An Open Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
I hope all is well with you. I am sure you must be exhausted and frustrated following your public humiliation by China’s Chairman Xi Jinping at the recently concluded G20 summit. When Jinping lambasted you for leaking details of his conversation with you to the press, I saw how your face turned red as the blood drained away from your face. How embarrassing for you. You must have thought, “How dare he give me a bloody nose and leave my tail between my legs.” Initially, I felt sorry for you, but upon deeper reflection, I concluded you got what you deserved. Your public roasting by Jinping was a clear case of the chickens coming home to roost.
The world held its breath when you were appointed Canadian Prime Minister in November 2015. Your boyish looks, infectious smile and calm demeanour enchanted millions within and outside Canada. Several commentators described you as Canada’s Obama. However, after the pandemic struck, you morphed from Canada’s Obama to Canada’s Pinochet.
What I found intriguing was that after Xi Jinping said, “Everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers and that is not appropriate,” you replied, saying, “In Canada, we believe in free and open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to have.” Really? Does your government honestly believe in free, open and frank dialogue? The world saw how under your regime, Canada demonised its citizens who refrained from getting the COVID-19 jab, and as they tried to engage you in a free, open and frank dialogue, you repressed them.
Your regime introduced vaccine mandates for all federal workforce and federally regulated transportation sectors. The mandate led to the creation of a two-tier society with the unvaccinated relegated to second-class citizenship. People and organisations began discriminating against those who did not take the vaccine, even though taking the vaccine did not prevent transmission. After enforcing the vaccine mandate in the public sector, the private sector began implementing similar mandates, and thousands of people lost their jobs and sources of livelihood in the process.
In response to one of the world’s most draconian vaccine mandates and restrictive policies, Canadians began to oppose your dictate. For instance, the Freedom Convoy, a coalition of truck drivers, engaged in non-violent civil disobedience by blocking the roads in different parts of Canada. Instead of engaging them in a free, open and frank dialogue, you did what most dictators do: you engaged in an unaccommodating, closed and deceitful monologue. You called the freedom fighters a fringe minority. Then, on Valentine’s day, drawing inspiration from Mussolini, you invoked the Emergencies Act. The decree banned participation in public assemblies. You then went on air to tell the world that the police would be empowered to arrest or fine protesters. Your Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, later said, “Let me repeat what I said on Monday if your truck is being used in these protests, your corporate accounts will be frozen, the insurance on your vehicle will be suspended; the consequences are real and they will bite.”
Besides humiliating you, Xi Jinping exposed you as a bully and a hypocrite. Bullies share an overriding characteristic. They prey on those they consider weak but cower when pushback occurs. After Jinping cornered you at the G20 summit, you were initially tongue-tied, I guess because you were without your friends, Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak and the other leaders of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence alliance of the Anglosphere. As Xi Jinping tongue-lashed you, you did not have the backbone to fight back. Instead, you went into defence mode, pontificating about the virtues of democracy. A year earlier, you chose a weak target to bully: the unvaccinated. As popular opinion turned against those who did not take the jab, you demonised the unvaccinated and made their lives a living hell because you thought they could not fight back. But when they straightened their backs and said, “Enough is enough”, you did what bullies do when confronted: you ran away. After the freedom convoy approached Parliament Hill, you ran to a secret location.
It is convenient to use the typical soundbites that often emanate from the lips of the leaders of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence alliance of the Anglosphere, i.e. democracy, freedom, openness and the other nice sounding words of virtues. But in reality, you only talk the talk instead of walking the walk. Unlike you, Jinping does not claim to champion democracy, free speech and openness. He practices what he preaches. He preaches scorched earth and practices scorched earth. In contrast, you preach democracy but practice hypocrisy; you preach freedom but practice brute force; you preach openness but you practice totalitarianism.
Rather than telling Xi Jinping to stop meddling in Canada’s affairs, perhaps you should tell your colleagues in the west to stop meddling in the affairs of other countries:
- You could tell the west to stop turning its ugly gaze on Africa’s population growth.
- You could ask Britain to give up its fourteen colonies which she likes to call British Overseas Territories.
- You could tell America to dismantle its military bases dotted around the world.
- You could ask Australia to stop poking its nose into the Solomon Islands and Papa New Guinea.
I hope your encounter with Premier Xi Jinping will be a teachable moment for you and other autocrats worldwide: What goes around comes around.
Ahmed Olayinka Sule, CFA