They see him here; they see him there; the whole world sees him everywhere. Except in the House of Commons, where Justin Trudeau belongs.
Yes, Canada’s answer to the Scarlet Pimpernel is at it again, doing the worldwide hopscotch he loves so much, while at home (if he can remember where that is) our country is increasingly disillusioned and distraught.
It’s actually hard to keep up with this guy. England, Latvia, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Ukraine, USA, Rwanda and back to Germany – since March.
Meanwhile, Parliament is rarely more than an occasional gathering of video footage after a virtual debate brought in from remote locations when COVID-19 first struck was extended for another year, thanks to the endorsement of that other liberal political party, one that its official name should change to No Darn Principles.
But, of course, it was never something our Prime Minister thought was worth his time to actually debate measures while in the House of Commons. During his 2015 campaign for office, he was famously asked which country he most admired for its political system. China was his immediate response – because such a dictatorship allows immediate action for the boss in power.
Well, when you consider how quickly Trudeau called for emergency measures after that freedom convoy last February and the current worrying violation of online hate speech laws — thanks again to the vile complicity of the NDP — the prime minister is getting his wish.
Are these issues not serious enough for proper, full-blown debate in the House of the People? Well, apparently not.
Meanwhile, national scandals keep popping up like mushrooms after a rainy weekend.
Disturbing evidence that the Liberals meddled in a mass murder investigation by urging police to release details of the assault weapon used — giving a nudge to tighten gun laws — despite Mounties silent on that detail wanted to keep while they worked with the FBI to find the real source of the gun, to be dismissed as nothing too inappropriate.
Oh, and while we’re on Trudeau’s most admired country: Independent investigations suggesting China may have meddled in the 2021 federal election by pressuring Chinese-born Canadians to vote liberal is met with barely a word. murmur suspended. (By comparison, in the US, after Donald Trump’s victory, the Russian interference saga lasted the entire term of his presidency.)
Of course, many Canadians have more pressing problems than free speech and government interference in mass murder investigations to deal with.
But last week, a trip to a federal office here in Calgary made clear how utterly rotten the current government has become and how ordinary citizens are paying an increasingly humiliating price.
Because you don’t have to be an economic wizard or law graduate to understand the sheer frustration that comes with trying to get a Canadian passport these days.
Okay, so my wife needed photocopies of two verified standard documents before sending them to Ottawa, so we left early in the morning for a Service Canada office in the Northeast.
On arrival there was already a line of about 20 people at the door. Without moving an inch for the next hour, my wife asked the nice guard when we were likely to be served. Probably not today was her answer. Hey, but we can wait another six hours to find out if we were lucky.
We decided against rolling those particular dice – instead we paid a solicitor $50 to fix our little problem. Fortunately, unlike most people in that sad, soul-sucking row, we didn’t need passports.
Canadians across the country face the same frustration, many now camping overnight to be first in line.
This is Trudeau’s Canada; so busy acting on the global stage that no one authoritatively concludes that after two years of COVID-inspired travel restrictions, there would be a frenzied stampede on passports once business opened.
So as the Prime Minister shines across the globe, Canadians line up on the streets like hopeful beggars desperate for alms.
Chris Nelson is a regular columnist for the Calgary Herald.