Trudeau the choices he now faces as Prime Minister in my post-election piece, “Harper’s gone…Now what? 10 Trudeau promises Canadians need kept”. We, at the Common Sense Canadian will continue to observe with great interest and comment for our readers upon Mr. Trudeau and his policies as he begins this new chapter in Canadian political history.

Justin Trudeau just may be Canada’s most dangerous man.

He of the throngs of adoring supporters, the pretty new face that promises to resurrect “Canada’s party”.

The key positions he’s taken thus far – supporting the sellout of our strategic energy resources to the Chinese Government, giving away our sovereignty through the Canada-China Trade deal, new pipelines to expand the Tar Sands – hardly vary from those of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. They just look and sound far more attractive coming from Canada’s prodigal son.

And that’s what scares me.

Trudeau’s latest decision to out-Harper Mr. Harper on boosting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to Texas gives us a sobering sense of where the young Liberal leader is headed. Perhaps more troubling is the question of what he actually believes – or whether these positions derive from polling data, focus groups, and a cynical drive to get elected at all costs (more on that in a moment).

In his first swing out west following a successful leadership bid, Trudeau took the time to praise Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s efforts to secure access for Keystone by talking up improved “environmental sustainability” in the Tar Sands (exactly how, we’re left to wonder, beyond a carbon tax proposed by Redford).

“I’m very hopeful despite the political games being played by the NDP…that we will see the Keystone pipeline approved soon,” Trudeau proclaimed.

If Bay Street and the energy sector see that Trudeau is prepared to fulfill the same key objectives as Harper, they will not think twice about swinging their support back to the Liberals. This latest statement on Keystone signals that Mr. Trudeau is truly open for business. For this reason, while backing Keystone may be unpopular with certain segments of the Canadian public, it could prove a shrewd political move in the long-run.

Harper is uncharacteristically weak at the moment. There is the infighting within his usually locked-down caucus, the cratering polling figures (a recent Nanos poll has the Liberals leading the Conservatives for the first time in years, at 34 to 31% support), and an authoritarian image that is becoming increasingly problematic. He and his embattled foot soldiers, the likes of Joe Oliver and Jason Kenney, have had a very bad month.

Oliver overplayed his hand a couple of weeks ago when he attacked the world’s most respected climate scientist, the recently retired James Hansen of NASA, while on a “diplomatic” mission to Washington to build support for Keystone.

The tone-deaf Oliver ranted that Hansen should be “ashamed” of “exaggerating” the effects of climate change and impacts of the Tar Sands, apparently missing the irony of attacking his hosts while trying win them over. The comments, which backfired severely, were picked up by everyone from the New York Times to the UK’s Guardian. Hansen shot back, aptly branding Oliver a “Neanderthal”.

On this score, Trudeau seems to understand something his Conservative opponents don’t – i.e. cultivating buy-in for Keystone requires more sophisticated framing and at least a modicum of tact with our southern neighbours.

Meanwhile, the most likeable and politically adept figure in the Harper Government, Immigration Minister Kenney, finds himself embroiled in the growing scandal over his government’s foreign temporary worker program. The seriousness of this political pitfall is evident in the unusual backtracking Harper is doing on the program.

He’s right to do so. The problem for Harper with issues like this one, the buyout of Canadian energy company Nexen by Chinese state-owned CNOOC, and the botched fighter jet program, is the way they rile his base. Unpopular with small “c” conservatives, they drive division within Harper’s tenuous right-wing alliance.

With these troubles brewing on the home front and attack ads aimed at Trudeau falling short of the effect they had on his predecessors – Michael Ignatieff and Stéphane Dion – things are shaping up nicely for Harper’s young challenger.

The question is, what does this mean for Canada?

If all Mr. Trudeau represents is a better-packaged version of Harper’s economic vision, then how will the Canadian public and environment – not to mention the planet – be any better off?

The thing that has always bothered me about Justin – ever since his entry onto the public scene at his famous father’s funeral – is that he’s never appeared to stand for anything real. Years later, even following a lengthy leadership race and literally thousands of media clips and public appearances, I still don’t know what core principles motivate his drive to lead the country. He speaks in platitudes, clever but meaningless tweets – which is partly what makes him so effective with social media and our soundbite-obsessed mainstream press.

He is our version of Robert Redford’s character in The Candidate.

Evidently, if Justin stands for anything, it’s selling out Canada’s strategic resources and exploiting the climate-destroying Tar Sands. Where his father tried and failed to build a made-in-Canada energy policy, the younger Trudeau is going in the opposite direction.

Even that, though, I suspect, is more a reflection of his willingness to shape-shift his policies into whatever form advisers tell him will track best politically.

With Harper, by contrast, we have a sense that his zeal for expanding Canada’s fossil fuel industries through foreign ownership is something in which he believes on a deep, ideological level. I’m not sure which is better – the guy who believes in something I and many other Canadians patently don’t, or the guy who probably doesn’t but is willing to say he does, just to get elected. If these are our two choices, then I’m ready for a third.

Real leadership means fighting for real principles, even when they’re unpopular. Great politicians find a way to sell good ideas to the public and media.

Justin Trudeau does none of these things. But, boy, does he look good not doing them.


About the Author

Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.


    Adm Tech

    And now Little Lord Fleur-De-Lis is going to remove the Visa Requirement for Mexicans to come to Canada. I knew there was no intelligence behind those dreamy eyes of his…No way should the mexican cartels use this as a way to gain entry into Canada. Instead, why don’t they use the more traditional route of posing as Syrian Refugees like ISIS does???

