Thursday, October 27, 2016

Justin Trudeau and the Farcical Youth Summit Protest

I have to admit it was a great photo-op, and a sure way to get the attention of the Con media.

A small group of demonstrators at the CLC's Young Workers Summit turning their backs on Justin Trudeau. 

"Honour your promises!" hollered some in the crowd, as event moderators tried to keep the peace. "We don't have dialogue with liars!" "Shame! Shame!"

While shooting selfies of themselves, with Justin peering over their shoulders.

But although I am all in favour of young Canadians getting politically involved, and if necessary giving the Prime Minister a rough ride.

I thought their behaviour was appalling.

They were rude, they acted like hoodlums in a most un-Canadian manner. Their questions were absurd, one guy couldn't even come up with ONE.

And let me be clear, they don't represent the views of the many millenials I know, who were embarrassed not impressed by their childish performance.

Which at a time when that generation is trying to be taken seriously, made us all look like ignorant idiots.

And only played into the hands into the hands of the Cons, who are forever claiming that Trudeau is breaking his promises.

When in fact in that regard, the Liberal's record so far is excellent. 

By early October 2016, 24 percent of the Liberal campaign promises have been “kept entirely.”

Fewer than 2 percent of Trudeau’s promises have been declared “broken,” the most salient among them being the promise to run modest deficits of $10 billion in the two first years which the government reneged upon when it announced a $30-billion deficit in the March 2016 budget.

It's better after one year than the one of the two other governments before it.

The data show that the number of promises kept entirely or in part after one year by the Trudeau government (54%) clearly outweighs its predecessors’ average after one year (33%)

And you might think that those young union members might have given the Trudeau government some credit for scrapping the Con regime's foul anti-union bills C-377 and C-525, which went down in flames last Friday. 

Just two days before they staged their farcical protest.

But no, they were just there to disrupt the summit, and make themselves the story, which is simply pathetic.

However, having said that, do young Canadians have the right to be restless and even angry? Yes they do.

With an unemployment rate of over 13% and so many struggling with crushing student debt, and the lack of affordable housing and good jobs, they should be pushing the government to do more to help them.

And like other Canadians they need to hear a message like this one like they need a hole in the head. 

For although the Liberal government has moved to help millennials by expanding the Canada Pension Plan to ensure they have a tiny light at the end of the long tunnel of life. 

That rising generation will NEVER settle for a life of precarious employment, and that kind of dismal fate. 

But here's the thing, precarious employment has been a fact of life for years. Many of my friends work in those kind of jobs, with no job security, no benefits, no pensions, no nothing.

The Liberals didn't create the problem, they inherited it.

And since it's a problem caused by our rotting capitalist system, that ugly reality will only be changed by a revolution, like the one Bernie Sanders has been promoting in the United States...

For only a giant progressive movement can deliver that kind of real change. 

And while Justin Trudeau is incredibly popular. 

And will almost certainly win the next election, and probably the one after that.

And although he has already done so much to restore our Canadians values, and repair our image in the eyes of the world. 

He was not elected to overhaul or overthrow the capitalist system. Alas.

And to my knowledge he can't walk on water...

But he is a decent person, he is reaching out to young Canadians unlike any other leader before him.

So while they work to build that massive progressive movement for change, the young should engage with Justin, try to push him in a leftward direction, not demonize him.

Or play into the hands of his Con enemies.

And above all they should remember that this is Canada, not Harperland anymore.

And show the prime minister who delivered us from that nightmare, the respect he deserves... 


  1. ya, this was embarrassing...
    can you imagine? your prime minister is encouraging you to engage in a discourse and you stand there like an idiot with your fingers stuffed in your ears, blowing raspberries.
    if this was about changing things, discourse would happen. but it was a misguided emotional ejaculation. interesting but painful.

    1. Hi Luce...yes it was embarrassing, a bunch of incredibly dumb yahoos drowning out the legitimate message of the other participants. Trudeau can defend himself, and he did in an exemplary manner. But I still defend the right to call out those in his country who don't respect our traditions, or try to demonize decent people....

