Don Martin: If this is Trudeau putting Canada 'back' on the world stage, we should get off
Published Thursday, February 22, 2018 5:53PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 23, 2018 9:54AM EST
First, that testy unproductive China visit last fall.
Then there was the angry group of Pacific Rim partners left stewing as Canada waffled back from a free trade agreement.
And let's not get started on how repeated soothing Justin Trudeau visits have only ramped up President Donald Trump’s trash-talking of Canada for re-negotiating NAFTA in bad faith.
Now add India to the list of countries which have lowered their opinion of Canada as a result of prime ministerial visits.
If this is Trudeau putting Canada back on the world stage, we should get off.
This week’s far-too-long tour of India by a prime minister looking for campaign-friendly photo-ops has become a cross between the Keystone Cops and Mr. Dressup.
Poor advance team scouting, lousy political intelligence-gathering, awkward fashion advice and a major security breach have turned a minor snub at the arrival gate into a sustained epic failure.
For six days Trudeau has wandered the country with a collection of mediocre cabinet ministers in tow who have little reason to be there beyond being Sikh.
Meanwhile his foreign affairs and international trade ministers stayed home.
This is not to begrudge the effort. India is an overlooked economic giant with unlimited potential for Canadian interests.
It's in the mission delivery where things have fallen apart.
In the quest for perfect optics, they missed the big picture problem of an India whose leaders believe, rightly or wrongly, that Canada is too cozy with Khalistani extremists.
And you knew this was truly a voyage of the damned when, just as Punjab was pacified, it fell apart all over again.
A Canadian Sikh extremist, convicted in the attempted murder of an India cabinet minister, was discovered as an honoured reception guest.
By the time CTV News discovered the nonsensical inclusion of a celebrity Indian cuisine chef from Canada, flown at taxpayers’ expense to whip up a dinner in India, well, it was almost comic relief.
Given his now-proven tendency to bring tension to otherwise calm international relationships, Justin Trudeau should just stay home.
For the next while, for the preservation of our good name, the world doesn’t need more Canada.
That's the Last Word….