    Mark Szulc

    Mr. Trudeau will destroy Canada as we know it if he does not recognize latest French tragedy and change his insane immigration policy.


    This guy will soon be known world wide as “Mr. Bean.”


    I wonder what’s little Pierre going to say when the Washington people tell him what to do? I know… he’ll do a pirouette like his daddy used to do, LoL, that was priceless. Too bad it’s not on YouTube, big Pierre doing a pirouette behind the Queen’s back.


    An awful lot of sour grapes and distortions of fact here;
    no doubt meant to minimize a sense of lost opportunity
    for your political party.


    The economy was in good shape.
    The budget was balanced or very close.
    Canada was well represented on the world stage.
    No one was screaming that taxes were out of control.
    Canada was in the top 2 among the G7 countries in most departments.
    Mr. Harper had Obamas attention & respect.
    Canada was well respected in the world.
    Canada’s economy was in good shape when the rest of the world was going broke.
    Mr. Harper was not afraid to defend Canada regarding terror or covering ones face.
    Mr. Harper left Canada in good shape.
    People who voted for jolly justin are going to get what they deserve !
    High taxes in every regard….to pay his billions in wild spending.
    A boy in a man;s position.
    Not knowing the first thing about running a country.
    Making Canada look foolish when meeting world leaders.


      you are omitting the problem… whatever Harper did: good, bad or really bad he did without respect to canadians. He felt no explanation was owed, no discussion to be had… He was elected to represent canadians and he represented his own interests/ the conservative party’s interest and then a small percentage of canadians’ interests; and in that order.


        Wow must be a Lib lover. I can’t wait until you guys EAT your words and really regret your vote!!! This guy is a joke!! and in all my years I am ASHAMED to be a Canadian. All the youth who voted only heard the words pot and legal and based their vote on that. And they are our future GOD HELP US!!

        GOOD WORK



          We should not complain . We have elected a
          Hollywood-Bollywood Prime Minister who with one hand can twirls babies in the air and takes photos with his family fully clothed with water up to the waist in his swimming pool ?

          .Check Chatelaine Magazine.


      I agree completely John. The people who voted for him will get what they deserve but unfortunately we will get it too. But they will find out. I like the last line in this article.

    Damien Gillis

    I should note that I wrote this piece 2 and a half years ago – amazing how much it’s been bounced around of late, likely by progressive voters dismayed at Mulcair’s fall from grace. While many of the concerns I raised here remain all this while later, many things have also changed. In any event, my herewith my post-election thoughts – an update to the story that will continue, likely now for years to come:


    Trudeau = Harper lite.
    Make no mistake about that.


      It’s possible that he has been staying under the radar. I feel like he’s one of us. Let him show his true colours – Canadians are watching more closely than ever.

    John Bell

    Those are some of the many reasons why I voted NDP, early and without question!


      You mean you voted for someone who defended selling our water and who said he stood by Israel under all circumstances? Ultimately, you voted for a man who considered joining the conservatives and was a liberal for many years. A man who had no appeal, who took every opportunity to speak of the weaknesses of Harper and Trudeau rather than the strength of his party. I think the better man won!

    Damien Gillis

    Some observations from the author on where we stand today, two and a half years later:


    ~ yes butt will I be able to grow my herbal cannabis in my back yard with my tomatoes without worrying about being tazzed , shot , perhaps murdered by state needlessly and likley U.N.justly imprisoned and possibly lobotomized in Prime Murder THE STEVE Stephen Harper’s Privitized Prison almost completed across the highway on the Inkinmeep Reserve 6 km north of Oliver British Columbia , would you please spell it out in a way I may share with my many millions of Canadian friends and neighbours that are very concern and frightened for their rights , safety , very limited family economy survival and wellness medicine . I am a very good Canadian , loving a peace keeping in all I do to serve life forward , with tax culpability blood on my hands and conscious for what has been done with our brave Canadian Peace Keepers in the Middle East ,sickend by the needless murder by my Canadian Tax Dollar and in my name . Please help if you can , many are as I am , though some not as disabled or passionately desperate with fore-site ! Thanks kindly good neighbours ! for the full article


    “Real leadership means fighting for real principles, even when they’re unpopular”, therefore Elizabeth May is the only honest and ethical leader.

    Vote Green on Oct 19th for a more sustainable Canada that works together. Restore Democracy. Restore Canadian science and the role of evidence-based decision making. Take BOLD ACTION ON CLIMATE. Defend our coastal waters from risky pipelines and oil tankers. Slow down growth of oil sand production.

    We have to ask “a moral question, a spiritual challenge, are we in our generation prepared to take seriously the idea that we have no right to steal from our grandchildren, great grandchildren and our great, great grandchildren. ” Elizabeth Bay

      Ray Stapleton

      Elizabeth May has consistently lied about the Never Forgotten National Memorial in Green Cove NS {Cape Breton Highlands National Park } .Even after being provided with the correct information , she still insists there will be a 300 car parking lot [only 76 car spaces will be provided ] and that such a development in the Park is against Park policy in spite of the information provided in the CB Highland’s Park Management Plan .


    Trudeau more dangerous than Harper?

    that is just plain stupid

    all of this nonsense with NDPers and Liberals attacking each other has given harper the lead so it’s time to stop fighting with each other and focus on the guy destroying our country.

