The Post-Election Thread


Mowich
Conservative
+4
#1



John Ivison: For the most part, bloated Trudeau cabinet is window dressing and little else

Just over four years ago, Justin Trudeau strode in late fall sunshine toward Rideau Hall like a conquering Roman general, flanked by his gender-balanced cabinet.

By contrast, there was nothing triumphant about the way Trudeau’s ministers trudged toward the Governor-General’s residence to be sworn in on a chilly winter’s afternoon on Wednesday, their leader nowhere in sight. This is a government that has become aware belatedly that much of the country has tired of its vainglorious, self-congratulatory approach.

The most important change to emerge from the day may well be that the Liberal government now has an operations committee, chaired by Dominic Leblanc. A central complaint about the Trudeau government’s first four years was that it reflected the capricious personality of its prime minister, often more excited about the initial idea than in implementation. It seems to have finally dawned that it is time to put away childish things – the costumes, the photo ops, the posturing – and become a grown-up government that actually executes on its agenda.

For the rest, it was largely window-dressing.

Having just penned a column asserting it doesn’t matter who is in cabinet because the policy has already been decided upon by an unelected cabal, it may be a bit rich to wax on for another several hundred words about who’s in and who’s out. The statement should be qualified. Strong ministers can prove decisive in implementing, if not conceiving, policy. The trouble with this Liberal government is that there have been very few strong ministers – and the new lot don’t look like much of an upgrade.

We now have a ministry bloated by more members of the Queen’s Privy Council – 36 in total – each one earning a stipend of $264,000, even if they are in charge of nothing more than a brass plate and a driver. Mona Fortier, the Ottawa MP, is the new minister of middle class prosperity, but has no ministerial department (she will be “supported” by the finance department). There are no hints in the accompanying literature about the goals for this new ministry. A Subaru in every driveway, perhaps?

One thing that is clear is that the direction will continue to be unrelenting leftward – spending money as a quick fix, rather than doing the hard work of reform. The conviction is deeply rooted that a majority would have been Trudeau’s, if only the Liberals had been able to convince more progressive Quebecers that the spending taps would remain on gush. Nobody should expect any variations from that strategy ahead of the next election. It was noticeable that 10 ministers from Quebec were appointed on Wednesday, including former environmental activist Steven Guilbeault in heritage and François-Philippe Champagne at foreign affairs, compared to eight in the last cabinet.

That over-representation of Quebecers will not help Chrystia Freeland, in her new gig as minister for intergovernmental affairs, to stifle rising discontent in the West. She was, no doubt, induced by guilt to take the job – “ask not what your country can do for you…”. The pill seems to have been sugared with the addition of the deputy prime minister title and a pledge that she could also see the new NAFTA deal over the legislative finishing line. But to make progress on the unity file, she will need funds and political latitude.

Provincial premiers generally like to deal with prime ministers, not their subordinates. Freeland will struggle to gain their attention and respect.

The appointment of Seamus O’Regan as minister of natural resources is not going to aid her cause, given his deep roots in Newfoundland and lack of experience in the resource industry. The Liberal election campaign on the Prairies was co-ordinated by a Newfoundlander, with unspectacular results. A repeat performance seems more than likely unless O’Regan immerses himself in the politics of the oil patch and, crucially, gets some good advice from people who understand the disconnection in the West.

Elsewhere there were some positive developments. The appointment of Anita Anand as minister of public services and procurement is a genuine surprise. The rookie MP for Oakville is an accomplished law professor at the University of Toronto, where she specializes in corporate governance. It is encouraging that people of substance still want to run away to join the parliamentary circus, though quite why they would want to lower their ambitions remains a mystery.

Bill Morneau remains at finance, which is on balance a good thing as growth slows in the economy. One of Morneau’s colleagues suggested that finance, long an independent power base, has become a “vassal state” under Trudeau. It is past time for Morneau to assert himself with the free-spenders in the prime minister’s office.

