Canada's parliament resembled that of Ukraine's sometimes feisty Parliament today when Prime Minister Trudeau, apparently annoyed at the length of time it took an opposition member to vote on a bill ("Right to Assisted Death" legislation) left his seat, strode across the floor to the centre of the House of Commons, grabbed the member by the arm and aggressively directed him back to his seat. Apparently the member did not have a chance to vote on the bill. The story from The Toronto Star...with accompanying video...is HERE. The CBC coverage is HERE.
Earlier, the Prime Minister had stood in the Parliament and formally apologized for the 1914 Komogata Maru Incident. This is a shameful chapter of Canadian History where a boatload of East Indian refugees was turned away from Vancouver Harbour. Frankly, I had thought an earlier Prime Minister had apologized about that some time ago. I wrote a university paper on the episode for a history course I took decades ago. Anyhoooooo.....Justin had just finished apologizing for that long ago incident when he lost his temper as described above...and ended up apologizing even more profusely for his unparliamentary behaviour.....and for anything else he may ever have done to annoy anyone....
It was a lollapollusa of "sorries"....so very Canadian. Aside from the rueful humour of it all....it does give one pause about this neophyte, dauphin, wet behind the ears prime minister (there! I combined all the adjectives and metaphors I've been using to describe Justin over the past several years...since he came on the scene). In this case, I don't like being right. But I did warn readers in several previous posts...that Trudeau the younger has some heavy baggage in the familial heritage department. While his father was a stoic, cerebral, very well educated intellectual....his mother is.....well.....not so much.
He must be a very stressed out young man....all those cumulative jet plane trips to put out political (and real) fires across the country...first to northern Ontario to meet with First Nations youth and then just last Friday up to Fort MacMurray to see the devastation caused by the fires. And then we have his wife and three small children. His wife is currently under media attack for wanting the taxpayer to pay child care when she travels with Justin on public business. I don't have a problem with that at all and think it's a disgrace that the media is making such a big deal about it. I'm all for adequate childcare....having been there and done that. The media sets public people up on pedestals...only to tear them down later....it's what they dooooo.
Justin, nevertheless, should step back for a bit and take stock. As we learn in Social Work 101...you can't help others unless you first take care of your own emotional and health needs. Self Care is what it's called in the business. Canadians might forgive him this one time but the reality is...it's all about trust. We need to trust our Prime Minister can hold it together and behave with dignity...no matter what pressure he's under. That's an essential component of effective leadership. Now we've lost a bit of that trust. Canadians will be watching warily from now on, hoping he can shore up what trust he still has. "Sorry" just doesn't cut it.