    If we all voted strategically with leadnow, harper wouldn’t have a chance in hell.


    As a proud and reasonably well-informed Albertan, fully cognizant of the East/West tensions that have clouded the political landscape of Canada for decades, the title of this article naturally piqued my interest. Labeling Pierre Trudeau’s nescient, trust-fund man-child son, Justin, as ‘Canada’s most dangerous man’ undoubtedly triggered a collective amen from Albertans across the province. In spite of the article’s promising title, it took little time for the true nature of Damien Gillis’ baseless environmental extremism to manifest it’s odious stench. By referring to the Oil Sands in Northern Alberta as Tar Sands, where there is zero (0!) tar in any step of any process of extracting bitumen from the ground in northern Alberta, Gillis’ factless hippy ideologies are quickly exposed. Now, I need to mention that in a later article penned by Gillis on this same website, he admits, (in a bilking, verbally evasive fashion), that there is neither tar nor oil deposited as a natural resource in Northern Alberta. Despite this admission the author continues to imply the presence of tar in Alberta’s natural resources by continuing to use the term Tar Sands. His defence? Bitumen more closely resembles tar than oil. While this may in some respects hold true, what Gillis cannot seem to grasp is that end product of the entire process is oil. Plain and simply, tar has no involvement in anything remotely to do with Alberta’s Oil Sands. This process did not begin with tar, nor was it ever used at any point in the entire operation. But sadly, and not the least bit surprisingly, Gillis’ mulish stance remains fueled by unproven, equivocal environmental ‘science’.

      Damien Gillis

      Joe, it’s been a couple of years since I wrote this piece and a long time since you commented on it, but as it continues to make the rounds on social media during the 2015 election campaign, I figure a response is in order…

      As to your point about Tar Sands vs. Oil Sands, I offer other readers to a whole piece I wrote on the subject, to which you allude but apparently did not grasp:

      Suffice it to say, they are neither oil nor tar…but they are most definitely not oil, so drop the false dichotomy. I’ll agree to call them the Bitumen Sands if you will.

      As to your other charges, what you call “baseless environmental extremism” (LOL!), we call common sense – though, as you have once again demonstrated, it remains sadly uncommon in today’s Canada. Regardless, we’ll keep advocating for a diverse, sustainable Canadian economy while you bury your head further in that sand – of whatever name you wish to give it 😉


      If your only argument hinges on the semantics of what to call the crater that is Northern Alberta, then you don’t have much of an argument.

    Randall Kimm

    Justin Trudeau is just as reckless as his father was. Pierre nearly destroyed Canada with his insane policies regarding Quebec, National Defence and the astronomical waste created by his bilingualism policies. Justin is just following in his fathers footsteps. if elected he will ruin the nation. Like any opportunist he will say anything to anyone in order to get elected. If he becomes the next Prime Minister he will tax the nation into a recession and Quebec will likely separate. Like his cowardly father he lacks honour, honesty and integrity. We don’t need a dope smoking idiot to lead our nation.

    G. Kelly

    Trudeau is the most dangerous politician ever to appear on the Canadian scene. His policies are absurd and so far from the mainstream, he will destroy the economy. His “American” left wing enviro-nut advisor(Butt) will have him turning Canada into a third world country close to the stone age.
    For all that’s good and holy, don’t vote Trudeau!!!

      John P

      If you think the economy is more important than the environment try holding your breath as you count your money.


        Funny because your entertainment is more important than the environment as you sit in front of a computer/laptop which uses materials sourced from slave labour and are massively polluting.


        If you think the environment is in even close to that desperate of a situation, try holding your breath and not exhaling. Ever.


    Isn’t it a shame a good politician has to dance around like a clown to win favor with Canadians at all cost to unseat the deceptive Stephen Harper.A shame politics is that sick and dysfunctional.I surely will not support any leader on the pipeline or vote for any of them.I doubt a lot of things said to win power ever come true anyways so how can you vote when what they say is not what they do?

    Fritz Kohlhaas

    I don’t trust Trudeau!

    Bob L

    What we really need in this country is a new voting system. “First to the Post” is clearly not working! As for Trudeau he is just another Petropolitical politician like Harper who has absolutely no regard for the environment or the future of this planet. And the NDP seems to becoming another Liberal party. For me the only leader worth voting for is Elizabeth May. Unfortunately she has little chance of increasing the number of seats for the Greens.


    I think what Canada needs is a more in the center government. One that looks at the countries Economic needs and improve over all growth. But on the other hand doesn’t destroy the fabric of our society. They do not need to strip people of their rights or make unnecessary cuts.This is only because of corruption that is so embedded into the system we need to scrap senate. Hold our government accountable for criminal acts and not allow the prime minister to legislate their way out of trouble. How about Canada focused on their investing into their own people as a resource. It has been proven that statically that if you only prosper the wealthy you cause a fratigure in the economy’s growth.It is all based on false pretents the the rich make our economy,why so they do not have to share because they are entitled.People in position of power do not want you to think for yourselves,they want to think for you to gain maximum profit. How by separating business from human decency.It doesn’t have to be this way if we don’t want it to.Change is in the publics hands not the other way around.


    He will legalize marijuana which will have have a huge impact on Canada both socially and economically. No more families ripped apart, criminalized for using a substance that is a safer alternative to alcohol.


      Your so right. He is NOT a monster or a demon or even a dangerous human, at all. I think he’ll be the best thing to happen to Canada in a long time, and we are so overdue for some fresh forward thinking, and a younger generation to take the helm. This “old boys club” is really old, and no longer relevant.