David Lametti returns as justice minister, again a net positive. In his oath of office, he affirmed a promise to uphold the independence of the judiciary and prosecutorial independence, which should forestall any prospect of SNC-Lavalin being granted a remediation deal.

A more politically acceptable solution would be for the company to ring-fence the parts of the business that caused the legal liability stemming from the bribery allegations. Lametti will, one hopes, resist any pressure from the centre to intervene.

There are seven new faces in cabinet – including Marc Miller at Indigenous services and Marco Mendicino at immigration, both able; both of whom narrowly missed out last summer. After the failed experiment of promoting MPs not steeped in partisan politics – step forward Jody Wilson Raybould and Jane Philpott – Trudeau has fallen back on friends and loyalists this time around. (Miller, like O’Regan, was in the prime minister’s wedding party).

This is a cabinet that Trudeau claims will “work tirelessly for all Canadians”. Perhaps. But voters can rest assured it will be positively indefatigable in its efforts to get re-elected with a majority whenever the next election comes around.

nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-for-the-most-part-bloated-trudeau-cabinet-is-window-dressing-and-little-else?video_autoplay=true

 
Mowich
Conservative
+2
#2
Trudeau unveils new cabinet; Chrystia Freeland tapped to negotiate with
premiers

"The pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era went to Chrystia Freeland, who moved from the prestigious Global Affairs portfolio to become deputy prime minister and minister in charge of intergovernmental affairs.

Freeland, whom Trudeau tapped to deal with mercurial U.S. President Donald Trump during the tense renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, will now be in charge of dealing with hostile conservative premiers across the country.

That will be particularly important in Canada’s oil and gas heartland, Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the Liberals were shut out on Oct. 21.

The Toronto MP, who has family roots in Alberta, won praise as a tough, canny negotiator during the trade talks. Her diplomatic and negotiating skills will be put to the test in dealing with Alberta’s Jason Kenney, Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe and Ontario’s Doug Ford."

More: calgaryherald.com/news/politics/newsalert-justin-trudeau-unveils-new-cabinet-focused-on-domestic-challenges/wcm/294b4084-3166-4ff2-bc3a-d6c882ebbcbc
 
Hoid
#3
She's spent the last 3 years baby sitting a bunch of stupid children from America, sounds like the perfect training for taking on Ford Kenney and the rest
 
Mowich
Conservative
+2
#4
For the record: Trudeau on his new cabinet and the disgruntled West

After the swearing in of his new cabinet this afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answered questions from reporters on the steps of Rideau Hall. A lot of the questions touched on the tensions between Trudeau’s new minority government and Alberta, where his Liberals failed to elect an MP in this fall’s election. Here are three key quotes from Trudeau relating to that pressing problem:

On Chrystia Freeland becoming his deputy prime minister and intergovernmental affairs minister, a role in which she’s expected to try to address Western alienation. (She is also retaining, unusually, responsibility for the Canada-U.S. relationship, her focus in her former job as foreign minister):

“There were no more important issues than renegotiating NAFTA in our first mandate, and I worked very closely with Chrystia on that issue, and I can tell you we work very well together. Having her in a position, a strong position, when it comes to international affairs and intergovernmental affairs, and having her as deputy prime minister, will be very positive for national unity and for our approach to uniting Canadians and creating economic growth, and of course fighting climate change at the same time.”

On his friend Seamus O’Regan becoming natural resources minister, a key job for the Western provinces, and one held from 2015 to 2018 by Manitoba MP Jim Carr, who has cancer but will remain, Trudeau announced today, his special advisor on the Prairies:

“I am incredibly proud to have Seamus O’Regan, a strong Newfoundlander, as our natural resources minister. There are Newfoundlanders who work right across the country in natural resources. Newfoundland and Labrador itself is a place that is not just oil-producing, but also known for its natural resources. And I know that he, along with our entire cabinet, is going to do a great job of addressing issues of concern to all regions of our country, including the West.”

