Another day, another Justin Trudeau boo boo. After narrowly winning an election that wasted every Canadian’s time and hundreds of millions of dollars, Prime Minister Trudeau and his family (including his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, who we love here at Gawker), decided to take a much needed holiday in Tofino, British Columbia. The problem? The family flew into Tofino on September 30, while the PM’s official itinerary said that he would be taking meetings in Ottawa. September 30 also happened to be Canada’s first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. According to Canada.ca, the newly marked commemorative day represents a time to “Honour the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.”
The Canadian residential school system was a government-funded program that ripped children from their families, forcing over 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children to attend church-run schools. Though the program began in the 1880s, the last school did not close until 1996. In recent months, mass graves full of hundreds of murdered children were found in unmarked gravesites near former schools, resulting in national attention.
Trudeau has failed First Nations people since his first election. His promises to provide clean drinking water in First Nations communities have been delayed by several years. He’s fought to build pipelines on unceded territory, and his government’s Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) has spent over a hundred million dollars fighting First Nations people in court, including a legal battle with residential school survivors. But he’s been posing for some photo-ops, so that’s something?
When flight tracking websites showed that Trudeau had flown out to Tofino, Global News caught up with him on a beach. He later tweeted that he actually was able to speak to residential school survivors on the phone, which I believe most people can agree is not the same as actually meeting people in person:
It only took a week or so for Trudeau to understand he made a mistake. In fact, at a press conference in Ottawa this Wednesday, he said, “Travelling on the 30th was a mistake, and I regret it.” But why did he lie? Or pretend he was taking meetings? When asked how his team let this happen, his reply was “I think the ‘how it happened’ is far less important than that it happened, which I regret.” I personally can’t wait to use that line the next time I make an easily avoidable mistake.
I don’t know if my primarily American audience knows this, but as long as you keep winning elections up here you can just be prime minister forever. Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, was prime minister for just over 15 years. Baby Trudeau has been in power for nearly six years and just won another election, so I am looking forward to many more inventive apologies.