      Only problem I worry about with the liberals is their policies on immigration, cause I would hate to see this beautiful country flooded with muslim immigrates an have the problems they are creating in Britain, France an Sweden just to name a few, an anyone who thinks what I say is racist then look in the mirror cause your part of the problem.


        Ouch. Brad, I think it best if you take a long hard look in the mirror my friend. When you are done, do some reading. I’m pretty sure that you will find some interesting facts about human transience. For as long as there have been people, they have moved in search of a better place to live. Even the First Nations people did not magically spring up from this land. Your rhetoric is prehistoric.

          Just Sayin

          He’s realistic, and you’re a fool if you think we should allow Muslims into our Homeland as potential terrorists..We are not obligated to let ANYONE into our country ,and someone ,i don’t know who ,or why, has already flooded Canada with many primitive Peoples and Cultures who add nothing positive to our Homeland.


      Teresa nice to see you have your priorities all straightened out. You go smoke another joint ok? Enjoy.
      Leave the real issues to those that see the real issues and the outcome of such.
      Do have a good day!


        Sure, and you go have a nice long drink of jack daniels while we take care of the nonsensical, hypocritical mess that the Harper imposes on Canadians.


        Does agreeing with legalizing marijuana suddenly render one incapable of handling other tasks/issues? People are not so one dimensional. The mentality where someone sums up a stranger and dismisses them based on a few words is the reason why attack ads work so well and why our politics continue to be nothing but a circus show and little better than a high school popularity contest.



      Do you believe this garbage you spout like a broken watering can.


    Sadly, it doesn’t matter who is the next PM. The seeds of the destruction of Canadian sovereignty and environmental and resource control are already sown. I so fear for my beloved nation. I am glad I am older and will not bear witness to all that is to come as we continue to have our democratic rights stripped and our environmental records burned and our right to free speech removed. Unbelievable. In only 8 years, Harper and his crew of unethical selfish liars have undone 100 years of nation building.


      Some on their way out work to better the future. Others prefer to complain about how bleak the future is so that they feel as if they won’t be missing out on anything good after they pass.


      It can seem hopeless Idina. The changes that are happening in the world now can find their roots far back in Human history. It doesn’t make the current global shift any less easy to make sense of. I have seen many older people retreat from the world because they are tired, and I have seen many younger people dismiss the intelligence of older people because they are perceived as being out-dated.
      I am sure that you would have some good points to share, not necessarily to change the way the world is headed, but to at least provide some perspective for those who are willing to make changes?

      Ruth McVeigh

      I’m with you Idina, age bracket and all! It really is unbelievable, but it is happening.

    Sandra Harris

    I had hoped that Trudeau would be a good alternative to CPC but my hopes were dashed early on when he brushed off questions about fluoride in our drinking water and said that the Bilderberg secret meetings are a conspiracy theory!? Another politician who thinks we’re all stupid!

    We say we want change but real change would be to elect the NDP or Greens (a coalition between the 2 would be awesome). Wouldn’t that smack the CONS and LIBS upside the head! At this point and after all we’ve been exposed to during the CPC reign of terror… inexperience would be REFRESHING!

    I agree entirely with Damien Gillis. Trudeau won’t be any less dangerous than Harper.


      There are no like buttons on these posts. Damn straight Sandra Harris! You hit the nail right on the head.


      Are you serious? There are bigger f’en issues than fluoride in the water and you’re spewing off conspiracy bullshit that started back in the 50’s. Get with the f’en times.
      Sure he’s not good for Canada, he’s just a face to a pile of shit that was in charge before. But at least we know that that last party built a surplus of revenue, didn’t try to suppress scientific data.

      Sure lets elect the NDP or Greens!! Are you f’en insane? Those parties will raise taxes through the roof.

      Lets vote for none of the above. Throw all their asses in jail for being lying, cheating, unpatriotic asshole, shittards. Just like what Iceland did with their bankers, throw them in jail and make an example of them. If you don’t work for the betterment of the people you will be fired and possibly thrown in jail.


        AMEN Ken!

        I do feel that Trudeau in a million years couldn’t repair the damage the Harper government has done! To many to mention but I hope someone starts making a list because there are thousands of major, and I mean major changes to the right of our normally politically central government. We look like the retarded little brother of the US in the eyes of the world. Our image was and is tarnished…proof we should have had that security council seat and we didn’t because of resent policies. Science, energy, environment, election fraud, senate fraud, G8 scandals, overcrowded prisons with stupid minimum sentences, the bashing of the seasonal workers with cuts in employment insurance…there is no end to the reasons why Canadians need to wake up!!!!


    As far as I’m concerned I’d rather see this pipeline go thru AB into the US than thru AB and BC where risks of environmental damage are greater to Canada. The US wants it, AB wants it so let them deal with the collateral damage in their jurisdiction. I care about BC and AB but this is the least damaging to BC. This dangerous pipeline is not going to be stopped by you or Trudeau so it’s damage control time. Until someone in AB has the guts to stand up it will continue. Let them bear the brunt of the ‘price of the pipeline’ IMO


    Okay, did a little research. I take back my previous comment, Justin apparently does support this to a degree.


