Opinion: Trudeau’s actions remind me of past PMs’

Anyone who has driven by the Algonquin resort in St. Andrews can attest to both its size and opulence. In many ways it’s the crown jewel of the scenic resort town. A reminder that those who wish to live or play there, by in large, need have deep pockets. This is where Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have decided to hold their first cabinet retreat of 2016.
Besides the old money attitude the building exudes, there is another even more pressing concern about the trip. Journalist need not attend.
The Liberal Party have only reserved a moderately sized block of rooms. However, they have also asked the resort not to rent rooms to any journalists. You know, in case they want to do something disruptive, like asking questions.
This is one of the many chinks beginning to appear in Trudeau’s public relations armour. The first major one being the government’s failure to live up to their campaign promise to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015.
That number was found to be unattainable, had they consulted with any number of experts they would have come to that conclusion initially. The number was then changed to 10,000 by the end of 2015, the other 15,000 arriving in February.
There’s no doubt that the initial number was unattainable, but a promise is a promise, and those who fail to live up to them should be held accountable.
The Liberals also promised to remove Canadian CF-18’s from combat in Iraq. Of course the terrorist attacks in Paris put an end to that, at least temporarily, and our CF-18’s are still flying missions. Now regardless of the logic of attacking Iraqis for the sins of Belgians, this was a promise, and stepping up airstrikes is about as far from ending them as you can get.
Just last week the government went to the Supreme Court to argue that they should be given more time to investigate the court’s ruling to change the law regarding doctor assisted suicide. They asked for a six month extension, they received four, the larger question is why they needed any.
To be fair, the first eight months that ruling was in place was under the Conservatives, not exactly the party who would jump into this issue. But this deadline wasn’t a secret only the Conservatives were privy to, it was public knowledge.
Plus the Liberals have had months to get the ball rolling. I know no one likes working over Christmas, but many Canadians do, and they don’t have a Supreme Court deadline approaching. Plus since we already have a province, Quebec, that allows doctor assisted suicide, it’s not like the government could use the excuse they had nothing to base their system on, no working model.
When Trudeau sits in his stateroom at the Algonquin in St. Andrews, and looks out over the Passamaquoddy Bay, maybe he will think of his predecessor. A man whose contempt for the media and courts are legendary. Hopefully, he will then right the course he has slowly begun to take. In the words of Dylan, “It’s not dark yet, but it’s gettin’ there.”.”

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    If you know St. Andrews, it’s not all opulence. Perhaps in summer there’s a strong tourism presence, but you only needed to look at the crowd that gathered at the arena next door to see these were your very average New Brunswickers. I even saw one adult wearing a pink and purple baby quilt.

    Your point about the opulence of the hotel is overstated – it’s a piece of history in Canada and it’s a building that barely pays for itself now. The Algonquin’s a symbol of a period of opulence that passed long ago, but it’s something we’ve tried to keep and recently has become the epicenter of new tourism to the area, after an overhaul by new management.

    Beyond that, I’m not surprised that the Algonquin was asked not to book extra rooms. It’s not like media couldn’t get rooms at any of the other venues in town, if they needed. And, what’s more, there was definitely media present. The Algonquin Casino had been reserved for that, it seemed to me as I passed it by.

    I thank Trudeau for choosing St. Andrews, a town that is only a few kilometers away from where Samuel de Champlain first landed in Canada. And a town that needs the media attention to survive the difficult tourism market.

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