Antoine Robtaille: “Trudeau’s thought is undermined by COVID-19 [“La pensée de Trudeau est minée par le COVID-19”]

First, here is Mr. Robitaille’s article (Journal of Montreal, March 21, 2020):

Second, here is the translation of the article in question. It is worth reading, as food for thought:

“Justin Trudeau who closes the borders of the Dominion, including the famous Roxham road.

If we needed another proof that the world is changing with this damn virus, here is a spectacular change.

Trudeau really said yesterday: “People who arrive at the border irregularly will be returned [to] American authorities. Until the end of the crisis.

It seems so far away the time when the same Trudeau wrote on Twitter “To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, know that Canada will welcome you …” It was on January 28, 2017.

Let’s not look down on the underlying generosity here. The problem is its totally unrealistic aspect. At the time, Ottawa had, among other things, to ask Haitian-born MP Emmanuel Dubourg to explain to nationals of the West Indies in the United States that they would not automatically acquire citizenship in Canada.


The current pandemic has weighed heavily on the philosophy of borderlessness, which is dear to Trudeau. The latter took centre stage with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the end of the USSR [Soviet Union] in 1991.

At the time, an American thinker, Francis Fukuyama, had developed the “end of history” thesis. There was no longer, he argued, an alternative model to liberal democracy and a market economy.

Other thinkers, like Kenichi Ohmae, proclaimed the end of the nation state. Free trade treaties and major commercial logics were now to supplant politics. The World Trade Organization would soon govern.

Since then, several events have given a rather significant denial to these ideas. The “alterglobalization” movement, with its major demonstrations: Seattle (1999), Québec (2001).

The State

After September 11, 2001, Fukuyama, again, concluded that the story would restart. Against libertarian thinkers, who globally reject the state, he rightly pointed out that this entity which taxes “citizens and uses this money in the collective interest” had forgotten virtues in the borderless era.

“It is only the state and the state that can be counted on to send firefighters to burning buildings or to fight terrorism, or to control passengers at airports. Not on the market or on individuals. The same can be said in 2020 of the fight that each nation state is currently waging against COVID-19.

Countries cannot be “hotels” where you enter and exit as you please, according to the beloved image of writer Yann Martel when describing Canada. Image taken over in 2016 by Justin Trudeau’s post-national thinking. If only to organize the redistribution of wealth, the nation state must realistically have a closed aspect.

Borderlessness is currently being replaced by “stay home!”, as noted by author Sylvain Tesson in an interview with Le Figaro yesterday. However, “staying at home does not mean hating your neighbour. The walls are protective membranes, not just hostile armour. They are pierced with doors, you can choose to open or close them.”

Kind of like Roxham Road.”

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