    I’m pretty sure Justin Trudeau has stated none of these things. Can you please cite your references as to where this information is coming from? (especially with regards to Justin’s apparent support of tar-sands)


    who really cares but all you ‘hard working’ ‘poor’ MuDdLeD kLa$s that are FAST DISAPPEARING ‘thanx’ to the LESS than ‘working’ ‘poor’ EVER GREEDY CORPORATE RICH this ‘country’ was STOLEN by the Bloody British from the French who ‘invited’ themselves to ‘work with’ the First Nations whom they also USED to find their way across this new whirrl’d, $elling Beaver Furs and all the rest, so it’s KARMA that the ‘Communi$t’ Chine$e are now the ‘new’ OWNER$ of ALL of you. ‘good RUCK’ ‘communicating’ with those aLiEnS from the same (?) galaxy that the Annunaki are from..EVIL ‘hearted’ mindless DRONE LIKE INSECT$.

    Randy Collins

    What really scares me is the lack of a true leader for Canada. Conservatives have Harper a self admitted controlaholic. Liberals have a rookie who thinks he can have as much or more power than his father. NDP have a mega-bore Leader of a party that a majority of Canadians still don’t trust. The Green Party does nothing but complain about things affect the environment. Where’s the Leadership? What we need is someone to bring everything together and come up with answers not questions.

      Ordinary Joe

      Mega-bore Leader; really?
      20 years as an elected official.
      Ministerial experience. (Minister of Environment in Quebec 2003-6)
      Author of North America’s first Sustainable Development Law
      First opposition Leader to kick the crap out of Harper.
      In what universe is Mulcair boring?
      Canadians actually started tuning into Question Period because of him.


        I don’t think anyone thinks that Mulcair is an inexperienced politician. I don’t think that, at least. I do, however, find him to be a bit of an opportunist (basically reforming the NDP into a more centrist party for the sake of votes). In addition, as unfair as this may be, he lacks Jack Layton’s charisma, which was mostly responsible for the NDP’s success last election.

        Also, I’d say that Bob Rae did a good job of “kicking the crap out of Harper.” I suppose he wasn’t technically opposition leader, though.


    Friday, 31 May 2013 00:10 posted by Skookum1

    He’s a piece of fluff with old-guard backroom advisors pulling his strings and moving his tongue for him (Kinsella, Marissen, MacDonald et al). Notice his silence on the outcome of the BC election; he knows anything he says in support of Christy will alienate people who voted NDP and Green

    Thursday, 30 May 2013 09:10 posted by Frank

    the worst thing in all this is that most Canadians don’t fall on either side of this disscussion be cause they do not consern themselves with these important issues. He Mr Trudeau is not his father a man who felt Canada first in mind and asked for loyalty in Canadian ideals. What this country needs is a confident leader who pushes us as a nation toward the wealth that will raise standards of living in this contry without mummbling sorry to the rest of the world. We have it all but a true leader with Canadian vision to get it working for us. Sell it all to Chiana for a quick buck makes the whole nation a cheap warehouse. Sad Sad Sad

    Wednesday, 29 May 2013 16:56 posted by Dubz

    We need our third party back … a strong parliament that works for Canada is one that is forced to accept the will of the electorate and the only way to do that is that none of them get too cozy. For this reason I look forward to a good fight in 2015.

    Frankly though has much as it curls my gums to say .. neither Trudeau or Mulcair wouldI trust with our National Affairs as it pertains to the Global Community. Neither one of them seem to get the big picture. The corruptness of the UN .. morass that is NATO ..

    At first I interpreted Harpers distancing himself from these entities as unwise .. but much has happened in the last two years that make me realize we need to be a little more protectionist. Stand alone .. or risk get dragged into it.

    The fight to limit Emirates flights in .. the battle with Qataq iver location of the civil aviation office .. the recognition of the plight of minoruty muslims globally.. these were not even on the opposition radar.

    Trudeau and his carry the torch on Keystone .. comments about Quebec and the Senate.. I’m not hopeful. I was.

    Wednesday, 29 May 2013 06:51 posted by William OBrien

    As a lifelong liberal supporter I, like many Canadians, await the demise of this Harper regime and a return to politics with human values at the wheel but I am not sure I can trust the charisma of Justin Trudeau to fill the drivers seat.

    Wednesday, 29 May 2013 06:18 posted by Sandra Marsh

    I do not like people who cannot look you in the face when they talk to you…especially politicians!!! Trudeau could not look at the young woman asking him what he would do regarding replacing fossel fuels. He blahed about research and development, then looked at the next questioner, totally ignoring her. I cannot see him as our next PM. I see him as a puppet for Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Bucks!!!! Really look at him…he is not all that pretty!!

    Tuesday, 28 May 2013 18:04 posted by Ryan

    Here is an example to look at…

    Geroge W near the end of his term was getting smashed by all sides (much like Harper is and will be)

    Obama was the charismatic, “the change” that the US needed and in the long term turned out to be worse. (Trudeau? maybe?)

    It is hard to look into a crystal ball but we need to look at the engine powering the machine not the shiny paint job.

    Wednesday, 08 May 2013 10:44 posted by Norm Hamilton

    Once again the press suggests there are only two alternatives. The bottom line is that if we continue to elect any of the big three parties (those with whipped votes so the MPs are representing their parties instead of the constituents) we will always have the same result.

    There are alternatives. As an example the Green Party does not have a whipped vote and encourages a change in the electoral system so we can truly have the majority rule. (with protection for minorities in place)

    The Greens are also fiscally responsible, not against industry and are conscious of the need to protect our water, air and food supply. They also encourage input from the other parties so that all good ideas can be utilized. My experience with them is that they do not have the desperate need to be “right” that the others have.