On how Alberta’s oil sands fit with his government’s priorities, considering that combatting climate change by reducing fossil fuel consumption remains a key Liberal priority, and Trudeau’s Liberals failed to elect an MP this fall in Alberta and Saskatchewan, leaving the provinces unrepresented in the cabinet named today:

“We recognize that the people who work in the oil sands have been providing energy and resources to Canada for many decades in a way that has created tremendous prosperity for this country. The world is looking at reducing its carbon emissions, and as we move toward a lower-carbon economy it’s going to be important to lean on the kind of innovation and technology that Albertans and Saskatchewanians, and people right across the country, have been contributing to creating and delivering for the benefit of all Canadians.”

www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/for-the-record-trudeau-on-his-new-cabinet-and-the-disgruntled-west/
 
Twin_Moose
Conservative
+4
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

She's spent the last 3 years baby sitting a bunch of stupid children from America, sounds like the perfect training for taking on Ford Kenney and the rest

Yep Trudeau offers Quebec many sitting MPs we get nothing but a yes person that lost her Western interest about the same time as Curious Canadian
 
Hoid
#6
maybe you should have voted for Goodale
 
pgs
Free Thinker
+3
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

maybe you should have voted for Goodale

Maybe you should have slit your throat
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#8
Calm down
 
Ron in Regina
Free Thinker
+6
#9  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

maybe you should have voted for Goodale

Western Canada in general in the Prairies specifically do not have any less representation nationally with Ralph Goodale on the sidelines.
 
Twin_Moose
Conservative
+4
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

maybe you should have voted for Goodale

Like I posted on another thread only time Goodale fought for Sask. was when he was in opposition, while sitting in Gov, he was one of the biggest yes men.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#11
Seems like the only time somebody from Saskatistan steps up and shows any kind of effective leadership, he’s a lefty.
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
+4
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Mowich View Post

For the record: Trudeau on his new cabinet and the disgruntled West
After the swearing in of his new cabinet this afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answered questions from reporters on the steps of Rideau Hall. A lot of the questions touched on the tensions between Trudeau’s new minority government and Alberta, where his Liberals failed to elect an MP in this fall’s election. Here are three key quotes from Trudeau relating to that pressing problem:
On Chrystia Freeland becoming his deputy prime minister and intergovernmental affairs minister, a role in which she’s expected to try to address Western alienation. (She is also retaining, unusually, responsibility for the Canada-U.S. relationship, her focus in her former job as foreign minister):
“There were no more important issues than renegotiating NAFTA in our first mandate, and I worked very closely with Chrystia on that issue, and I can tell you we work very well together. Having her in a position, a strong position, when it comes to international affairs and intergovernmental affairs, and having her as deputy prime minister, will be very positive for national unity and for our approach to uniting Canadians and creating economic growth, and of course fighting climate change at the same time.”
On his friend Seamus O’Regan becoming natural resources minister, a key job for the Western provinces, and one held from 2015 to 2018 by Manitoba MP Jim Carr, who has cancer but will remain, Trudeau announced today, his special advisor on the Prairies:
“I am incredibly proud to have Seamus O’Regan, a strong Newfoundlander, as our natural resources minister. There are Newfoundlanders who work right across the country in natural resources. Newfoundland and Labrador itself is a place that is not just oil-producing, but also known for its natural resources. And I know that he, along with our entire cabinet, is going to do a great job of addressing issues of concern to all regions of our country, including the West.”
On how Alberta’s oil sands fit with his government’s priorities, considering that combatting climate change by reducing fossil fuel consumption remains a key Liberal priority, and Trudeau’s Liberals failed to elect an MP this fall in Alberta and Saskatchewan, leaving the provinces unrepresented in the cabinet named today:
“We recognize that the people who work in the oil sands have been providing energy and resources to Canada for many decades in a way that has created tremendous prosperity for this country. The world is looking at reducing its carbon emissions, and as we move toward a lower-carbon economy it’s going to be important to lean on the kind of innovation and technology that Albertans and Saskatchewanians, and people right across the country, have been contributing to creating and delivering for the benefit of all Canadians.”
www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/for-the-record-trudeau-on-his-new-cabinet-and-the-disgruntled-west/

Typical Macleans drivel. A pig with lipstick is still a pig.
I hope for a spring election.
 
