With all due respect to all the college student councils of the world, our country currently seems to be led by a college student council, instead of a government that is governing it (i.e., likely well-meaning yet idealistic teenagers).
Yes, believe it or not, already two weeks into a small crisis that could have been solved in a couple of days, to use the words of Mr. Mario Dumont.
Here is an open letter by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business that expresses the concerns of these small businesses over the rail blockades:
Usually, the more we wait to act in an assertive way (with leadership), the more our belated response would have to be larger than what it would have been in the early hours or days. Of course, there is also the risk of chaos when situations drag on endlessly, like in some other places.
From what it seems today, the provinces seem to be asking Mr. Trudeau to show leadership by fixing a clear deadline to end this crisis. If not, they will have to do what needs to be done themselves:
Is this what Mr. Trudeau wants? If so, why does our country have federal police then? Weird all this, to say the least.
Anyhow, Bambi will stop here and below is a smart text by Mr. Mario Dumont from the Journal de Montréal (February 19, 2020):
“Justin Trudeau has revised his image for his second term. His beard is part of the new style.
Weakened in the October election by an image that was too light or even at times disguised. His image broke with the previous one. The beard is part of the new character: serious, poised, capable of making courageous decisions and imposing his authority.
Unfortunately, events are showing us that this is just a mirage. Behind this new image of a stronger leader hides exactly the same politician, with the same flaws. His inability to assume leadership worthy of the name in the face of the rail service blockade reminds us of how bad he still is in a crisis.
His calls for reconciliation and his calls for patience ring hollow in the absence of a game plan. His speech yesterday sounded more like the prayer of an overwhelmed prime minister. No announcement, no solution. Besides, how dare his government still speak of the “rapid settlement” of a situation that has already lasted two weeks? A small crisis [i.e., “crisette”] that should have been dealt with within two days.
Sterile speech … or worse
His speech to the nation yesterday was useless. Justin Trudeau said it to sound like he was doing something. You could even call it counterproductive. What better way to dramatize the issue than to see the head of government interrupt the regular proceedings of the House to make a solemn address?
Two results are likely. The demonstrators see the incredible impact of their action despite their small number: in full what it takes to encourage them. The international press will become even more interested in the matter: exactly what makes it difficult for the Government of Canada.
To explain the anger of the natives, Justin Trudeau recalled yesterday that certain communities are not adequately supplied with drinking water. True, but irrelevant in this crisis. First, the Tyendinaga Mohawks, who block the railroad, received $42 million from the federal government last July to address their water supply problems.
Second, most communities with real water problems are not at all involved in the blockade. And finally, after almost five years in power, the Prime Minister arrives at the moment when he whines about a problem said to be of high priority, we want to answer: “What are you doing? Fix it! “
The government’s attitude risks encouraging radicalism among First Nations. Need we recall that the pipeline project that caused the unrest is located in British Columbia, a province governed by a coalition of the NDP and the Green Party? The most pro-native government imaginable.
Some still found a way to use extreme pressure tactics. If these radicals succeed by blocking the train, what will the others understand?”