    So, for me, they are an alternative to consider. Just sayin’.

    Wednesday, 08 May 2013 08:12 posted by matt evans

    The oil industry will buy the support of either party; it’s how they operate. I want to like Trudeau, and surely the liberals will be less draconian than the Harper junta and their war on science and culture. But the liberals integrity hasn’t exactly been spotless either. Its discouraging that at this point in history, when the consequences of fossil fuels are so established that there is seemingly no political will to stand up to big oil, or show leadership on the research and development of alternatives.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 22:35 posted by Damien Gillis

    Spike, you raise an interesting point. My trouble with that is it’s asking a lot of someone deeply concerned about climate change and the other urgent matters at hand to guess at Justin’s motives, calculations and true intentions. What if you’re wrong? Then we’ve put in power someone who will be in a position to carry out the Harper/corporate/Big Oil agenda for years to come as young Trudeau may prove even harder to dislodge. Your scenario would also mean he’s deliberately misleading the media and public now, fully intending to change policies once in office. I find that morally problematic. It’s also politically dangerous as he would forever open himself to “flip-flopper” attacks from his opponents, which have proven highly effective in the past. I return to my conclusion in the piece: “Great politicians find a way to sell good ideas to the public and media.” But I concede your hypothesis may indeed be correct.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 22:09 posted by spike coville

    some people seem to be missing the possible strategy of Trudeau his mimicking of harper ideas prevents harper from attacking him via attack ads JT doesn’t have a “plan” yet it is still being created because why would a poker player let you know whats in his hand? dion made this catastrophic mistake iggy opposed harper early on allowing harper to define both them early via attack ads and policies whereas JTis by playing coy and vague harper doesn’t know where Trudeau stands thus harper fires wildly into a dark night not knowing if he hit anything so congrats to JT for playing political hide an seek this however is my opinion not a fact of the matter

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 18:09 posted by Damien Gillis

    I mention it because I feel it’s germane to my argument, James. Do you think by ignoring his appearance he will somehow cease to be good-looking?!

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 17:48 posted by James

    Why mention his appearance?
    All media does it – but you’re just reinforcing the belief that voters can’t understand big issues, and are as superficial as our election choices.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 15:35 posted by John Hill

    ln such time as the whole worldwide political system undergoes a pardigm shift for the betterment of all (which it mI am vehemently against expansion of any fossil fuel production, and for the need to transition to green, renewable energy asap in Canada, mostly because of climate change, but also for regional ecological benefits, clean water retention, and the greater long term economic benefits this construes. However, untiust), we have no choice but to take pragmatic steps in the right direction within the existing badly broken system. For me, that can only even begin to happen by removing the HarperCons first. While being very wary and vigilant, I’m willing AT THIS POINT to give JT the benefit of the doubt that he is just playing smart politics within the broken system in which he has to operate, to acheive that goal (ie “politics as the art of the possible”). Then, I and all progressive people must push back hard on JT (and Mulcair or whoever), to get further change, like Proportional Representation (perhaps, in a likely minority government the NDP could insist on this to support the Liberals), rapid transition to green energy, and FAIR trade or no trade deals

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 12:11 posted by Damien Gillis

    Brian, my thesis is he MAY be more dangerous because he wants the same things but is in a position to make them seem far more attractive than Harper. I suggest that as long as he’s willing to adopt the same key positions re: our energy/economic policy, the banking and energy sectors will wisely adopt him as their new puppet – which could spell another decade headed in the wrong direction, long after Harper’s expiry date (which I sense may be sooner than you think). Finally, I raise the question: what is scarier – a guy who believes in the wrong thing, or a guy who believes in nothing, but is willing to say anything to get elected…

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 11:57 posted by Brian

    What scares me. Damien, is having you think that a you think that ANYONE could be more dangerous than Harper.
    Harper in an undemocratic megalomaniac who clearly supports fascist principles. Trudeau may be scary but the damage done by Harper is colossal.
    He is a vicious pariah of the worst sort.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 11:51 posted by Damien Gillis

    Ryan J, exactly how would you define Justin’s key issues” then? Name them if you will. I am not aware of much in the way of tangible, important positions beyond those I’ve named. The rest that I’ve seen is rhetorical fluff. Partly, when I say “key issue”, I mean key to Canada. These are THE key issues facing us – our economic future, how we manage our resources, protect our environment, engage with First Nations, create jobs, etc. – all of which are wrapped up in the issues I focus on here.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 11:37 posted by Anthony Marr

    I recall some months ago that he said, at least implied, that he was against the tar sands, and I thought, hallelujah, we now have the Libs and the NDP against the Cons on the issue. Last week, I heard on the car radio about him congratulating the Alberta premier for a job well done, and rooting for the Enbridge pipeline, and I nearly drove off the road. So now I see that the Libs are a ship without a rudder, and driftng with the wind.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 10:02 posted by JoeBlow

    We should not sell oil under any condition and put thousands of Canadian’s out of work and lose billions in revenue to the country? I don’t like dirty tech but the infrastructure is already here and clean tech is not. It makes sense to switch to clean renewable energy but that will take many years to create a profitable industry to support us. Yes, we are selling out to China because they are our customer, but Harper has put bad conditions on that deal. What they need to do is gaurantee environmental saftey and build pipelines that don’t break until they switch to being able to sell a clean product. Hey you don’t quite your job until you find another one and the public wants everything now without sacrificing what we have today. Unfortunately we are oil rich with the infrastructure ready, do we ignore that and starve? It’s not simple. Another necessary evil is protecting the oil with war machines. Protect Canadian lives so we are a force to be taken seriously, globally. Justin is young and inexperienced but his heart is in the right place, he doesn’t need to write long speeches to get his point across, we need a leader we can understand not a leader who is working against us.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 09:50 posted by Ryan J

