EDITORIAL: Why is this PM getting so many free passes?

The North Island Gazette suggests the shiny veneer is coming off Justin Trudeau


A lack of transparency.

Limiting debate.

A failure to fulfill campaign promises, especially as they relate to the protection of the environment.

Reducing the opportunity for people to question the leader of the country.

Losing his sh**.

These are all things for which former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was criticized harshly, in the House of Commons, around the odd world that is Parliament Hill and in the national media.

They are also the actions of our current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. But he seems to get a pass from the national media because, well, they like him and did not like Harper.

Trudeau’s government is floating the idea that there will be just one designated day a week when, during Question Period, the prime minister will answer questions. In May of last year as MPs gathered for a vote on the government’s assisted-dying bill, Trudeau was accused of “manhandling” opposition whip Gord Brown and elbowing MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau. Last week, there was this, as MPs tried to debate the Liberal government’s proposals to change the rules of Parliament. The way it was described by many was the prime minister “lost his sh**.”

“This prime minister purports to be a feminist,” Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said in the House. “Yet when a strong, confident woman dares to question his arrogance and unilaterally changing the fundamentals of Canadian democracy, he tries to stare her down and yell at her.”

Ah yes, those changes to rules of Parliament. North Island NDP MP Rachel Blaney is also not pleased with the direction of the prime minister and his government on this issue.

“I’ve been really saddened,” Blaney told The Gazette. “That was what the campaign was about, openness and accountability.”

Blaney said she believes the prime minister is getting serious pushback on these rule changes for good reason.

“We feel really strongly we are fighting for democracy.”

The North Island MP believes she must be able to rise in the House and question the government and the prime minister. She said that’s how the people of Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Port Alice and the entire North Island are heard.

“If my voice is taken away I have to fight hard for that,” she said.

My my, who is this elbowing bully who wants to limit debate? Surely it can’t be the shiny, young prime minister everyone seems to love so much, especially in other countries and on social media.

Harper was not loved. And he deserved much of what he got. Thing is, 10-plus years is a long time to be in power these days. People sour on leaders who are in power that long, regardless of political party.

The veneer is off this prime minister. He cannot be saved in the world of public opinion with cute selfies any longer. He is displaying many of the traits for which his predecessor was uniformly vilified. And Justin Trudeau is doing all this while spending taxpayer money like there’s no tomorrow — yes, that other campaign promise about balancing the budget by the end of this government’s first term is all but out the window.

Those who believed this prime minister was going to rule for many years best re-think that notion.

— Editorial by John Harding

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