We wonder if when he did teach during his part-time-teacher experiences, if he taught off the cuff, like he’s running our country.
What do we in the media do with a leader who can’t tell the difference between lies and truth?
Our American neighbours are grappling with a president known for telling whoppers, or, providing “alternative facts,” as one of his spokesmen recently said.
But Canadians should also be concerned about our own prime minister’s grasp on reality.
Justin Trudeau continued his “listening tour,” or, more aptly his “apology tour,” with a stop in Calgary for a public town hall.
Trudeau had to deliver yet another apology, this time for a comment he made about Alberta while speaking to an audience in Peterborough, Ont. earlier this month.
Trudeau told the Ontario crowd that Canada needs to “phase out” Alberta’s oil sands.
When he arrived in Alberta, however, he struck a different, more apologetic note.
Trudeau said he “misspoke” earlier, and that he doesn’t really want to phase out the oil sands.
It’s a bit odd that Trudeau would misspeak about something like wanting to shut down Alberta’s oil industry.
Misspeaking typically involves getting a fact or number wrong.
But wanting to phase out Canada’s oil sands is not a fact you misremember.
It’s a preference, an opinion — and a rather dogmatic one at that.
In Calgary, a city facing record high unemployment, many in the audience were unwilling to accept Trudeau’s latest apology.
Trudeau faced a question from a concerned citizen who accused the prime minister of saying different things in eastern and western Canada.
“You’re in Alberta right now, sir, you’re not in Ottawa. Yet when you come to Calgary, you tell people you’re sorry,” the man said. “You are either a liar or you’re confused. And I’m beginning to think it’s both.”
Trudeau responded by arguing he has been consistent. He repeated a variation of his earlier comment, saying we need to “move beyond fossil fuels,” and then digressed into a defensive, partisan rant.
Trudeau bashed the previous Stephen Harper Conservative government — saying it chose the economy over the environment — and asserted that Harper failed in his approach to pipelines.
“They didn’t get any pipelines approved,” said Trudeau.
This claim is wrong. Flat out untrue.
As Conservative MP Candice Bergen pointed out on social media, “four major pipelines were built between 2006 and 2015.”
They are: “The Enbridge Alberta Clipper (from Hardisty, AB to Gretna, MB), the TransCanada Keystone (from Hardisty, AB to Haskett, MB), the Kinder Morgan Loop (from Hinton, AB to a location near Rearguard, BC), and the Enbridge Line 9B Reversal (from North Westover, ON to Montreal, QC.)”
Harper did get pipelines approved. Four of them, which helped create thousands of jobs and increased Canada’s daily flow of oil by 1.25 million barrels a day.
So, did Trudeau just misspeak, or is he telling lies?
Like Trump, Trudeau is not entitled to his own alternative facts.
Also like Trump, Trudeau deserves the same scrutiny, the same fact-checking and demands for the truth from the media.
The CBC’s Peter Mansbridge took to Twitter earlier this week to state that “when the President of the United States or his people flat out lie, a fundamental pillar of democracy is threatened.”
Flying out of DC this hour feeling disturbed. When POTUS or his people flat out lie, a fundamental pillar of democracy is threatened.
— Peter Mansbridge (@petermansbridge) January 22, 2017
He’s right. But what if the Canadian prime minister does the same?
Mansbridge, the CBC and the rest of the mainstream media should remember that it’s their job to hold Trudeau to the same high standard as they plan on holding Trump.