    What a load of crap. 😀

    Seriously, those are *not* his key issues, he was supporting the premier who didn’t cave to American politics (and letting Albertans know they didn’t just waste cash – dig the ellipses in the scare quote at the bottom), and he was part of a bipartisan Conservative-Liberal effort to introduce environmental standards to Chinese manufacturing through the CNOOC-Nexen deal – as well as opening trade relations with nations outside of America, giving us greater freedom to act as trade partners on a national scale.

    This whole article is spin. Plain and simple.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 09:48 posted by Laurent Desbois

    Justin et les sables bitumineux
    Par Steven Guilbeault, 5 mai 2013

    Il s’agit d’un départ franchement navrant pour celui qui aspire à remplacer Stephen Harper.

    De plus, selon Radio-Canada, M. Trudeau reproche au gouvernement Harper de ne pas en faire assez pour promouvoir ce projet… Vraiment!

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 09:43 posted by Damien Gillis

    J, your points are taken. Speaking of “strategic resources” does imply a colonial, euro-centric view. I will note, though, that it is a First Nation that is leading the charge against FIPA through the courts – the Hupacasath – based on the implications of this deal to their title and rights. Our peoples – settler and indigenous – have a shared interest in these threats, and our strength in opposing them derives in part from working together. I do take issue with your allegation of Sinophobia. I am concerned about awarding complete ownership of any resources (let’s call them “important” rather than “strategic”) to any foreign nation. I have particular concerns about China because of their political nature and human rights record, which our mainstream media and politicians have all but forgotten since they became a big trading partner and financier for both the US and Canada. That’s not Sinophobic, it’s sensible. PS I urge you to check out my latest project, a documentary in production called Fractured Land, which explores these issues from an indigenous perspective:

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 07:52 posted by TK

    In all and frank honesty, I don’t give a rats ass, who runs for PM, who gets the most votes for PM, I just want Harper gone! I don’t vote Conservative nor Liberal. I’m a dedicated New Democratic Party supporter. I can see The Green Party getting more than 1 seat in parliament, since most Canadians are fed up with the Conservatives and Liberals. The NDP and Green Party will gain more supporters. I can see the Conservatives becoming a minority along side of the Liberals. Canada needs a change and that change is no Harper. JT may be handsome. JT caught the attention of the younger generation of our great country. Bash all you want but JT’s father no doubt, went through the same thing. P.E Trudeau ran Canada for a few terms. IF (and that’s a big IF) JT runs and wins, Canadians will be watching closely. A new government without Harper is what most if not all, Canadians want. Canada needs fresh governmental blood. I guess only time will tell come election day. Choose wisely. Vote damn it. If you don’t vote, then you don’t have any right to complain. Choose your political party correctly. Don’t get sucked into candy coated promises… again.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 07:46 posted by Laurent Desbois

    Simply preserving his father’s legacy. That’s why he wants to be PM of Canada.
    “Le vrai visage de Pierre Elliot Trudeau”

    Voir l’essai à la fois psychanalytique, anthropologique et politique au sujet de ce dernier: “Le vrai visage de Pierre Elliot Trudeau” par François-Xavier Simard, éd. Les Intouchables, 2006. ISBN : 2-89549-217-4.

    Ce médecin conclu que l’hostilité de Trudeau contre la nation Québécoise s’expliquerait par son conflit œdipien et des identifications familiales.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 07:15 posted by Merlin

    I said from square one JT was a poor choice for the new liberal leader. Expect Harper lite. We’ll still be sold out to everyone on the planet especially the Chinese.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 06:49 posted by Ron S.

    If you want something that really looks good while listening we could vote a Barbie or Ken Doll in and just let it stand there while the back room boys do the wheeling and dealing. Basically that is what JT is, a Ken Doll without and real policies. Just a figurehead for corporations.

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 02:11 posted by Janice P

    Great article Damien. Shared to my Google+ and FB
    TY for writing and posting what I was thinking. :)

    Tuesday, 07 May 2013 01:05 posted by J

    I dream of a future when I can read mainstream progressive analysis of Canadian politics that doesn’t endorse the colonial fantasy of ‘strategic resources’ while promoting Sinophobia – as though dealing with Chinese companies is anywhere near as destructive and disempowering as a million Harper/Liberal policies on immigration, first nations, environment, taxation, war on terror, civil liberties, and we could go on and on. If you want to see a progressive restoration in Canada, great, let’s see it, but let’s do it without feeding racism and the worn but vigorous dreams of Western empire.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 21:57 posted by Tony Chamberlist

    I am a dyed in the wool old school liberal….can’t stand Harper, and the Trudeau kid is giving me a massive headache. Is this political opportunism genetic? I remember when his pop brought Joe Clark’s minority government down by lighting his hair on fire over a moderate gas tax increase in finance minister John Crosbie’s budget, only to increase the gas tax after regaining a majority. Justin Trudeau is the best the Grits could do? Blechhh….I’m voting Green.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 20:59 posted by clifford morgan

