A Canadian Perspective – A Guest Post by John Fioravanti

After I opined strongly about Trump’s abominable behaviour toward Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I began to wonder how the people of Canada viewed the incident.  I asked Canadian friend John if he would write a guest post for me, and he graciously agreed.  Thank you, John!


Trump’s Treatment of Trudeau – A Canadian Perspective

By John Fioravanti

 

For many months since the inauguration of Donald Trump, I have watched him behave poorly as he played to his base of supporters. I am dismayed that his enablers in the GOP party in Congress refuse to exercise their constitutional duty to oversee his decisions that are often based on ignorance of the facts and outright lies. I don’t think Donald Trump has many supporters or admirers in Canada.

Figure 1: President Donald Trump at the G7 Summit 2018

Figure 1: President Donald Trump at the G7 Summit 2018

To be honest, I am a supporter of Canada’s Liberal Party, which is ideologically in line with American Democrats. I voted for our local Liberal candidate and was overjoyed to see Justin Trudeau win a majority government in the House of Commons in October of 2015 – despite the smear campaign launched by the Conservative Party (like the American GOP) that featured many attack ads that belittled Trudeau personally. Trudeau ignored those attacks and ran his campaign on the issues.

Figure 2: Trudeau & Trump at the G7 Summit 2018

Figure 2: Trudeau & Trump at the G7 Summit 2018

It is fair to say that many Canadians were in shock and somewhat uneasy when Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016. His campaign attacks on the NAFTA accord have been unsettling. Free trade has been an economic boon to all three countries involved. Two facts that are irrefutable about our bilateral trade history: one, the USA buys more goods from Canada than from any other country in the world; and two, Canada buys more American goods than from any other country in the world. To say that the collapse of NAFTA would not hurt the US economy is preposterous. However, it would hurt Canada more.

Thinking about our historical relationship with America, I’m reminded of a quote by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau who was Prime Minister from 1968 to 1984.

“Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

Figure 3: Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau 1968-1984

Figure 3: Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau 1968-1984

No country in the world has impacted Canada more than the United States. In the late 18th and 19th Centuries, annexationist American troops invaded Canadian territory during the Revolutionary War and then three times during the War of 1812. After the Civil War, American negotiators demanded that Britain hand over the Canadian colonies in compensation for damages incurred when the British helped the Confederate government. These occurrences bred feelings of unease, suspicion, and outright fear of the United States among Canadians.

In the 20th and 21st Centuries, the relationship changed to a close friendship as we became more than business partners, but also military allies through two world wars, the Cold War, the Korean War, and the War on Terrorism. On 9/11, Canadian airports accepted flights unable to land in the United States. Gander, Newfoundland, a town of just 10,000, residents took almost 7,000 passengers into their homes for five days and treated them like family. The Broadway play “Come From Away” immortalizes this extraordinary act of kindness to total strangers. Canadians and Americans have a shared history in North America and now we have a shared popular culture – it is no wonder that Europeans cannot distinguish us from each other.

I have been a student of history my entire life and in my adult years, my focus has been on Canadian and American history. My second academic passion is the study of politics, so I am fairly familiar with the constitutions of both of our countries. In my lifetime, I witnessed nothing but deference and respect between our Prime Ministers and Presidents. Sometimes friendships sprang up between our leaders when they were ideologically in tune – like Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan, and Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama. On the international stage, we have always had each other’s backs.

It is for these reasons that I am shocked and dismayed by Donald Trump’s abysmal behavior towards Justin Trudeau. Yes, I felt personally offended by Trump’s outright lies and insults. At the same time, I felt extremely proud that Trudeau did not respond, in kind, to Trump’s remarks nor to the vile remarks made by Trump’s minions in the aftermath.

Figure 4: Trump warning Trudeau about the PM's remarks at the G7 Summit

Figure 4: Trump warning Trudeau about the PM’s remarks at the G7 Summit

As an aside, my wife, Anne, and I had the good fortune to meet and chat briefly with our former Prime Minister, Paul Martin. He was PM for three brief years before being defeated by Conservative Stephen Harper. Since then, Martin has remained active within the Liberal Party and was a guest advisor at the G7 Summit. When I shared my views about Trudeau’s handling of the G7 fallout from Trump, he nodded sagely and assured me that he would pass that along to Justin Trudeau. It was such a thrill to spend a few moments alone with this kind and generous former prime minister!

Figure 5: Former Prime Minister Paul Martin 2003-2006

Figure 5: Former Prime Minister Paul Martin 2003-2006

My anger and disgust are not aimed at the American people. I understand how Trump operates. I followed the presidential election campaign very closely and I’ve seen how many Americans are also angry and disgusted with him and his abominable tactics. I also understand that Trump was defeated in the popular vote and that he has the approval of a scant 40% according to polls. By the way, Trudeau has the approval of 80% of Canadians according to recent polls for his stand against Trump’s tariffs. I can’t remember the last time a Canadian PM got an 80% approval rating for anything!

Many of my American friends have apologized and are concerned that this trade debacle will do irreparable damage to Canada/US relations. My response is that no apology is necessary – most of the American people did not behave badly. Trudeau and our Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, have continued to work towards a resolution of the tariffs and the NAFTA accord. It is our hope that our American cousins will lobby their Representatives and Senators to dissuade Trump from the path of a trade war with Canada and the other G7 countries.

Figure 6: Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaking to reporters in Washington after meeting with members of the Senate after the G7 Summit.

