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Thursday, May 12, 2005

yeah trudeau!

hhmmmm. The article below sounds vaguely similar to what my friend, Howard, and I had written in our op-ed peice in the Hill Times a couple of weeks ago...

so, I agree. Good work for calling it how it is, Justin.

Quebec separation close, Trudeau warns, Criticizes Liberals

Joe Paraskevas
CanWest News Service

May 12, 2005

CREDIT: Marie-France Coallier, CanWest News Service

OTTAWA - Federal political life has become so concerned with mundane affairs
that it has blinded both voters and politicians to issues of real
importance, such as the growing appetite for separatism in Quebec, the
eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau said yesterday.

"I think we are far closer to the separation of Quebec than we have been in
a very, very long time, and I don't think anyone in Ottawa particularly, but
in the rest of Canada [as well], are either enough aware of it or ready to
properly deal with it," Justin Trudeau said at a Parliament Hill reception.

Mr. Trudeau, 33, did not say the rise of Quebec nationalism is due to the
alleged mismanagement in the former government's sponsorship program.
Instead, he suggested Canadians and their politicians have simply forgotten
what matters in political life. "We live in a very fast-paced, easy world,
where we're looking for immediate gratification, immediate satisfaction," he
said. "And the kind of politicians we have now are all about satisfying
those immediate responses. And that, while it satisfies you, allows for sort
of long-term hunger."

He did, however, criticize the Liberal government over the sponsorship
program, which was set up to promote the federal government in Quebec after
the 1995 sovereignty referendum.

Mr. Trudeau said the Liberals failed to renew their party since taking over
almost 12 years ago. By acting complacently through the 1990s, a time when
their opposition was also relatively weak and could not check government
authority, he said the Liberals gave rise to conditions that allowed the
sponsorship scandal to happen.

"[The sponsorship scandal] is a symptom of having had no real opposition for
a long time to be able to counterbalance what's going on in Ottawa and to
keep an eye on it," Mr. Trudeau said.

"People in power for too long tend to get a little bit sloppy. There's a
lack of rigour perhaps and a little looseness that happens around the edges
-- not at the centre, but around the edges -- that allows for things like
this to happen. It's unfortunate. It links back to the fact that
Confederation or Canadian democracy isn't set up to represent regional

He said the Liberal party should be included among the many aspects of the
federal political scene in need of renewal.

"I think there was an opportunity for renewal when [Jean] Chretien stepped
down [in 2003], and that was attempted but wasn't really taken on."

Asked about his own political future, Mr. Trudeau, a former teacher who has
pursued an engineering degree in recent years, demurred, saying he is happy
as chairman of the board of directors of Katimavik, the federally funded
organization that sends youth across Canada to do year-long volunteer work.

He declined to comment on the hostile climate that has enveloped Parliament,
as the Conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois try to bring down the Liberals.

He maintained that if Canadians are unhappy with the partisanship in the
Commons, they should consider themselves responsible. "It's vicious because
we've allowed it to become so; we as voters, we as citizens," he said,
adding he is not in favour of a spring election.


Zita Dube said...

Man, I have been saying this for months! Of course, it only has credibility when a "Trudeau" says it...damn you Justin!

But seriously kids, this is a major, major situation and anyone who has spent any time in Quebec in the last year (and has talked politics while there) can probably attest to it.


Gauntlet said...

"We've allowed it to become so; we as voters, we as citizens."

Trudeau is blaming us for the way the Liberal party is, and he's right.

Your article implied blame on the Liberal party for what a few of its members did, and that's still wrong.

You both agree that the Liberal party needs to be reformed, and on that front, you're both right.

Anonymous said...

Zita- I KNOW! Why does it take a Trudeau before people start to take an issue seriously!?!?! :P

Jason- Thanks for your comments. I still don't believe that anything in our article was "wrong." I don't blame the "Liberal Party" as in all members and all constituency presidents across the country. I am extremely disgusted at what went on, and as a member who has put a hell of alot of volunteer hours in during the past few years, I think I have the right to be quite pissed off when I find out that this kind of crap is going on. Seeing how the individuals involved were staff and high level members of the Liberal Party (all be it in Quebec), I feel betrayed.

I may be a Liberal and a liberal, but the Liberal party must be held accountable for these actions.

Fred Dynamite said...


I think its clear that the case for federalism has to be made all the time, as a matter of principle. Stephane Dion was so good at it as intergovernmental affairs minister, he could put the lie to all manner of nonsense arguments coming from the pequiste ranks.

Justin's right, we can't let a malaise or a complacency set in about how good we have it in Canada, or get distracted by political issues like the scandal that make us lose sight of bigger issues like our identity and core values. When that happens political opportunists can play on people's passions and lead them astray.

I'd like to see Justin get in the game and cut his teeth. People make him out to be the second coming of PET but the jury is still out, let's see what he can do. We need young people like him in politics.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sheamus,

Thanks for the post - I definately agree. Stephane Dion was a great Intergov't Minister, we need someone like him now.

Quebec sovereignty is a topic that I am planning on blogging on in the near future...

And yes, Justin Trudeau should definately cut his teeth. Canada is looking for leaders, and we are greatly in need of them.