“Justin Trudeau Not Ready . . .”

by | December 18, 2015

The Vancouver Sun and other Canadian media report

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he isn’t planning for the moment to call Saudi Arabian authorities to ask that jailed blogger Raif Badawi be freed.

Trudeau himself says

“It’s not in my immediate plans.”

“Raif Badawi has a family who are here in Canada, which gives a certain connection,” Trudeau said. “It’s a humanitarian case on which we continue to express ourselves in a clear fashion.”

Although Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion met with his Saudi counterpart, Adel Al Jubeir and “expressed the government’s hope that clemency will be granted in [Badawi’s] case,” Trudeau is the person Badawi’s spouse, Ensaf Haidar, is depending on. It is to Trudeau that Ensaf Haidar’s petition is addressed.

It’s seems that Trudeau is unable or unwilling to express himself “in a clear fashion.” CBC News says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will seek a formal apology from Pope Francis for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in residential schools . . . he couldn’t guarantee the Pope would issue an apology, but was prepared to raise it directly with him, given the opportunity.

Trudeau is quoted as saying

“different churches, including the Catholic Church, are very much engaged with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and I am certainly intending to work with the Catholic Church, including with the Holy See, to move forward with implementing that recommendation — to ask him directly to engage with this issue, yes . . . I look forward to having a conversation with His Holiness about this.”

There is a difference between what the CBC says and what Trudeau says: “seeking a formal apology from Pope Francis” is different than asking the pope “to engage with this issue.” Engage is a weasel word, and “having a conversation” with “His Holiness” is different than asking him “directly.”

Trudeau is getting lots of media coverage for his feely-touchy greetings to Syrian refugees, and one Jordanian news site calls Justin Trudeau “Superman,” but it’s time for Trudeau to act like a prime minister. It’s time for Trudeau to make it very clear to Pope Francis that residential school survivors and their families are waiting for him to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role “in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools.” It is time for Trudeau to act like a humanitarian and decide now whether he is going to keep his promise to Ensaf Haidar and exert real pressure on the Saudi government to free Raif Badawi.

6 thoughts on ““Justin Trudeau Not Ready . . .”

  1. bruce van dieten

    Agreed. I would add that the sale of arms to the Saudi’s should be eliminated as well.

  2. Pierre Thibault

    “to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role “in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations”, the word “spiritual” means nothing and should not be used by atheists.

    1. Veronica Abbass Post author

      You may be right, but that’s a topic for another post.

  3. Tim Underwood

    Does Canada need two social democratic parties?

    Apparently we do. So why?

    Big religions need governmental support; work: integrating refugees, operating schools, providing counseling to inmates.

    Some forms of social democracy would create agencies to accomplish this important work.

    As nice as Justin is, his job is to maintain the established NGOs.

    At least, that how it seems to me.

    1. Pierre Thibault

      The austerity measures are excellent opportunities for religious organizations to take the place where it would usually be the place of the government to act upon. They love the poor and the weak for that reason.

  4. Michael Teper

    It’s silly for Justin Trudeau to request Pope Francis to apologize for the treatment of aboriginal Canadians in residential schools. If Pope Francis is moved by his own conscience to offer such a sincere apology that’s well and good, but an apology made on the official request of the Prime Minister of Canada would be obviously contrived and artificial. I know that Canadian politicians are the master chefs of cue-the-violins apologies made for the purpose of political grandstanding. The pope is not campaigning for re-election. So he has no reason to mimic Trudeau’s “look-at-me-I’m-virtue-signalling” behaviour.


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