MARIN: PM loves apologizing — just not for his own transgressions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pauses while making a formal apology to individuals harmed by federal legislation, policies, and practices that led to the oppression of and discrimination against LGBTQ2 people in Canada, in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Tuesday, Nov.28, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau loves apologizing.

Our apologies prime minister has apologized at least four times since taking office in 2015. In fact, he’s apologized more than any of his predecessors. The former part-time substitute drama teacher appears to love the process. Cue a tear or two on demand and give a seemingly heartwarming speech. It’s a good chance at theatre.

But he only apologizes for past missteps of others from another era. When it comes to himself, taking responsibility is a notion far removed.

It’s easy to apologize to the descendents of passengers of the Komagat Maru, the Japanese vessel prohibited from entry in Canada in 1914 that was carrying 376 Sikh, Muslim and Hindu passengers. Trudeau was born almost 60 years after that incident.

He also apologized to residential school survivors. Trudeau even urged the Pope to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in reconciliation. He was promptly rebuffed, the pontiff saying he could not personally respond.

After a while his apologies started to sound hollow and opportunistic. Some in the Jewish community didn’t want his apology for the turning away of a ship full of Jews seeking asylum, saying that it would not bring back relatives or offer any solace.

Why does he like apologizing so much? Because he’s a woke, nice guy.

Trudeau said: “I come at it as a teacher, as someone who’s worked a lot in communities.”

Trudeau added “apologies for things past are important to make sure that we actually understand and know and share and don’t repeat those mistakes.”

All very noble thoughts.

So where is the apology to Jody Wilson-Raybould for putting her under undue pressure to give Liberal-friendly SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement? Trudeau, his office and then-clerk of the privy council Michael Wernick were relentless in bullying Wilson-Raybould into interfering with the independent public prosecution service.

More recently, the House of Commons voted to express an apology to former vice-chief of staff Mark Norman, who was charged with breach of trust, and guess who was missing in action? Just as question period ended at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Trudeau and his Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan raced out minutes before the vote took place.

Trudeau had to be in Hamilton for a 6 p.m. meeting. As prime minister, he could have been a few minutes late in Hamilton given the importance of the apology. Or he could have simply issued his own statement of apology.

And Trudeau has a lot to apologize for when it comes to Norman. For instance, according to Friday’s Globe and Mail, Trudeau was so “furious, frustrated and angry” at the cabinet leak that he personally summoned the RCMP as if it was his personal police force. Normally such issues would have been handled by the Privy Council Office. Trudeau came very close to crossing that line of police independence.

Trudeau doesn’t seem to recognize boundaries in government. He’s like a petulant child who has a temper tantrum until he gets what he wants.

Then, in another transgression, Trudeau predicted in 2017 that Norman would end up in court. Since when does a prime minister speak on behalf of the police or the prosecution? Here, he clearly crossed the line.

Then came the protracted pre-trial disclosure process where Norman was denied the government documents essential for him to make full answer and defence.

All of this is happening when Trudeau is lecturing China on their justice system, claiming ours is so superior because it is independent. Doesn’t he think the Chinese pay attention to us? The reality is that our justice system has been shown to resist Trudeau’s incursions but not for lack of him trying.

If ever there was a time for Trudeau to call up a tear on demand and apologize, it’s in the SNC and Norman fiascos. But don’t hold your breath.

Trudeau’s inflated ego means his empathy is reserved for decades old affairs with no ties to him.

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