Opinion Column

Trudeau fails again to connect to Albertans

By Josh Aldrich, Camrose Canadian

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took part in WE Day Canada on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday, July 2, 2017. (Ashley Fraser/Postmedia Network)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took part in WE Day Canada on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday, July 2, 2017. (Ashley Fraser/Postmedia Network)

I am not sure there has been a more image conscious politician who is more tone deaf than our current prime minister. 

 

By now I am sure you have heard, or at least heard of, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Canada Day flub. While preaching about unity and coming together, he somehow forgot about Alberta when rattling off the names of the provinces. I am willing to accept it was completely accidental, a Freudian slip. But then he comes back out on stage to apologize. 

“Let me just start by saying I’m a little embarrassed, I got excited somewhere over the Rockies,” he started, then asked those in attendance, in French “Who’s from Alberta here?” 

He then finished with, back in English, “Alberta, I love you. Happy Canada Day.” 

Why would he ask those watching on Parliament Hill who was from Alberta in French? 

According to the 2011 census from Statistics Canada, French is the mother tongue of 81,085 Albertans, representing just 2.2 per cent of the population, while 6.6 per cent reported actually being able to speak French. 

The Francophone community in the province is a valuable part of Alberta, our history and our culture, and that should never be under played or taken for granted. In Camrose there is even a growing French emersion program at the public schools. However, if you are addressing Alberta, to apologize to Albertans as a whole for overlooking them in a speech that was about unity, why would you speak in a language that only 6.6 per cent of us can understand? 

I suppose I should not be butt-hurt over this, take the high road and stop splitting hairs. But this is the prime minister of our country and this is far from the first time he has held such little regard for our province. He really has little understanding of Alberta and clearly fails to grasp why his last name is so hated here. 

I really do not feel I need to recap his father’s energy policies that crippled this province in the 80s. After all, it is said Justin takes after his mother far more than his father, but the influences of Pierre are far from absent. 

His arrogance and contempt for Alberta were on full display during a 2010 interview in which he blamed Alberta for Canada’s problems. He then proceeds to insist the only good prime ministers this country has had have come from Quebec, including his father. He then finishes by saying “This country, Canada, belongs to us [Quebec].” 

He has since apologized for this interview, but if he was never pushed to answer for it during an election two years later, he likely never would have. It is the epitome of getting caught with a hand in the cookie jar. 

Trudeau has been clear on where he stands in regards to this province, continually talking out of both sides of his mouth. Actions, however, speak far louder than words. When he goes to the international community and rips the energy industry or he talks about phasing out the oil sands, or in one breath approves a pipeline — with no actual plan to put it in place — and then in the next talks about forcing all provinces to institute carbon taxes amidst a recession, he shows zero regard for the people in this province. It’s nothing new for Trudeau, and every time he opens his mouth to talk about Alberta he chokes on his foot a little bit more. 

He is right when he talks about the need for unity in this great country and how we are stronger together. As a former teacher, however, he should understand that when you show clear favouritism to a student or group of students, those in the teacher’s dog house quickly lose respect for the teacher.  

To show respect for a large segment of the population, you must actually make an effort to understand them. 

On that regard, Trudeau has no idea how to speak our language. 

Trudeau fails again to connect to Albertans 



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