Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has had a rough week. His constituents were angered both by his comments on Fidel Castro early this week, and now by his announcement that the Kinder Morgan pipeline will be expanded. While the handsome, young Liberal Party leader inspired Canada’s Millenials to vote in record numbers, his approval ratings took a hit this week as Canadian commentators announced that the honeymoon with their hunky incumbent is over. According to Vancouver’s Daily Hive nearly 80 percent of Canadians aged 18-34 were satisfied with Trudeau’s performance one year after he ousted Conservative Stephen Harper, yet this may have changed this past week as the tribal-tattooed PM raised the ire of his main base of support.
As Maclean’s Canada reporter Terry Glavin recently wrote:
“Ever since his election as Canada’s Prime Minister last October, Justin Trudeau has revelled in global tributes, raves and swoons. He’s the Disney prince with the trippy dance moves, the groovy Haida tattoo and the gender-balanced cabinet. He’s the last best hope for globalization, the star attraction at the Pride parades, the hero of the Paris Climate Summit, the guy everyone wants a selfie with.”
“Trudeau made himself synonymous with Canada. He made Canada cool again. It was fun while it lasted.”
What undid Trudeau was his complimentary eulogy of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, followed by confirmation that he will approve two separate oil pipeline projects – a move that has angered Canadian environmentalists and First Nations leaders, as reported by the Inquisitr. Upon hearing of Castro’s death, Trudeau released the following statement, which many have condemned as an apologist:
“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation. While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognised his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante.”
Justin Trudeau’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, maintained close ties with Cuba’s communist leader, a relationship that began in 1976 when Canada attempted to normalise relations with the Latin American country. Following Justin Trudeau’s ambivalent statement, Canadians took to Twitter in a storm of anger and mockery, including the following image that mistakenly places baby Justin in Castro’s arms (the baby in the picture is actually Justin’s brother Michel who was four months old at the time).
Even Senator Marco Rubio seemed aghast at Trudeau’s diplomatic treatment of Castro:
Meanwhile, the controversy has spawned hilarity as #TrudeauEulogies went viral with numerous parodies of Trudeau’s blunder.
In an attempt to recover from his fall from public grace, Trudeau announced that like President Obama and British Prime Minister Theresa May he will not be attending Castro’s funeral, as reported by the BBC.
In the embarrassing aftermath of the viral #TrudeauEulogies, young Canadians were already starting to waver in their unfailing support of Trudeau when the Prime Minister announced that he would approve the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline linking Alberta’s plentiful oil sands to British Colombia’s shipping ports, a nearly seven million dollar project that has sparked protests across Canada, especially among young environmental activists.
These two controversies have alienated many of Trudeau’s Millenial supporters, potentially impacting the high approval rating reported in October of this year. Trudeau is back peddling on his statements regarding Castro’s death and emphasising the potential economic gains of the pipeline project, as reported by the CBC:
“It is a major win for Canadian workers, for Canadian families and the Canadian economy, now and into the future.”
Nonetheless, it remains to be seen whether Canada’s young people will regain their near-fanatical support for the “cool” Prime Minister despite this week of fumbling.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]