Current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encountered another bout of bad publicity spurred on by the federal Conservative party on Monday, according to The Toronto Star. In a tweet referencing the ill-fated diplomatic trip that Trudeau attended earlier this year amongst others, the official Conservative Party of Canada account threw some negativity toward’s the current PM, attacking his attendance record and work ethic.
“Justin Trudeau is taking yet another ‘personal’ day,” the now-deleted tweet read, referring to the Monday in question directly – and to the Prime Minister’s schedule, indirectly. It then went on to expand upon this thread by including a link to IsJustinTrudeauOnVacation.com, a CPC website that chronicles a brief history of prominent vacations or diplomatic missions gone awry that the Canadian Prime Minister has been a party to.
Most notably amongst these trips is the visit that Justin Trudeau and his entourage took to India in February. This was an eight-day trip that resulted in several high profile scandals for the Prime Minister and still serves as substantial meat for the conservative base. During the trip, Trudeau was criticized over a number of things including his ostentatiously Indian garb, which even spurred a few Indian politicians to comment on the matter.
Is it just me or is this choreographed cuteness all just a bit much now? Also FYI we Indians don’t dress like this every day sir, not even in Bollywood. pic.twitter.com/xqAqfPnRoZ
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 21, 2018
Things got worse from there, according to The Globe and Mail. Trudeau’s government was responsible for inviting a man convicted of the attempted murder of an Indian cabinet minister on Vancouver Island in the mid-1980s to a formal dinner reception hosted by the High Commissioner of Canada in India. Immediately rescinding the invitation as the news broke quickly, it did little to stem the tide of public opinion. The damage had been done, and further photographs released on social media showed the man, a former member of a Sikh terrorist group, associating with Sophie Trudeau, the Prime Minister’s wife, during an earlier event in Mumbai.
Trudeau was greeted as he deplaned in India by a low-level government official rather than the Indian Prime Minister, paid Indian-Canadian celebrity chef Vikram Vij $17,044 USD to cater a private dinner in New Delhi, and was found to have spent $1.5 million overall on the visit, according to The Deccan Chronicle.
MSNBC would even call the eight-day visit a “slow motion train wreck.” It’s not hard to see why Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party would drill down on this talking point for their latest campaign, particularly as at least some rumors begin to circulate surrounding a potential call for a snap election by the Canadian PM, according to iPolitics.
While the tweet has been deleted, the website still stands, detailing Trudeau’s many international follies at the expense of his public support. Whether the general Canadian electorate will put much stock in the Conservative Party website and its message remains to be seen.
The Prime Minister’s Office, for its part, does not agree with the negative focus of the messaging. Cameron Ahmad, deputy communications director for the PMO, pointed out that Canadians can see for themselves what lies on the Prime Minister’s publicly posted itinerary, adding that the former PM, Conservative Stephen Harper, did not post his schedule publicly at all.
“Canadians and the media have a right to know where the prime minister is and what he’s generally doing,” Ahmad said.
“I would note that the previous prime minister did not release a daily itinerary.”
Since the beginning of June, Prime Minister Trudeau has taken six personal days as reported by The Toronto Star. He has also visited six provinces, helped a local campaign facing a by-election call, played host to the French president in the nation’s capital, in addition to hosting the international G7 summit.