Hoid
#13
what is anyone supposed to do with the western angst?

there is no magic wand anyone has.
 
Twin_Moose
Conservative
+4
#14
No magic wand needed, if you are in the West like you claim you wouldn't need an explanation.
 
Mowich
Conservative
+6
#15
Chris Selley: 'Minister of Middle Class Prosperity' isn't a joke. It should be

Wednesday’s Cabinet shuffle featured the usual head-scratching reorganization of portfolios and outright invention of others, “bigger” being for some reason a stated goal. Joyce Murray, for example, becomes Minister of Digital Government. It has a very pre-Y2K ring to it, but then again the government in question accepts payment for access-to-information requests by cheque, and sometimes fulfills them (if at all) via CD-ROM, and it can’t manage a simple payroll system. So maybe it’s not such a bad thing to have someone on that job specifically.

Then there’s Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier’s new job. I literally assumed people were joking about the Liberals’ obsessive branding, but it’s true: No word of a lie, she is an Associate Minister of Finance and, specifically, the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity.

Should a government need a minister whose job is to ensure Canadians are prospering? One might reasonably hope that’s the goal of pretty much any minister when she rolls out of bed in the morning. But they sure don’t always act that way, so maybe a Minister for Making People Richer isn’t such a bad thing.




Could these be next? NP

But the “middle class” flourish is so ridiculously on-brand that it turns the very idea into a joke. Recalling Trudeau’s 2015 catchphrase, many wags asked: “Shouldn’t it be the Minister of the Middle Class and Those Working Hard to Join It?” And they have a point. After four years in government, the Liberals have a good story to tell on social mobility: Poverty rates are at an all-time low. And yet they remain officially obsessed with a middle class that was never as imperilled as they claimed.

It’s not all just in good fun. There are consequences to spreading misinformation about Canadians’ prosperity. A poll released Wednesday by Children First Canada asked respondents where they thought Canada ranked on UNICEF’s table of child development in wealthy countries. Turns out three-quarters of us think we’re at least in the top 10, and 36 per cent in the top five. Canada’s actual ranking, in the 2017 report, was 25. These kinds of national rankings must always be taken with heaping doses of salt, and so must this poll. If people think Canada ranks among UNICEF’s top 10 countries for child development, perhaps that’s because it placed 10th as recently as the 2010 “report card.”

Things haven’t gone to hell since then; rather, every year’s report card uses different criteria to come up with its rankings — the better to generate headlines in various countries. The 2017 report includes a line graph showing Canada plummeting down the table to 25. A note below helpfully advises that “these indices and rankings are not directly comparable.” That’s not what line graphs are for.

As for the 25th-place ranking, you might not consider children’s ability to rattle off at least five environmental problems key to measuring their welfare. (Canada does well there.) You might think actual deprivation would be important criteria, but the 2017 report is concerned only with inequality. (Canada doesn’t do very well there.) Considerably poorer countries than Canada score better on equality measures, even as they score worse battling something as fundamental as food insecurity. Inequality matters a lot, but it doesn’t matter more than breakfast.

Furthermore, you might think the child homicide rate (where Canada does quite badly) is an odd criteria to give so much weight, given that it’s a relatively rare cause of death. If you’re going to use it, you can’t just pick a year at random, as the report does, because small numbers fluctuate significantly from year to year. It’s especially ridiculous to reward or punish a tiny country like Cyprus or Malta for having zero or one child homicide in a given year, respectively.