  2. Many Millennials I know were empowered by these actions! You can't have it both ways Simon. If you want to empower progressive youth, you can't dictate the means of their dissent or protest. Significant democratic gaps exists in our society and those who life in that gaps, people with genuine and important reasons to protest have to be respected enough to decide on their form of dissent. As much as I respect your work, I disagree with you to a significant degree. Your arguments remind me, sadly, of the kinds of arguments that people once used against the suffragettes. I am not sure why you think that you can be the adjudicator of what is legitimate dissent and what is not. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with people's strategy but your language (your talk of these people "demonizing" Trudeau) does precisely what you accuse the right of doing. These people are not "idiots" and they are not "childish." (Two adjectives, by the way, that were commonly levelled at the suffragettes). Asking people to only use dissent that you sanction, rationalistic discourse of which you approve, is not only unrealistic but overlooks the very problems with modern democracy for which members of the establishment have been so responsible. Just as the suffragettes were on the right side of history, I believe these youth are also, and history will vindicate them. I hope these issues won't stand between us as friends but I really, really can't follow you down this road.

    1. Hi Kirby....I don't believe you for a minute, I know wY more millennials than you do, and none of them thought those ignorant yokels were anything but assholes. And don't give that shit about suffragettes. I don't care what those demonstrators do in the streets, but when we have a prime minister who is invited to listen to the concerns of young Canadians, the least they can do is have the manners to face him and not disrupt the meeting. I am not adjudicating what is legitimate dissent, I'm talking about plain simple manners, and civility which charcterizes or used to characterize our Canadian culture. Those yokels were idiots, and they acted in a childish manner. Who can forget that doofus who when asked by Trudeau to ask his question couldn't even think of one? Duh? They could have challenged Trudeau as hard as they liked, but standing there mooning him while taking selfies of themselves couldn't be more ridiculous. And by praising them you couldn't be more condescending or pathetic. Or have your head further up the Mound's ass your new best buddy, you know the misogynist, the homophobe, the filthy pervert. I saw what you wrote on Lorne's blog, that other guy who licks thAt old freak's ass every day of the year, and I thought you sounded like an idiot yourself. They will lead us forward to the future, cue the Marsellaise, gimme a break. The only thing they did was make young people, look stupid. But then you and the Mound and his faithful Lurch Lorne, who also sides with misogynists and homophobes, do belong together. You are out of the same gang of old croakers who would poison the hopes of the young with your poisonous pessimism. For without hope there can be no change. And what the old should be doing is encourage that hope and optimism not trying to bury it. And don't bother about following me down any road. For I march with the best of Canadian youth, I march to the beat of my own drum, I despise bullies, you are just another sick old Trudeau hater, and after that insulting comment my enemy not my friend...

    2. Anonymous7:28 PM

      As someone who's long enjoyed visiting your blog, I can't help but notice that lately you're turning on friends over just about any comment mildly critical of Trudeau.

      The Liberal party has always been a big-tent centrist party controlled by Ontario and Quebec elites. Even if we assume that Trudeau is progressive, the party he leads is not. That means if he wants to push the party in a progressive direction he will need support in the form of protest.

      Barack Obama understood that and said to his supporters, "Your job is to hold my feet to the fire. . . so, you need to be out there everyday raising these issues, telling us when we’re doing the right or wrong thing. My role is to be President of the United States, and your role is to be a strong voice for people who aren’t always heard." That's what these protesters were trying to do even if one went blank when asked for his question.

      Sometimes the best way to support someone is to criticize what they're doing. I hope you'll see this post in that light.

