Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pick for Governor General, Julie Payette, is getting a lot of unwanted attention as yet another revelation regarding her time in the United States threatens to undermine her nomination to the post. But those discoveries are unlikely to derail her nomination to the largely ceremonial position.
Public relations specialists who spoke to Yahoo Canada News aren’t so sure that the controversy is worth the attention it’s received, even if the optics of it don’t look good for the Trudeau government.
“Certainly the way the story is breaking is going to throw some challenges for the government and Madame Payette,” says Danny Roth, president of Brandon Communications, a Toronto-based public relations firm. “You’ve got to be forthcoming, there’s got to be an openness because if it’s perceived that this was in any way hidden or ignored, that’s going to prove to be an insurmountable challenge.”
However, those same specialists said that the best course of action in such a situation is to be open and transparent, otherwise it opens the government up to charges of willful negligence. Instead, Trudeau should be pressing the case for why, despite these new revelations, Payette is still the right person for the job.
“If the government knew about this and still felt she was the best person to represent the Queen and assume this very important position,” says Roth, “then I would propose that the government go out and very strongly continue to make the case for why they believe she is the right person.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a “deep and extensive” vetting process showed no issues that should prevent Julie Payette from being Governor General — but he still refuses to say whether he’d discussed with Payette her past legal issues.
Pressed Thursday by reporters over whether he’d talked to Payette about two police matters from 2011 that have come to light via media reports, Trudeau was vague. “The conversations I had with Mme. Payette centred around the extraordinary service, her vision of the country, her vision of the role that she would fulfill as Governor General, and demonstrated to me her extraordinary strength in being one of our great Governor Generals,” he said.
“The vetting process is deep and extensive, and raised absolutely no issues that would prevent her from being Governor General.”
A Winnipeg woman who escaped the horrors of captivity at the hands of Iraqi militants was overjoyed to recently discover that her 12-year-old son has been rescued and is recovering from gunshot wounds at a refugee camp.
Now, the mission for Nofa Mihlo Zaghla has become getting Canadian officials to help reunite her with her boy.
On Wednesday, the Yazidi Association of Manitoba went public with her story in the hopes of spurring officials to act quickly to get young Emad to Canada.
“We’re asking to bring that child to be reunited with his mother,” pleaded association president Hadji Hesso, his voice filled with passion. “That’s all we want. That’s all the mother wants. It’s all the child wants.”
“We need to think about families who cross the ocean, desperately seeking to build a better life for themselves and for their kids,” said Trudeau to an audience of supporters during a morning campaign stop in Toronto.
“And to know that somewhere in the Prime Minister’s Office staffers were poring through their personal files to try and see … which families would be suitable for a photo-op for the prime minister’s re-election campaign. That’s disgusting.”
Michelle Rempel needs to get angry more often.
The 36-year-old former Conservative cabinet minister, now the Official Opposition critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, was the driving force behind Tuesday’s 313-0 House of Commons vote requiring Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to get its act together and open Canada’s doors to the persecuted Yazidi minority of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Nearly 400 Yazidi refugees and other survivors of Islamist extremists have already been accepted over the last four months, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said in announcing the initiative, which is expected to cost $28 million.
But unlike the thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria who were greeted by flashing cameras and intense public exposure, the Yazidis have been entering the country with no fanfare.
Global News has obtained exclusive new information about how Justin Trudeau’s trip to the Aga Kahn’s resort was organized. The documents reveal how complex and last-minute the trip was and how that complexity may have contributed to an ethics investigation that is now nearly seven-months old.
Canada’s premiers say the federal government needs to more fully answer questions surrounding the legalization of cannabis or they will need more time to get their rules in place.
The federal payout to Omar Khadr was a big story in some conservative U.S. media outlets Monday, after nearly two weeks in which it had garnered barely a whisper south of the border.
It was the subject of a condemnatory national newspaper column, the top story on the Fox News website, fodder for cable-news chatter on Fox and a huge surge in interest by Americans online.
“This story is repulsive,” said a Fox News host. To which former pizza entrepreneur and presidential candidate Herman Cain replied: “It is a pathetic interpretation of the law. Canada basically rewarded a murderer.”
The burst of attention started with a Wall Street Journal piece by a Canadian opposition MP.
Conservative Peter Kent published a scorching op-ed titled, “A Terrorist’s Big Payday, Courtesy of Trudeau,” that helped the story gain traction elsewhere.
The item began with a description of Khadr killing an American army medic, Christopher Speer, when he was 15 years old and fighting alongside al-Qaida in Afghanistan. It explained how Khadr won a court fight in Canada over how he was treated by Canadian intelligence officials while detained at Guantanamo Bay, was repatriated to Canada, released on bail and sued the Canadian government for $20 million for violating his rights.
The Ontario MP criticized the Trudeau government for settling with Khadr, while the victim’s family got nothing.
By Monday afternoon, the issue was the No. 1 story on the Fox News website.
The political fallout from the Omar Khadr payout has largely been portrayed as a Liberal government vs. Conservative opposition issue – with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer taking a stand against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The NDP has managed to stay largely off the radar, despite being in the midst of a leadership race. Lucky for them.
Lucky because this has become a wedge issue that isn’t as easy for them as you might at first suspect.
It perfectly exemplifies the big split that exists among the rank-and-file of Canada’s left-wing party: the champagne socialists vs. the blue collar types.
The Angus Reid Institute poll on the matter showed 71% of Canadians opposed the government’s settlement deal with Khadr and would have preferred they tough it out and fight it in court.
When broken down by voter intention, the Conservative opposition was highest at 91%.
However 64% of NDP voters also rejected the deal, several points higher than the Liberal opposition, at 61%.
That’s a red flag to the NDP caucus and party grandees that this is one of those common sense issues where they risk upsetting a huge swath of their support if they play it wrong.
But it looks like they already know this.
This is a live on-going poll that’s shared via Social Media all across Canada, with what you know, is Trudeau doing a good job so far?
Justin Trudeau offered his strongest defence yet of his government’s $10.5-million settlement with Omar Khadr on Saturday, saying he hopes it serves as an example to future governments.
“When governments violate Canadians’ fundamental rights, there have to be consequences and we hope that the message going forward to all future governments is: you can not ignore or be complicit in the violation of Canadians fundamental rights, regardless of what they did,” said Trudeau.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he did not reach out to Tabitha Speer in the wake of his government’s decision to apologize and compensate Omar Khadr.
Speaking to reporters in Rhode Island after delivering the keynote speech at the National Governors Association conference on Friday, Trudeau also would not comment on reports former prime minister Stephen Harper called both Speer and wounded U.S. soldier Layne Morris after the settlement became public.
“I did not reach out and I have no comment on what the former prime minister did,” he said.
You’re welcome. h/t
A one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin could make for some difficult optics for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, given the swirling allegations surrounding Russian meddling in elections in the West.
The average worker is falling behind the cost of living. And when you look at the picture by social class it gets even more troubling.
Trudeau’s statement at the unorthodox-sexual-behaviour march that was so weird, I had to listen five times and ask two other people to listen to make sure I wasn’t having an audio hallucination.