All that said, mouth full of salt, I suspect Canadians would be legitimately surprised to find how poorly we fare relative to other rich countries on measures everyone would agree are key to child development. Fifteen per cent of children between the ages of 11 and 15 reported being bullied at least twice a month. Based on my observations as an 11-year-old I’d call that extraordinary progress — but it’s three times higher than the rate in Sweden, Iceland, Italy and Spain. Canada’s childhood obesity rate is four times Denmark’s. Not many children are murdered in Canada, but 130 under 15 were between 2010 and 2017. That strikes me as an awful lot, and it’s a rate far higher than most other comparable nations. Canadians are likely aware of an epidemic of teenage suicides, but do they know the overall rate is fully five times that of Portugal’s? Do Canadians know infant mortality is four times higher than in Japan?

These problems are not unknown to the middle class. But the most severe of them — which is to say, Canada’s most severe problems — are not those of the middle class. They are those of the lower class, of the poorest, of the most desperate — and in far too many cases, that means Canada’s First Nations. Again, the Liberals have a perfectly defensible record when it comes to lifting people out of poverty. No one doubts the Liberals’ commitment to and obsession with the middle class. But any new associate finance minister should be focused on the very poorest Canadians, which is where the hardest and most essential work is.

nationalpost.com/news/chris-selley-minister-of-middle-class-prosperity-isnt-a-joke-it-should-be
 
Hoid
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Twin_Moose View Post

No magic wand needed, if you are in the West like you claim you wouldn't need an explanation.

what is required?
 
Twin_Moose
Conservative
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

what is required?

For what?
 
Twin_Moose
Conservative
+3
#18
Trudeau's cabinet picks rewarded the 2 provinces that kept him in power
 
Twin_Moose
Conservative
+3
#19
Trudeau's cabinet picks rewarded the 2 provinces that kept him in power
 
Hoid
#20
Is that unusual?
 
Jinentonix
No Party Affiliation
+6
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

She's spent the last 3 years baby sitting a bunch of stupid children from America,

And still wound up with egg all over her face. She'll be just as ineffectual at her new position as she was at her old one. Besides, Groper probably didn't want her making any more trouble with his Saudi buddies. You know, because jobs, or whatever.
 
Jinentonix
No Party Affiliation
+5
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

Is that unusual?

It is when you're a half-wit that continually prattles on about diversity and equal representation. F*ckhead is only interested in diversity and equality if he thinks it'll get him elected, re-elected or keep him in power, because it plays well to the chattering mass of leftards (like you) who are firmly of the mind that words are far more important than actual actions.
 
Twin_Moose
Conservative
+2
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

Is that unusual?

Did you read the article? Hint about 20% more
 
Hoid
#24
Did I read the article?

Nobody reads any of the links you post.
 
Twin_Moose
Conservative
+4
#25
Then you shouldn't be surprised when you make an ass of yourself?
 
Johnnny
No Party Affiliation
+5
#26
Prime Minister Black Face has been real quiet from his normal self since the election.
 
Hoid
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by Twin_Moose View Post

Then you shouldn't be surprised when you make an ass of yourself?

Because a Prime Minister rewarding areas the voted for him with cabinet posts is strange?
 
Twin_Moose
Conservative
+3
#28
Oh he made advances in Quebec so he is rewarding the Province, your argument makes no sense, why didn't he reward the NWT for voting Red?
 
Mowich
Conservative
+4
#29
Rex Murphy: Forget the cabinet shuffle. What Trudeau needs is an attitude change

There’s an aura about cabinet shuffles. Certainly they mesmerize newsrooms. The game of who will go where, who’s up, who’s down, what does it mean if X moves from this portfolio to that portfolio, or Y gets hauled from some high-profile perch to dwell in the lower echelons of cabinet, is a harmless one. It’s an endlessly chewable biscuit, ideal low-calorie filler for columns and news panels. And as all will oblige, it is important for columnists to be fed and news panels to have matter to be dreary and obvious about.

