By Jonathon Van Maren
It should be no surprise that Justin Trudeau has been a bit testy lately. After all, he’s had a no-good, rotten year—and people just don’t seem to understand his brilliance like they used to, even when Bill Nye the Science Guy came to Canada to bolster Trudeau’s standing in the smarts department. It turns out that once you’ve bhangra danced one time too many and embarrassed Canada on the world stage by launching an unasked-for Bollywood fashion show, people start to get pretty sick of you.
So after all that, this story from the Hill Times did not particularly surprise me:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s angry response to a rural MP’s concerns raised at a recent national caucus meeting on the Hill over the government’s upcoming gun legislation did not go over well with some Liberal MPs who say it will have a “chilling” effect on their ability to speak candidly at the closed-door meetings.
According to Liberal MPs and insiders, Mr. Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) verbally “attacked” rookie Liberal MP T.J. Harvey (Tobique-Mactaquac, N.B.), chair of the Liberal rural caucus, during the Feb. 28 national caucus meeting on Parliament Hill. Mr. Harvey stood up to say that there was a “lack” of meaningful consultation with the caucus over the government’s upcoming gun control legislation.
“Justin was much too vitriolic and attacked him,” one Liberal MP, referring to Mr. Harvey, told The Hill Times, who spoke on condition of anonymity since the closed-door caucus meetings are confidential. “We’re also supposed to have the right to voice our opinion.”
This MP said the soon to be tabled gun legislation is “scaring the h*** out of the Liberal caucus,” especially the ones representing rural ridings.
Although the MP himself wouldn’t disclose details, apparently Trudeau lost it—that those rural rubes questioning him again, and this time in his very own caucus meeting was apparently just a bit too much for him to handle:
According to sources, Mr. Trudeau, “went after” Mr. Harvey and “asserted” that there has already been a “robust, more than sufficient consultation,” and no more consultation was needed. Sources said that the whole caucus was taken aback by the prime minister’s unusually angry tone, which they said would have an “intimidating effect” on MPs’ willingness to raise issues in future caucus meetings.
This is the same guy who sends his caucus out to say that the Canada Summer Jobs kerfuffle is over and that everything is fine, even though I’m told by some (who have actually gotten the calls) that Liberal MPs are desperately phoning community groups in their ridings and begging them to apply anyway—and that many of Trudeau’s caucus members are very unhappy with how this has impacted them in their ridings.
The lineup of bad decision-making and gaffes that has turned Trudeau into an international laughingstock has also led many Liberal caucus members to distrust the judgement of the omnipresent staffers who are widely considered to be Trudeau’s handlers: Gerald Butts and Katie Telford. Butts, who is known in political circles as “PMB” or Prime Minister Butts, is famously thin-skinned (he’s blocked hundreds of critics on Twitter, myself included), and probably contributes quite heavily to Trudeau’s inability to apologize for anything. He’s widely considered to be the power behind the throne, and his presence at caucus meetings has apparently raised the ire of many MPs, who (not incorrectly) point out that these meetings are for elected officials only.
Many MPs openly say they wish that Trudeau would lay off the gun issue altogether—it simply looks like another out-of-touch move specifically targeting rural Canadians, and it breaks a campaign promise to boot. Rural Canadians should be reminded that this highlights what Trudeau thinks of them—he even shouts at rural MPs for questioning his judgement as he creates policy that will target that MP’s constituents. And rural Canadians should remember this come 2019, when Mr. Dress Up may produce a crisply ironed flannel shirt and mount a stack of hay bales to convince farmers that he’s really, deep down, one of them.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.