    3. hi anon...look you make some good points. And maybe I have been too extreme in my defence of Justin Trudeau. In my defence I would attribute my frustration to the following reasons. One, I absolutely despise bullies and I think Trudeau has been bullied to an extent never seen before. Two, maybe I was scared more than I had imagined by the Harper years, and looked forward to living in a better Canada, and enjoying that feeling for longer than a few months. Three, I am incredibly bothered by the left's tendency to eat itself, and by the tendency in this country to tear down the anyone or anything good that sticks out like a tall poppy. Even though the extreme right is all around us threatening to destroy us. Four, the spectre of a Trump presidency haunts me. It seems like I've escaped one nightmare only to end up in another. And what adds to my frustration in this case is that despite the sickening amount of rancid misogyny, even some of my own readers have been trying to convince me that Trump is the progressive choice. Like what?
      Finally, what you and others don't know is that I have to put up with an incredible amount of mostly homophobic abuse. Today for example I've had to delete six comments that are too foul to print. So I am in no mood to take any other printable abuse, or be accused of being a misogynist, and that explains why I am so angry today.
      I thought I had made a good case that the Trudeau government had accomplished more than others in its first year, and while I would have supported those protesters if they had faced Trudeau and let him know how they felt, I thought it was rude to turn their backs on him, and yet another sign that we are losing our civility and manners which I believe sets Canada apart from what we are seeing in the U.S. However, as I said, you make some good positive points, and maybe Justin does need to be confronted and pushed in the right or left direction, so we can see if he can be as good as I believe he can be. If he isn't and he does sell us out, you can be sure that I will criticize him as I would anybody else...

    4. Anonymous3:45 PM

      Dear Kirby: a little Canadian history. The Territorial Grain Growers Association made women equal voting members in the 1890s! Two of the Famous Five were members of the Alberta Wheat Pool and the grain farmers backed the court case which established women as persons under the law.

      The Wheat Pool cooperative's news papers supported women's rights, including to contraception, as did their organizers. Harper just smashed the last of those organizations when he killed the Canadian Wheat Board in 2011.
      - Kang the barbarian.

  3. Anonymous10:09 AM

    JT is decent and a major upgrade from SH. I voted for him. But, these protesters are right (if rude). As the world rebels from the 30 year neo-liberal consensus (though the left (Sanders) and, sadly, primarily from the right (Trump)) JT moves along as if none of this is happening. Approving gas plants and signing neo-liberal trade deals - the very acts that have helped create the "precarious" employment his Finance Minister tells young people to accept. He is missing the moment, Simon. It is not a time for incremental tinkering. The danger is that when the people find he's not Bernie Sanders and is, in fact, a rubber stamp of the discredited Reagan/Thatcher/Friedman world order, they will feel betrayed. And where will they go then? Judging by the experience of Europe and the US, they will go to the Nationalist Right.

    1. Hi anon...I didn't vote for Trudeau, as I have said many times he'll never be left enough for me. But in this aging, small c conservative country who the hell is? if Trudeau hadn't come along we would still be living in the hell of Harperland. He has been in office less than a year, and deserves more time before he is judged, and I thought I made it clear what I thought about Morneau's message. No politician can lead us to nirvana, and in this country people some precious lefties, might denounce Trudeau's attempts to encourage trade, but this country depends on trade, it's economy has been wrecked by ten years of Harper, and with an aging population if we can get more investment and create more jobs we won't be able to pay for a Medicare system. You know, this is a country where everybody wants to go to heaven,but nobody wants to die. And is plagued by by a small but noisy group of old people who would have us wallow in their poisonous pessimism, hate the young with a passion, and seek only to kill them metaphorically by depriving them of hope. No wonder Progressive Bloggers is dying, what young person needs that? Justin Trudeau may not be perfect, but he has done more for women and gay people than any other prime minister in Canadian history, and the real reason those dirty old people hate him is because they are misogynists and homophobes. And I look forward to taking them all on,...

    2. Anonymous9:50 PM

      I agree with U Simon. And I have been a long time lurker on here, laughing every morning. Thanks, BTW!! JT is so much better than Harper in so many ways, primarily social, and I too feel relieved. His inclusiveness is beautiful. I too want to applaud him. And it is early, U are correct. I am willing to give him time. However, neo-liberalism is now seriously in question, yet still holding on. It is time, whether you are the leader of a small country or a super power, to confront this fact and make a choice. I have not seen evidence, yet, that he gets the economic predicament we're in. It seems like his choice is business as usual, and, as I said above, in the long run, that will discredit liberalism.

  4. Anonymous10:23 AM

    You just can't accept that those on the left don't see Justin the same way you do.

    Justin's in for a rough ride as more people wake-up to what he really is.