In the case of the Trudeau shuffle, don’t take any of it too seriously. It’s mainly show. Having lost his majority, having shed his always specious charisma, the PM has a profound responsibility to show he has been chastened by the election, by the fractured, fractious mélange of a Parliament it has produced, and now in a wounded second term is going to seriously revise his approach to being prime minister.

Start by showing, Prime Minister, that it is a country you lead, not some boutique for trendy causes or a display case for the very freshest “progressive” attitudes.

A cabinet shuffle that does not signify some much deeper, non-cosmetic, shift in the tone and approach of your government will leave things much as they are. What’s needed is a real attitude shift in the whole approach to government, a reorientation of your ideas about government, particularly abandoning performative, emblematic politics for the real business of getting things done.

Attitude change No. 1: Start with coming to an active and informed understanding that problems and tensions in the country you actually lead are your first concern. Understand that the sea levels on a beach in Australia in 2080, over which you have absolutely no ability to predict or change, are not within your ambit or your competence. Your real front-line duty in a Confederation troubled, now, by division, rancour, and failed belief in political leadership, is to attend to matters at home, before all else.

Your assignment is Canada. Strike a new attitude. Canada, its provinces and regions, its industries and well-being, nourishing the national temperament — is your principal and only concern. And considering the country is in one of its most fractured moments, that it is subject to tensions and rivalries and interprovincial disputes, and with a Parliament that is more like an unfinished jigsaw puzzle than a reflection of a country united in most matters that count, you have a major task before you.

Begin to internalize that what distresses or worries the people in Saskatoon or Prince George is far more your duty to learn and appreciate, first hand, than subscribing to Global Warming Inc.’s latest scare, or Extinction Rebellion’s most recent buffoonish protest.

If you must obsess on an issue, make it the return of Quebec separatism and the fresh anger and disenchantment on the Prairies.

You should give great thought to moving your government off its “woke” setting. Your entire first term seemed to be one continuous search for opportunities to display your very progressive credentials to every trendy group and cause that presented itself. Drop the glamour trips abroad altogether. Start holding stay-overs with aides and ministers in sections of the country not normally on a PM’s itinerary. Less the showcase and usually tepid town halls. Go to places somewhat off the track, get a taste of the variety of Canadian life as it is lived every day; the subtle differences between a northern Ontario town and say Weyburn, Sask.

It wouldn’t be woke, but it would be real. The peril in Confederation now is that people, particularly in the Western provinces, really believe that they get second-class treatment, that Ottawa is running a two-tier government. It’s not a pose. It’s not a partisan response. It is a reluctantly drawn conclusion.

Of the oilpatch, what is there left to say? The greatest attitude shift has to come from you, Prime Minister. You have to, in the common phrase, do a 180 on the oilsands. You have to reverse your focus, stop seeing this great industry as something that (from your perspective) unfortunately “can’t be shut down tomorrow,” as something to be “transitioned” from, i.e., shut down as soon as possible.

You have to support it, and vocally.

For once, get up in a crowded room and declare the importance of this industry to the whole country, pride in the people who work it, astonishment at the level of its technological capacity and invention. It is, of its kind, the best in the world.

That would be an attitude shift of immense consequence and would go extremely far in repairing the divisions your obstinate commitment to international climate change, holding that cause superior to the interests of the country you actually govern, has brought about.

More than any other issue, the clash between your global warming pretensions and desire to play Galahad on the world stage has been at the expense of the West and has stimulated more grievance and resentment within the Confederation than we have seen in decades.

You know the woke crowd. They know you, too, very well. It’s the others, who don’t belong to any sanctioned “marginality,” that you don’t know, and your governing up to this point has proven this. You are out of touch with great swathes of Canadian experience. And out of that distance from the common experience our present divisions have grown.

So the shuffle, as said, will have the headlines. But unless something fundamental within the predominant attitudes and perspectives of your government change, it can be seen as cosmetic, as tactical, not as a bona-fide attempt to mend the fractures in Confederation.

