Who said “In Pierre Elliott Trudeau Canada has at last produced a political leader worthy of assassination”??

Mar 11th, 2016 | By | Category: In Brief

Now that PM Justin Trudeau’s excellent adventure in Washington, DC is fading into the sunset, other thoughts have begun to cross our collective minds.

To take just one case in point, one interesting thing about supervising a so-called Canadian political blogazine for almost 12 years (since the late summer of 2004 in fact) is that you begin to acquire your own historical record.

As noted elsewhere, we are also now in something like our last year of regular publication, so to speak. And we editors are finding we’re getting sentimental over at least a little of what has been posted on this site since the enterprise began.

(When the Liberal minority prime minister of Canada was Paul Martin, and Republican George W. Bush was about to win a fateful second term as president of the USA, USA.)

The current most visited posting since the Canadian federal election of October 19, 2015  – “On the new era in Canada .. Alexandre Trudeau, Mélanie Joly, Harjit Sajjan, and Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould” (7 Nov 15) – is actually descended from a line of vaguely related (and often other unusually popular) articles.

Mohamed Harkat exits the Supreme Court of Canada through a side door with his wife Sophie after the Court declared the federal government's security certificate regime constitutional. May 14, 2014. Errol McGihon/QMI Agency.

And the line begins with something we authored ourselves in the early fall of 2005, as counterweights editors, called “The quiet evolution of Sophie Gregoire (aka Mme Justin Trudeau)” [25 Sep 05].

Meanwhile, it also seems clear enough that our “On the new era in Canada ..Alexandre Trudeau etc” from this past November is still drawing unusual numbers of new visitors in March (and February) 2016 because Alexandre Trudeau has been more recently in the news.

See, eg : “PM’s brother says he did nothing wrong in lobbying for Harkat” ; “Trudeau must be barred from Harkat decision due to brother’s role, watchdog says” ; “Letter by PM’s brother on behalf of accused terrorist awkward but doesn’t break rules” ; and  “Why is Ottawa still trying to deport Mohamed Harkat?”

1. Alexandre Trudeau and Pamela Anderson

Alexandre Trudeau at a 2005 protest against the confinement, without charges, of Muslim terrorism suspects under national security certificates. Postmedia Network/File.

On the particular issue here, we agree that Prime Minister Trudeau’s brother has done nothing wrong. He has been active on behalf of the Ottawa refugee from Algeria Mohamed Harkat for some time now – at least since the 2006 documentary “SECURE FREEDOM … featuring HASSAN ALMREI, SOPHIE and MO HARKAT, DIANA RALPH and MATTHEW BEHRENS …  written, directed and produced by ALEXANDRE TRUDEAU.”

As far as the federal government’s continuing efforts to deport Mr. Harkat go we remain agnostic. He has been in Canada for more than 20 years, and is married to a Canadian citizen. It is also true that he has spent a substantial portion of his sojourn in Canada in jail and/or otherwise under detention as a “terror suspect.” But the primary source evidence on which these terrorism allegations are based have apparently been lost ????

Whatever else, we like the position of Robert Shepherd, an associate professor with the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University : “there is no evidence of ethical breaches” on the part of Alexandre Trudeau.

Pamela Anderson, Canadian patriot, earth mother of teenage sons, etc : “The Playboy Mansion was my university. It was full of intellectuals, sex, rock 'n' roll, arts, all of the important stuff!”

The prime minister’s brother is urging the federal government to take a position on an issue of the day. As the prime minister himself has noted, his brother has the same right as every other Canadian citizen to do such a thing.

More exactly, Alexandre Trudeau has just as much right as the almost equally recent case of “Actress Pamela Anderson asks Justin Trudeau to cut federal aid for the seal hunt.”

(Even if some will also still more recently lament that “Pamela Anderson disappointed Playboy dropped nude shoots.” This of course doesn’t affect her right to ask Justin Trudeau whatever she likes. Just as you or I are free to write him a letter or send him an email on any subject we like. To which we will even, in due course, quite likely get a reply, written by some junior civil servant after lunch … )

2. Irving Layton, Girls of Downton Abbey, and Icebergs of Spring

Photo: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press.

Meanwhile again, someone may or may not be interested in a few further vaguely related (and often other unusually popular) articles from which our current most popular “On the new era in Canada” descends.

Examples include “Summer attack of neo-Trudeaumania .. all just a sign of perfect storm to come?” (15 Jul 06) ; “Where is Canada going .. does Pierre Trudeau’s new grandson have anything to do with it?” (5 Jan 07 – and this piece has also been unusually popular during the first few months of 2016!) ; and “Margaret and Sophie in Ethiopia” (14 May 07)

Oh and btw, it’s in the first of these three articles (“Summer attack of neo-Trudeaumania etc”) that we re-discovered the quotation from the late Montreal literary lion Irving Layton – recently described by Leonard Cohen on US TV as ‘our finest poet in Canada’ or some such thing : “In Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Canada has at last produced a political leader worthy of assassination.”

Goodbye Girls of Downton Abbey etc.

Which does make you realize that if Mr. Layton were still alive today, he would not have been invited to the US state dinner (supper?) for Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s eldest son Thursday night. (He would likely claim that he did not want to go anyway?)

Meanwhile yet again, we have two final thoughts by way of a suitable conclusion. First, now that Downton Abbey has finished in North America as well as the UK, we just quickly note our colleague Randall White’s article from some three years ago now : “Is popularity of ‘Downton Abbey’ right, left, or something completely different?” (4 Feb 13 – and well, yes, this is just an excuse to post a photo of “The Girls of Downton Abbey”: each of whom deserves much more attention from the North American TV audience).

Finally, we were also struck by this item from the Toronto Star several days ago : “Photos show icebergs arriving on Newfoundland coast … Canada’s Coast Guard reports that 600 are adrift and mostly far from shore, but pictures on social media show several spotted in what some Newfoundlanders say is the earliest appearance of big ice in memory.”

‘And for those threatening to leave the US if Trump is elected as president? Mike Myers assures “We'll take you all.”’

Somehow this tells us that spring is on its way.  And although this has not been a terrible winter in Canada’s current largest metropolitan region, we’re glad to hear that soon we’ll be able to more exactly contemplate that great tune from the Great American Songbook : “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most” (performed HERE by the dynamic duo of Stan Getz and Albert Dailey – as recorded in New York City, January 12, 1983, or if you must hear the actual lyrics try the lovely Sarah Vaughan from her 1963 album Snowbound HERE) …

O and welcome back to the northern woods up in your home and native land PM Justin Trudeau … now you’ve finished your “Trudeau to end Washington trip with speech at American University.”  All the 50% females on our editorial board were especially impressed by how well you represented us, among the Yankees to the south of us who must south of us remain (except of course when they’re fleeing Donald Trump)!

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