    1. Hi anon...go shove this comment where the sun don't shine. I don't need to hear from some loser Con. I realize that for fascists like you those idiot idiot morons are your wet dream. Because that's all they are, Con stooges. But don't get your hopes up, Trudeau will easily win the next election, and your side is going nowhere...

    2. Anonymous3:26 PM

      Always the classy phony progressive. Kept it up, make JT proud!

    3. hi anonycon...always the same dirty old Con. Go fuck yourself loser...

    4. Anonymous2:46 AM

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Anonymous10:28 AM

    Are we sure they weren't hired by the Cons to disrupt the event? Much like the phony protesters Harper sent out to disrupt JT a couple of years ago on the hill. Either way they were embarrassing to watch and did nothing to further their cause. In fact, if they cant behave like adults at future summits, I wouldn't blame JT for not attending.
    To JT's credit, the crowd was not a hand picked chorus of clapping seals you would find had Harper hosted such an event. Of course, Harper never had the balls to host an unscripted event such as that.

  6. Anonymous10:49 AM

    Haha running to the defense of your crush as usual. Leave the dauphin alone you big bullies!

    1. hi anonycon... right, don't try to seek advantage from this left-wing argument. You and your fallen leader and his bunch of deplorables are the worst bullies this country has ever seen. We beat you once and we will bury again you pathetic loser....

  7. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Hi Simon
    I agree with you. Stand your ground like you always have. I love your feisty spirit. signed an old grandmother

    1. hi grandmother...thank you I needed that :) I do have a feisty spirit that sometimes get me into trouble. I like to blame it on my Scottish blood. But although it gets me into trouble sometimes, my motives are noble, and I believe that if we believe in building a kinder, gentler world, we do have to fight for it. I have enjoyed living in a Harper free Canada, I am proud of the way Justin Trudeau has stood up for women's rights at a time when women have been abused by the pig Trump and his deplorables to an extent I never thought possible. He has made Canada a better and more tolerant country compared to so many others in the world, so you can be sure I will stand my ground. Now please pray for me please... ;)

  8. Hi JD...I doubt they were hired by the Cons, they are more likely the remnants of the NDP's youth wing. The small band who even though Mulcair humiliated them still worship at his feet. But then who knows because the Cons need to boost the NDP, because unless they split the vote they will never win another election. But my main point was that I see this country going in a dangerous direction, with people throwing pumpkin seeds at the Prime Minister or threatening to kill him. In my Canada manners do matter, and while I thought that Justin handled himself magnificently and demonstrated a lot of class, if he decided to not to attend next year's youth summit who could blame him? Progressives need to stop fighting themselves, remember that we are in a life and death struggle with the genocidal right, and save their energy to fight the real enemy,...

  9. ok, this is crazy!!!
    protest, even violent protest, makes sense when entrances and exits are barred.
    literally and figuratively.
    i remember steviethegreateconomist
    i remember toronto,
    quebec city.
    i remember Prague '89.
    the natural animal asserted its human self in the world that the conventional person build. whether to salvage humanity, extend it to those who are denied it or fight for it when its most divine quality (its collective expression in coexisting political organizations) is at stake... a curious commonality? in all these instances, there was no room for dialogue.

    am i going to be flagging a dead horse if i say that these people blew an opportunity? how come there was no whipper snapper addressing gender wage parity (WTF!!!!?), asking about how death threats against him are handled and what are we doing to discourage that and how come it's even possible in the first place, given our laws? what's up with Canada's deal with Saudi Arabia~terrorism (wtf)?, R&D for alternative sources of energy to stay away from pipelines altogether, etc.
    was this... um... an obstruction? you know, JD, i think you may be onto something - this erm, event does appear to share elements with our official obstruction party. whatever talk is embedded in the white noise, it is irrelevant. gawd!

    but since even the blather of a filibuster has purpose, i asked myself what was the purpose of this scene... i think they just meant to say that they disagree. with everything. all the time. gawd!
    i'm with Simon - dragging the suffragettes into this is low. sorry.

