Remember Elbowgate? No, didn’t think so. While not profound as far as national events are concerned, Elbowgate does serve as an enlightening bit of drama that exposes the less-than-sunny ways of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
First, a little background. On May 18, 2016, Trudeau grabbed the arm of Conservative party whip Gord Brown as he was being deliberately, though playfully, blocked by NDP members of Parliament on the opposition side of the House of Commons in an attempt to delay a motion of closure on the final reading of Bill C-14, which amended the Criminal Code to allow physician-assisted killing of patients.
Video of the event clearly shows Trudeau leave his seat, storm across the aisle, grab Brown by his arm, push through the assembled NDP MPs, and in so doing, elbow NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau in the chest.
You can see her say, “ouch,” as she recoils in pain.
Several MPs allege that Trudeau said, “get the f–k out of my way,” to the MPs as he plowed through them. Trudeau eventually apologized and the whole sorry mess dissipated amidst the “right” to be killed by your physician — something that was a crime just hours earlier.
A crack in the veneer of Trudeau’s â€śsunny waysâ€ť started to show that day and his top-down, bullying tendencies started to poke through.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Back in 2013, when he was running for the leadership of the Liberal party at a “ladies’ night” in Toronto (which would now likely be renamed “Peoplekind Night of the Female Persuasion”), Trudeau showed his hand (and his elbow) following a puffball question by a woperson in the room about which nation’s administration Trudeau admired most.
“You know,” said Trudeau, “there’s a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime . . . .”
Trudeau campaigned on electoral reform and bringing in proportional representation in the 2015 election that swept him to power. Thank goodness for Canada that he wasn’t really serious about that doozy. But he also vowed more free votes in the House for Liberal MPs and more accountability and transparency for his government.
He had a perfect chance on Monday to let his MPs have a free vote on a motion about the Canada Summer Jobs kerfuffle. It appears, however, that he whipped the vote of Liberal MPs to vote against the Conservative motion: “That . . . organizations that engage in non-political, non-activist work, such as feeding the homeless, helping refugees, and giving kids an opportunity to go to camp, should be able to access Canada Summer Jobs funding regardless of their private convictions and regardless of whether or not they choose to sign the application attestation.”
The only Liberal with the guts to defy his basic dictator’s edict, and who voted in favour of that statement, was Scott Simms of Newfoundland.
Trudeau requires every applicant for jobs funding to agree with his Liberal party policy platform to gain equal access to a government program. Applicants for the grant must click the attestation that states in part: “Both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada …. These include reproductive rights.”
This controversy refuses to go away, and there is proof in recent Angus Reid polls that Trudeau’s plunging popularity actually started in December at the height of this coerced-speech controversy and not just because of Trudeauâ€™s diplomatically disastrous, cringe-worthy family vacation to India with his phony praying and outlandish costumes.
Every major newspaper in the country — including the Liberal-backing Toronto Star — has criticized the summer jobs attestation requirement as being coercive and unconstitutional. But Trudeau got his elbows up and blocked funding to faith-based Canadian agencies that do most of the heavy lifting to help the poorest of the poor in Canada, including refugees.
He also denied those Canadians their written charter rights to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion and expression. Chinese President Xi Jinping would approve.