Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s thoughts on Donald Trump have historically been vague, but he recently revealed some thoughts about America’s upcoming presidency that Huffington Post is referring to as “Grade-A shade.” Since the election, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has been publicly diplomatic in his congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump, but as that presidency nears, Justin Trudeau has shuffled his Cabinet to “withstand a Trump presidency” reported CBC News.
But even more so, now, Trudeau’s thoughts on Trump are now thoughts that have gone on the record to suggest the President-elect’s values, or the new American values, are different priorities than Canada’s. Thus, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has joined a long list of world leaders expressing concern over the Trump presidency.
Trudeau’s most recent remarks against President-elect Donald Trump occurred last week in a town hall on Thursday. He diplomatically stated that he intends to keep his promise to pursue a “constructive working relationship” with Donald Trump, but also made it very clear, equal rights are something Canada feels very strongly about, and said America and Canada have very distinct priorities in the wake of a Trump presidency. Huffington Post reported that Trudeau said the following.
“Canada is a separate country from the United States and there are things that we hold dear that the Americans haven’t prioritized. I’m never going to shy away from standing up for what I believe in, whether it’s proclaiming loudly to the world that I’m a feminist, whether it’s understanding that immigration is a source of strength for us and Muslim Canadians are an essential part of the success of our country today and into the future.”
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) January 15, 2017
How Donald Trump, and some of his fellow Republicans, feel about Muslims is no secret to Americans, or Canadians alike. The immigration issue from Mexico is cited by Trump as his rationale for building the famous wall he spoke of frequently during the campaign. He also spent much of the campaign “demonizing” undocumented immigrants and vowing to ban Muslims from entering America temporarily reported the Huffington Post.
These are among the new American “priorities” that Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has a problem with. Watch those comments he made last week right here.
“There are things we hold dear that the Americans haven’t prioritised.”
Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians concerns over Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/M9hT65p9Wd
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) January 14, 2017
They are comments that clearly illustrate where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stands on Donald Trump, regardless of any congratulations he may have given the man early after the election. And they are comments that echo Trudeau’s real thoughts on Trump, and what Justin Trudeau has been saying about Donald Trump all along, that he stands against “politics of fear and politics of division.” Justin Trudeau made that very clear to Canadian media in a town hall event that occurred one year before the election, when he was asked if he was going to condemn Donald Trump’s scare rhetoric, if Trump won the presidency.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is not the only world leader that has, since the election, expressed concerns over a Trump presidency. Trump already began his relationship with Mexican President Enrique Nieto on a bad foot with the wall comments, saying Mexico would pay for the wall, with Mexico saying, “No.”
After the election, President Nieto performed the traditional congratulatory message to America, but notably did not congratulate Trump directly. BBC News reported that President Nieto said he congratulated America’s “electoral process” and said that he hopes Mexico and the United States will be able to work together in the future.
It’s a different tone than what France leader, President Francois Hollande said after the election, saying Trump’s win “opens a period of uncertainty” reported BBC News. President Hollande called on Europe to become more united in this period of uncertainty, and to promote values and interests “whenever they are challenged.”
The Guardian reported that German foreign minister Frank Steinmeier was less diplomatic about Trump in his thoughts post-election. He openly slammed Trump’s ideals of making America “great again” suggesting those were high expectations. He also said that foreign policy between America and Germany was going to change dramatically in the wake of a Trump presidency. The Guardian quoted him as saying the following.
“I believe the biggest challenge will be to meet the high expectations that Trump himself has created: to make America great again, also with a view to the economy, to create new jobs in the current environment, all that won’t be easy. During his campaign Donald Trump has spoken critically not just about Europe, but particularly about Germany. I think we have to prepare for the fact that American foreign policy will be less predictable for us in the future [and that] America will be more inclined to make unilateral decisions in the future.”
The German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, echoed the sentiments citing the Trump victory as a “huge shock” reported The Guardian. She said that the win was not a vote by America for Trump, but against Washington and the establishment.
Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt went a step further saying that 2016 was a “double disaster” year. The Guardian reported that he said the following.
“At least Richard Nixon had a solid understanding of world affairs. Manoeuvred skillfully. But morally corrupt. And collapsed in disgrace.”
— Johnny Rivera (@prjohnnyrivera) November 16, 2016
The Guardian reported that Liberian leader President Ellen Sireleaf was “extremely saddened” by Trump’s win. Ukraine officials reportedly expressed fear over a Trump presidency as well, saying they were concerned Trump would throw the Ukraine under the bus to curry favor with Russia. Russia was one of the few countries that was pleased with the American election results.
President Vladimir Putin said immediately following the election that he was hoping ties between United States and Russia would be restored.
But, relations between the United States and Russia are tense after American intelligence officials have stated that Russia engaged in cyber-warfare on America during its election. Donald Trump has denied those claims, although on what basis he has denied those claims is unclear. Trump is one of few leaders in America who are denying the Russian influence on Elections 2016.
But this week, PM Justin Trudeau has been making it very clear that Canada is a separate entity from America, with very distinct values. He has made those concerns “Cabinet official” by shuffling around his Cabinet to withstand a Trump presidency reported CBC News.
One of the key picks in the new shuffling is in naming journalist Chrystia Freeland as foreign affairs minister to Canada, for her reportedly long contact list that opens doors around the world.
She will be key in being a voice articulating Canada’s pro-trade stance to a new American president that believes the only good deals are “ones that give Americans the upper hand” reported CBC News. Freeland’s reputation precedes her and she already has a strong presence and reputation in Washington, and indeed the world.
Also in Trudeau’s Cabinet shuffle are a move from immigration minister John McCallum from immigration minister to ambassador to China reported CBC News. He will be replaced by 41-year-old Ahmed Hussen. PM Trudeau is diversifying his Cabinet once again, as he did when he became Prime Minister to Canada. He also added another history making selection to his legacy by appointing 29-year-old Karina Gould into electoral reform. Gould will be Canada’s youngest Cabinet minister.
The diversity of Trudeau’s new Cabinet, and his recent statements in a town hall about Donald Trump, are clear public statements that he is preparing Canada politically for the Trump presidency. They are also statements that show Justin Trudeau’s thoughts on a Trump presidency, echo those of many world leaders around the world.
[Feature Image by Ramon Espinosa/AP Images]