Figure 6: Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaking to reporters in Washington after meeting with members of the Senate after the G7 Summit.

Donald Trump will not change. He will continue to behave as he sees fit until the American electorate takes away his majorities in Congress and then removes him as President. I’m losing faith that the Mueller investigation will bring Trump down. I do not think Congress would impeach Trump no matter what Mueller reports. The remedy to the problem of Trump is to be found with the voters of America.

49 thoughts on “A Canadian Perspective – A Guest Post by John Fioravanti

  1. Well said John, from your Canadian friend here. I’ve been following this whole situation with tRump closely too. I think if Mueller is crafty enough he may hold off til the fall to reveal to stir up things just before the election so that by the time it’s in the courts the dems will have taking back the power and they would definitely impeach. Optimism? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Our Canadian neighbors, as well as other allies, have been treated as though they are the enemy of the USA. The enemy is within! He will remain within until enough of We the People vote to remove this blight. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a true Gentleman…qualities that the POTUS never learned or wants to learn. This post eloquently states the truths that Trump and his POT ignore and deny. Thank-you John Fioravanti and Jill!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for your kind words, Ellen. Many of us in Canada and in other Allied countries feel your pain. All we can do is pray that there is a huge voter turnout in November and that they will emasculate Trump by taking away his majorities in Congress.

      Liked by 1 person

    • If there is anything that Trump can turn topsy turvy, he will do it, including treating trusted allies as the enemy and treating the worst dictators as his best buddies. Trudeau is the definition of what a world leader should be, and I have been trying to work a deal to trade Trump for Trudeau with our Canadian friends, but so far, no go … 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent piece of writing, John. Thank you for exonerating the majority of Americans who not only don’t support Trump, but also are working hard to dethrone the wannabe king. Statistics are favoring the Democrats in the midterm elections; and given the tyrant’s horrendous policy on immigration, they’re projected to improve. The vote is our primary sledge hammer, and activists across the country are energized and united in wielding it. I was so impressed by Prime Minister Trudeau’s response to our fascist president’s heinous comments and actions. It takes a big person to behave honorably in the face of treachery. Thank you, Jill, for inviting John to write on this important subject as a guest on your blog. Love and blessings to both of you ❤️❤️

    Liked by 4 people

    • Many thanks, Tina! John is a dear friend and one filled with compassion and understanding, who just happens to have a way with words! I am embarrassed and ashamed over the behaviour of our so-called ‘leader’, but thankful that our friends to the north, as well as the ones across the pond, understand that it is Trump & his minions, not We The People. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind and supportive remarks, Tina. I have many American friends, some online, so I am very aware that Trump speaks for and to his base supporters. Unfortunately, there seems to be a wave of conservatism manifest here in Canada and I fear that Justin may lose the 2019 general election. The GOP has truly become the POT – Party of Trump – and I’m confident that many traditional Republican voters will jump ship in November and again in 2020 until America rids herself of this narcissistic scourge. Again, thanks, Sis! Hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. As an Australian with very close ties to Canada, and having spent some time there, I concur with everything John has written here.
    In all honesty, watching the election campaign and everything that has happened since Trump took office has felt a lot to me like having to stand back while my neighbour’s house burns down.
    I have friends and family in the US that I love and respect, and I bear the American people no ill will. I have also visited 16 of the 50 states, and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I want to return and travel some more. I cannot, however, condone the morals and the actions of ’45’.
    And really… who can’t get along with Canada? She’s the Labrador Puppy of international relations.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear John Fioravanti and Jill,

    I truly believe that Democrats will have a wave election in November 2018. I also have more faith in the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III based on my knowledge of Mr. Mueller.

    He is the consummate professional and he has the best attorneys, investigators on his team. If there is something to find, he’ll find it. If Michael Cohen flips on the president, it’s checkmate. The problem is that getting rid of President Trump leaves VP Mike Pence in charge which is not much of an improvement.

    The president knows what’s coming which just makes him more reckless and dangerous. I’m praying that your PM Trudeau does not give this bully-in -chief an inch.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • I realize that Mr. Mueller is competence and integrity personified but I fear the GOP will close ranks to protect him from impeachment. This immigration debacle is not going away quickly – there’s the matter of over 2,000 separated children to be resolved. Canadian economists are saying that a trade war will plunge Canada into a recession – so there’s the cost of Trudeau standing up to Trump. That being said, I choose to live in hope. Thanks, Gronda!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Dear Jill,

    Thanks for sharing John’s post. How President Trump has acted towards our neighbors like Canada and its PM Justin Trudeau is so embarrassing. He is the epitome of the ugly American.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

      • You’re welcome, good friend. I appreciate you lending me this fine podium! I’m confident that people of goodwill on both sides of the border will be able to mend the relationship. Interesting that at his Cabinet meeting today, Trump just took pot shots at Mexico and left Trudeau alone. Progress?

        Liked by 2 people

        • This podium is yours any time you feel inclined, my friend … ANY TIME! I hope you are right. The sooner the fences are mended, the less lasting damage. Eh, he probably just woke up with the memory of how Mexico refused to pay for his bloody wall and decided to make them his target of the day. 😉

          Like

  7. I don’t understand why anyone would immigrate to the US from Canada. It’s going backwards if you ask me. The only explanation is weather sensitivities to extreme cold. Otherwise there is no benefits that are greater to Canadians in the USA.

    Liked by 5 people

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