    Why are our governments wanting to destroy our environment, and so the wild game, the salmon and sorts of mammals and fishes when there is a oil spill, and also, the lives of people due to the chemicals from mining, fracking. Trudeau is just another of those who is going to gain votes by saying it is good for the economy. People must think hard before they vote for a party, check each one out thoroughly, and see who is going to protect the environment and wild game, and sorts of fishes, and the rivers, streams, and lakes. See what is happening in northern Canada and some American states.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 20:39 posted by Sam Ting Wong

    We do not need a deal with China!! I lived in Asia for 15 yrs and am now very anti China…. they have no right in WTO and they have no right half ass’dly making toys for my kids or TV’s for my family room. The traditional Chinese values are gone thanks to thier Communist capilitism, it is a free for all that motivates those who can to take advantage of those who can’t, there is no protection for the little guy and no limits for the greedy…. Canada is not perfect…. in fact it is not even the Canada I left in the 90’s but we do still have values that extend beyond our finger tips and we care about those outside our own walls…. China is a mess, they are led by those beyond corrupt… they are criminal and us bowing down to them over thier illigally obtained money is embarrasing. I have no problem selling to them, all our oil, fine…. but use that money in Canada to develop alternative, renewable sources of energy that we can then sell to China when the oil runs out…. taking thier money is fine by me, putting them in a position to make anything of us is not okay with me, they have no conscience and use ours against us!! TRUE STORY

    Monday, 06 May 2013 19:51 posted by Ashta

    I asked Justin what his plan was for replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. Here’s a youtube video of his response:

    Monday, 06 May 2013 18:54 posted by Tyler

    Here’s what I was talking about.!topic/canada-eu-ceta/-13GjeLACOg I guess I was wrong about the bipartisan part. The Liberals are all alone on this one.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 18:26 posted by Dianne Rose

    sometimes when I need peace to gain clarity when presented with crises I repeat little quotes that have stuck in my mind, this of Pierre Trudeau responding to a decision about Indigenous rights – You people have more rights than I thought you had.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 15:56 posted by the salamander

    Great essay Damien .. as always, to the point, accurate, clarifying.. balanced .. reflecting your values, which admirably reflect what I’ve always assumed were Canadian values.

    We’ve become a nation that is being taken for a ride. We don’t mill our logs or refine our energy resources for our own use.. we just hand it over to needy
    & greedy empires.. in the name of money & the economy. And all ethics, common sense, foresight, environment, truth and Canadian values be damned.

    Stephen Harper is an elite, calculating carpetbagger, a liar & manipulator, obstructing justice & truth to suit his interests & ideology and those white power brokers he sees as the rightful rulers of Canada.. by some bizarre invented divine right.

    Justin Trudeau is either a complete fool.. or a yes man for factions that simply want a more compliant figurehead that Stephen Harper. Neither party really has electable MP’s or Ministers capable of leading a country.

    Jason Kenney – lives with his mommy
    Baird ? Clement ? Mackay ? The complicit stench of Harper is all over them .. the only question is who will stink less. Oliver, Kent, Ashfield are toast.. damned by their actions, All are decomposing dreck.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 15:52 posted by Stephanie

    I would suggest those active in the Liberal Party need to fully engage with the policy development. That seems to be the only way. Great piece, clear, concise, respectful. Thanks.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 14:53 posted by manifesto2000

    All this shows that the real political choice that faces the fact that the atmosphere can not absorb any more carbon at this time – leaves Mulcair and May as the only political leaders who have their priorities straight.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 14:31 posted by anon

    “We voted for Harper because we hated the Liberal”

    Please don’t say ‘we’. I voted for neither because both did a bad job at convincing me and it seems I was right with my votes. The majority of Canadians only seem to care about who can make our economy prosper more than anything else.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 14:18 posted by Evil Eye

    Canadian politics is more and more politics of hate.

    We voted for Harper because we hated the Liberal and now we may vote for Trudeau the Younger because we now hate Harper and the Conservatives.

    Canadians do not vote for anything, rather we vote against. Trudeau will win because the electorate will vote against Harper and Mulcair.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 13:41 posted by johneen Ponder

    He reminds me of Christy Clark and that is not a good thing.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 12:40 posted by Damien Gillis

    “We need a trade deal with China”. Really? Says who? The deal is done, it’s signed, simply awaiting ratification in Parliament. There’s no “bi-partisan political review” – we’re way, way beyond that. So this is THE China-Canada trade deal on the table – and it is very bad indeed. And no, we do not need it.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 12:29 posted by Tyler

    I really want to know something. What is wrong with the position Trudeau has taken on the FIPA? Hasn’t he agreed to a bipartisan analysis of what can be improved upon there? Either people reporting on this are not aware of this or they appear to be anti-trade. Let’s face it people, we need a trade deal with China of some sort. They may be the future of the world’s economy. The deal needs to be changed, and, as far as I’m aware, Trudeau has set about making changes.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 12:16 posted by Kevin Logan

    Good piece.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 12:15 posted by Damien Gillis

    Listens to get elected, not to lead, not to make the world a better place. That’s what scares me, NaiveMadHatter.

    Monday, 06 May 2013 12:12 posted by NaiveMadHatter

    Isn’t that one of the best things about Justin Trudeau. He does not come to the plate without listening to what is needed. He does not single offhandedly assume he knows all of the answers.

    We need a leader who listens, evaluates and then implements what is best over all.

    And he would look good doing it too.

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