New Look, Old Politics for Trudeau – Tiash De

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While the world continued to be remain baffled about how a plane with no indication of an emergency crashed killing 176 people amid escalating tensions between Iran and United States, the other thing that broke the internet was Justin Trudeau’s beard.

Justin Trudeau during a press conference

Rugged with some salt and pepper effect, almost looking like he himself returned from a war, the Canadian President addressed a press conference saying that a missile hit the plane. With those piercing blue eyes, Trudeau said and I quote ‘ I want answers’

This would be almost convincing if Trudeau also had answers for his continuing arms deal with Saudi Arabia or decision to go ahead with the pipeline amid cries of climate change.

The poster boy of liberalism, Justin Trudeau looks like a dream when placed against his counterparts around the world. I mean no ‘blond hair’, no ‘grab them by their pussy’ and no ‘NGOs set the fire’ should be a good thing right? Well I am afraid it is not.

So let’s begin with the most famous controversy.

The Arabian nightmare

It seems that our young Prime Minister had once dressed in brownface in a party when he was a 29-year-old teacher at the West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver.

Trudeau wearing brownface at 2001 ‘Arabian Nights’ Party / Courtesy: TIME

You would wish that him smearing a bronzer 40 shades too dark is the worst thing he did. But it’s not.

Climate hero turns villain

Now the poster child of neoliberal politics claims that he is a climate crusader. But buying the Trans Mountain pipeline for $3.40 billion to ensure the expansion suggests otherwise. Fossil fuel extraction continues to be a pillar of the Canadian economy.

Trudeau was heard telling oil executives that “no country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave it there.”

Meanwhile,the pipeline faced a huge outcry from indigenous groups in Canada. Which is now brings us to the third major issue — the First Nations Act.

No more rights

Increasing the rights of indigenous people was one of Trudeau’s election promises. The government had proposed a new legal framework to recognise the rights of the First Nations people but continued to push pipeline projects through their lands.

And you would think that’s all the skeletons he has hidden in his closet but that’s not all.

The Saudi connect

The champion of rights has managed to turn almost a blind eye towards the abuse of human rights by the Kingdom.

While the Trudeau government announced “a review” with Saudi Arabia in October 2018, weapon shipments are being permitted on an undisclosed number of existing permits.

This means a staggering 1.34 billion Canadian dollars worth of exports since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Justin Trudeau and Mohammed Bin Salman at G20 summit

So while the optics of running semi-naked during the G7 summit has worked out well for Justin Trudeau, a beard just seems like another PR stunt. And while I never thought that a day would come where Donald Trump would seem right, but the Canadian Prime Minister is truly “two-faced”.

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