    1. hi Luce...thank you. Kirby is a good guy, but accusing me of being someone who would have criticized the suffragette movement, after the way I have always stood up for women's rights, sent me over the deep end. I won't take that from anyone. And you're right their were good questions those protesters could have asked, but the way they went about it was disrespectful and wrong...

  10. Anonymous2:34 PM

    I'm in my 20's and a millennial so stop speaking for us Simon we can speak for ourselves. Trudeau is selling Canada out to the highest bidder just like his father. Trudeau doesn't really give a shit about our youth all he cares about is globalism and his stupid legacy. If I hear "Diversity is our Strength" or "I'm a feminist" I'm going to puke it's nothing more than progressive buzzwords.

    Anonymous 10:09 AM is absolutely right. I used to be progressive but I'm sick of inequality and globalism. Trudeau is nothing more than a shill with good hair and a nice smile. Why the hell is he sending all of our money to projects overseas when we need HELP here?

    1. have you ever felt enslaved by the compulsion to kiss the Canadian ground? how do you know what you are puking on if you can't see how diversity and feminism made your country unlike any other.

      keep your day job, 2:34pm.
      i hope it doesn't involve you speaking for yourself.

    2. hi anon...I'm not speaking for millennials, I'm just expressing my own opinion. But I think that a Prime Minister who also named himself the Minister of Youth tells me that he does care about young Canadians. But thank you for at least admitting that you are not a progressive. Now please go and tattoo a big red M on your forehead, or stick some coloured fathers in your hair, so we know that you're an endangered species. A millennial who doesn't believe in diversity or feminism, or foreign aid.
      For most polls show that most millennials support all three, and are unfortunately for you the most progressive generation in human history...

  11. Anonymous2:45 PM

    I was also disgusted. Comparing Justin to the Dictator was the last straw, and shows how bitter the Loser Party still is. Harper HID from us for years. Only appeared in front of tne press in foreign countries. I call these people Fake Progressives. After Elbowgate i will never vote NDP again. True Colors. They go on and on about emails when a Heinous Racist Anti LGBTQ Monster threatens the entire world. Ive had enough of the Fake Progressives and I wont be tolerating them anymore. Sunny Ways Simon. ❤️Pamela

    1. Anonymous8:00 PM

      And the Liberals are the progressive choice? There's one born every minute!

    2. hi Pamela...thank you, I needed that because as you can use I'm heavily outnumbered today. I won't go as far as calling those protesters fake progressives, but I do think they are misguided, and did their cause, whatever that might be, no favours...

  12. Pm Trudeau has had a year now...being Canada he can do whatever he wants with a majority. So far he has done a lot of things a lot of us disagree with. Being completely tonedeaf as a govt dealing with youth and natives in the past month has looked gd awful.

    Same for electoral reform... there are a few choices out there in the world, lots of experts, and so far nothing has happened except a warning that nothing might happen.

    This government started strong and has tailed off badly to my eyes. With a complete lack of opposition right now, I assume they are doing exactly what they intend to do. Unless you're saying they weren't ready and need more time. Weird that you are giving them leeway on this. Or ate you hoping to only get a few bones thrown your way every election....

    1. hi aweb...I'm sorry you feel that way, but what I find weird is that after ten years of Stephen Harper, some in this country would declare Justin Trudeau a complete failure after less than a year in power. Or would think that he is tone deaf when no prime minister has been more willing to listen to what Canadians have to say. I think the evidence shows that he has got off to a great start. If that changes I'll let you know. And as for the question of electoral reform, not only did he promise to change our present system, he gave up his majority on the committee studying the question, and has recently reaffirmed his commitment to do just that.

  13. Anonymous5:40 PM

    Simon I like your attitude, you live in reality. Government is often a flawed concept and Trudeau is the absolute best we've got. If we tear him down, we'll just have the Cons again.

    1. Anonymous8:02 PM

      Trudeau's best we got? No, he's the best the Liberals have got and they ain't all of us no matter what they like to think.

    2. hi anon...thanks, I am grateful that you agree with me. Nobody is perfect, and governments aren't either. Perfection can be the enemy of good, or as Churchill once said the enemy of progress. Trudeau at this time is the best we have, and as you say, if we tear him down we will only end up living in the horror of another Harperland again....

