How arrogant is it when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems eager to apologize for everyone else’s sins but never his own?
Since becoming PM back in November of 2015, Trudeau has offered apologies – both official and unofficial — to Inuit, Italians, Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Nazi-fleeing Jews, numerous First Nations and Indigenous individuals and LGBTQ diplomats, civil servants and military personnel.
Trudeau didn’t invent official contrition, but he has become the master of it.
The habit began back in 1988 when then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney offered an official apology and some minor financial compensation to Japanese-Canadians who had had their property taken from and been herded into internment camps during the Second World War.
Even hard-nosed Stephen Harper made a few. Harper repented on behalf of the federal government for the head tax charged to Chinese immigrants between 1885 and 1923, for the internment of Ukrainian-Canadians during the First World War, for residential schools and for the Komagata Maru incident in 1914. (A boatload of potential immigrants from India’s Punjab were mostly ordered to return to India.)
But Trudeau has offered more apologies than all the previous three prime ministers, combined. Just not over the one thing he probably should most apologize for, the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
Not satisfied that his predecessors have been remorseful enough, Trudeau has also issued his own apology in two cases for which other PMs had already apologized; for the Komagata Maru incident and for residential schools (although mostly just those in Newfoundland and Labrador).
In June, Trudeau promised he would offer a third re-apology.
Back in 1990, Mulroney apologized to the 586 Italian-Canadians (out of a population of 40,000 at the time) who had been interned without charges during WWII. Trudeau can’t re-apologize for that, so instead he told an Italian cultural event near Toronto he will apologize for the way Italian Canadian families and businesses struggled during the Second World War because many Canadians questioned their loyalty, yet no one was held responsible.
Oh, gasp! The horror! The horror!
Times were tough for some Italian Canadians because we were at war with the German-Italian-Japanese axis, so some Canadians acted bigotedly and the government surveilled hundreds of recently arrived Italians suspected of sympathizing with Mussolini’s fascists.
How can our feel-your-pain prime minister let another day go by without righting this appalling injustice!? (Especially because he needs all the Italian-Canadian votes he can round up in Toronto for October’s election.)
Even Trudeau’s decision to label the official treatment of missing and murdered Indigenous women as “genocide” is consistent with his atonement obsession.
(My favourite apology was last November when he rode a horse, cowboy-style, to a First Nation in B.C. central Interior, to apologize for the hanging of six chiefs back in 1864.)
Trudeau is only too eager to use historic injustices to placate today’s politically correct activists and to woo key voting blocs. And he finds it’s easy to do so because he doesn’t have to admit any personal wrongdoing.
He’s apologized so often his apologies have lost their meaning. When was the last time you heard that Trudeau was going to be making an apology and said to yourself, “Oh, I wonder to whom? I must tune in.” More likely you rolled your eyes and gently shook your head.
Maybe that’s why he won’t apologize in the SNC-Lavalin case. When it comes to apologies, Trudeau is the Boy Who Cried Sorry. Perhaps he guesses no one will listen.
But more likely, our arrogant, sanctimonious (but lightweight) leader believes he is the only one without sin; the one justified in casting the first stones.
That is how he can justify apologizing for all sorts of others’ behaviour, but never for his own.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019