Finally, try this as a new motto: Diversity is a great thing; but unity, unity, unity is Canada’s strength.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/rex-murphy-forget-the-cabinet-shuffle-what-trudeau-needs-is-an-attitude-change
 
Danbones
Free Thinker
+1
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

Is that unusual?

No, three + three = six...as usual.
 
spaminator
#31
MARIN: Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland like a bull in a china shop
Andre Marin
Published:
November 23, 2019
Updated:
November 23, 2019 2:00 PM EST
Chrystia Freeland poses with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after being sworn-in as Deputy Prime Minister as Trudeau's new cabinet is named at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Nov. 20, 2019. (REUTERS/Blair Gable)
From international affairs to intergovernmental affairs. From being global affairs Canada minister to deputy prime minister. Chrystia Freeland was the biggest winner in the recent federal cabinet shuffle.
Leading up to the shuffle was a flurry of flattering editorials and op-eds pronouncing Freeland a global leader who is saving the world from demagoguery and moral decline. There was such an avalanche of praise of Freeland that some on social media wondered out loud whether she had hired a public relations firm to get the media to shower her with praise and cement her position as deputy prime minister.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. She faced a tough challenge renegotiating the free trade agreement with the U.S. and Mexico and she pulled it off.
But Freeland made her job of getting there much more difficult than it had to be. During negotiations she wouldn’t hesitate to poke the bear, in this case the belligerent U.S. President Donald Trump. Not a very smart thing to do with the vainglorious and vindictive Trump. At one point, things looked like they were going to go south.
Just last October Trump pretty well had enough of the public jabs coming from Freeland.
Story continues below
He was having a press conference near the UN General Assembly in New York and exploded saying: “We’re thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada. That’s the motherlode, that’s the big one. We’re very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada. We don’t like their representative very much.”
US President Donald Trump arrives to speak during the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference and Exposition at the McCormick Place Convention Center October 28, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP via Getty Images
This followed Freeland’s appearance on a Toronto panel themed “Taking on the Tyrant” that featured a video montage of Trump alongside Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Freeland came very close to squandering whatever progress was made on the file. It doesn’t matter whether Trump is a tyrant or not. When you are Canada’s top diplomat, you have to act the part. Before Trump’s press conference our exasperated ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton had put the chances of pulling off a new trade deal with the U.S. as five on a scale of one to ten.
Following Trump’s utterances, MacNaughton candidly added: “The only difference was that instead of seeing the glass half-full, I am seeing it half-empty.”
I think it’s fair to say we struck a trade deal in spite of Freeland, not because of her diplomatic skills.
BONOKOSKI: Trudeau lays out his deck chairs amid brewing storm
MARIN: Can PM's new advisor Ann McLellan help quell western alienation?
Freeland’s also a twitter keyboard warrior.
In dealing with Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on civil rights, Freeland angered the regressive regime. Ignoring her officials’ advice to tweet an expression of concern regarding the arrests, Freeland was once again poking the bear with a series of provocative tweets that put the Privy Council Office and the Prime Minister’s Office in full damage control mode. Saudia Arabia retaliated by expelling our diplomats and pulling their students out of Canadian post-secondary schools.
Now Freeland is charged with uniting a fragmented country. The Liberals have angered the West to the point of having no MPs elected in Alberta and Saskatchewan. There’s talk of Wexit, some kind of separation from the rest of Canada.
More to the East, the Bloc Quebecois has risen from the phoenix capturing 32 ridings. When parliament was dissolved for the election, the Block only had 10 seats.
There is nothing wrong by being principled and feisty, but Freeland is more like a bull in a china shop. In order to succeed at bringing the country together, she’ll need to tone down her inflammatory rhetoric and extend an olive branch to disenfranchised Canadians.
— Andre Marin is Counsel to the firm at Lister-Beaupre Counsel@listerlawyers Andre Marin is Counsel to the firm at Lister-Beaupre Counsel@listerlawyers
http://torontosun.com/opinion/column...n-a-china-shop
 

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