  14. Anonymous12:09 AM

    hi Simon, I'm sorry you had a bad day. But I want you to know I support you. Those protesters had every right to challenge the prime minister, but the way they did it was rude and un-Canadian. The Americans are always making fun of us for being so polite, but I am proud of that, because look at them now. If we don't nip lack of civility in the bud, we will end up like them.

    All the best


    1. hi Cedric...thank you. My parents raised me to believe that manners are important. I feel the same way you do when I see the Americans mocking us for being polite, or at least more polite than they are. They should be so lucky...

  15. Anonymous7:03 AM

    Every generation looks to the one before and declares that they have it worse. In my early career I had temporary employment, and it sucked. But I stuck with it, and carved my path.

    There are many interesting opportunities for youth that did not exist back in my day.

    What concerns me is Bill Morneau's comment that precarious employment is the new norm. I'm not sure that I agree. Even if there is a marked shift, hasn't it been the Liberal campaign promise to strengthen the middle class? We cannot predict the future, but we can work toward something better. Hope that JT had a conversation with BM after his unfortunate comment.

    Yes, those youths were extremely rude. I don't hold out much hope that those kind are capable of carving their own unique paths in this world. Quite entitled I think.


    1. hi TS...I don't know where the future of work will take us, what with all this talk about driverless cars and trucks, and robots everywhere. What kind of inhuman society are we building? But yes, what bothered me about Morneau's statement was how callous it sounded. But then while he does have the right business credentials, he is still learning how to be a politician. So I'm pretty sure professor Justin has him sitting in the corner with a dunce's cap on...

  16. Anonymous8:54 AM

    I give Trudeau massive credit for just showing up. Having a Prime Minister that is willing to engage and discuss issues with various groups is amazing. In my opinion, these self-entitled twats blew an amazing opportunity to air their grievances and voice their opinions to the guy right at the top. How stupid do you have to be to squander an opportunity like that? - justplanecrazy

    1. hi anon...I thought Justin Trudeau handled the situation really well, refusing to be cowed or lose his temper, and challenging those protesters to behave more like Canadians. It's a refreshing change from the days of Stephen Harper, who had he been faced with a similar situation would have had all the protesters arrested. And yes, what could have been a fascinating exchange between the other young people in the room and Justin, was indeed squandered by the selfish actions of a bunch of pathetic hooligans....

  17. Wow, Simon, the language! Anyway, keep up your good work. You have my support (for what it's worth).

    1. Hi UU4077...thank you for your support, and yes I'm sorry about the language. As you know I have always tried to be polite to anyone commenting. But I made the mistake of replying to some comments before taking time to cool down. I had just deleted two or three truly disgusting homophobic e-mails, including one that also insulted my companion. And then reading one from a progressive suggesting that I would not have supported the suffragette struggle, despite my long support for women's rights, was one e-mail too many. And sent me over the deep end. I apologize to everyone, and won't make the same mistake again...

    2. You're a good man, Simon. We all have our moments.

  18. Anonymous10:14 PM

    As a working class progressive I'd love it if any of the parties actually represented me. Instead the "best" I can apparently hope for is another out of touch rich boy who markets himself well enough to get otherwise thoughtful people to shill for him whenever anyone else dares point out what an empty suit he is, especially if they do a crappy job of it.

    All JT is going to do is turn the more ignorant segments of the population against any sort of progressive or left leaning sentiment as he wraps himself up in it like a security blanket while screwing everybody with the same neoliberal crap that led us here. It'd be nice if the NDP would do their job and be a viable alternative but I guess that's too much to hope for these days.

    And yet you fools are here QQing about some people being "rude" to this guy. After Bill Morneau's comments I think you clowns are going to get a real education in what being "rude" looks like in the years to come as people's situations worsen and become more desperate. Voting is of questionable value since we know someone(s) have attempted to interfere with an election at least once, peaceful protests en mass are often met with violent repression by the state while the news media does it's best to look the other way, what exactly are you expecting to happen? You think everyone is going to link arms and sing sunshine and lolipops?

    You'll probably still be here, concern trolling people who dare complain about the boot stomping on their faces forever and ever.