Right in the centre - Trudeau's legacy


By Ken Waddell

The Neepawa Banner

About four years ago, David Frum participated in a debate about the legacy of Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Well known as a former prime minister of Canada and father of current Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau, the very name raises strong feelings in Canada.

Frum claims that Pierre Trudeau was a disaster as a prime minister of Canada. That claim flies in the face of some of today’s Liberals but it is no surprise to the majority of western Canadians. Pierre Trudeau was in my view, as in David Frum’s view, a disaster for Canada.

Frum speaks in detail and bases his premise on “the Trudeau record in three dimensions: What Trudeau did to the Canadian economy, what Trudeau did to Canada’s standing in the world and what Trudeau did to Canadian political stability.”

Trudeau was a socialist. According to the late Archie Doan of Riding Mountain, Manitoba, he was also a Nazi sympathizer in his youth. Doan personally watched Trudeau, wearing a swastika on his back, protest Canada going to war. Trudeau was a leader in a protest that held up troop train on its way to Debert, Nova Scotia. Doan’s observation can be backed up with little seen CBC movie footage.

A few years later, Trudeau realized that he could never achieve nation changing status as part of Canada’s socialist parties, the CCF that had turned into the NDP. He knew that. He and three friends plotted how to change the nation. One of the friends parted company with them, he was Rene Levesque and they remained enemies until their respective deaths. Trudeau and  the other two decided the only way to power was through the soft bellied Liberal Party of Canada. After being in power for most of the first 70 years of the 20th century, the Liberal Party was vulnerable to renewal and they cared little about where the renewal came from. To have several young, smart, energetic guys from Quebec was too much of a temptation. The Liberal Party of Canada embraced Trudeau and his buddies with open arms and open wallets.

The last unilingual Liberal Prime Minister of Canada was Lester Pearson and he as a dull as they come. Pearson was moulded in the tradition of Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent. Tubby little men, likeable, but dull as could be. Trudeau was anything but  tubby, he wasn’t dull and he had more energy than 10 regular politicians.

Frum is correct in stating that Trudeau affected the country on all three of his stated points. What Frum doesn’t mention is that Trudeau also changed many laws that, in retrospect, didn’t do the country any good either. He also fiddled with things that should have been left alone, such as imposing the metric system, imposing bilingualism and biculturalism.

Instead of letting Canada grow gracefully into a thriving and diversified economy like it had been doing for decades, if not centuries, Trudeau’s policies were gut wrenching and ineffective at  the same time.

Justin Trudeau  appears to be a nice man, a good father and husband but as long as he and his handlers insist on a blatant continuation of his father’s legacy, he will never get support in Western Canada.