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Don Martin: Trudeau frolics with unicorns amid the pounding drums of war

There’s a parallel Canadian universe that exists only on Justin Trudeau’s social media feed.

It’s a place somewhere over the rainbow where unicorns graze on emerald green fields and a carefree population of politically correct citizens begin each day with a rousing hand-over-their-heart chorus of Kumbaya.

With Canadians taking sides and the fuse lit to a Middle East tinderbox, the prime minister’s daily take on his activities and priorities to his 6.5 million followers on the feed formerly known as Twitter is so wonderfully selective and chronically delusional that it’s almost comforting.

But what it doesn’t prioritize or promote is at least as instructive as the carefully selected highlight reel.

Example? Well here we are, a full week after a missile failure cratered a hospital parking lot, killing the patient overflow. Despite it being seen as a defining incident in the three-week war between Israel and Gaza, you’d never know it was a missile fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad by reading Trudeau’s feed.

For five days Trudeau waffled on the cause and culprit behind this tragedy until a clarification rolled out at around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

And Trudeau couldn’t even bring himself to post the finding.

That fell to Bill Blair, who toils in severe mediocrity as national defence minister, telling his mere 41,000 X followers -- as well as sending an official press release -- that the military “investigation” determined Israel was not to blame for the tragedy.

Now, because Canada has no special intelligence forces operating in Gaza, his “investigation” undoubtedly consisted of viewing the same four-camera video stream the rest of the world examined before concluding the obvious last week.


It’s this sort of late-to-the-game diplomacy that keeps Canada in the world’s penalty box as testing-the-wind laggards.

To be fair, Trudeau’s earlier posts in the conflict were pointedly supportive of Israel and its right to defend itself.

But passing time has brought signs of an erosion in that emphatic position.

Another example?

Well, the very same feed where Trudeau emphatically condemns any perceived infringements on LGBTQ2S+ rights, any whisper of abortion limitations, any hint of a parent’s right to know about their child’s gender preferences, or any sign of Islamophobia has stayed silent on anti-Israel protests in Canada.

At this writing on Monday morning, there was no Trudeau social media mention of the unsettling harassment of patrons and staff by Palestinian protesters at a Jewish-run restaurant in Toronto over the weekend.


True, Immigration Minister Marc Miller posted that “the targeting of Jewish owned businesses, customers and their employees is an utter disgrace.”

But to have the desired and deserving impact, condemnation must come from the prime minister. The lack of even a prime ministerial finger wag is especially jarring coming just five days after Trudeau posted that “whenever and wherever antisemitism arises, we must take action.”

It’s entirely probable that the prime minister has little to do with writing up his social media feeds.

Every post goes through numerous communications types paid handsomely to fret every comma and assess every risk to every voter block before many layers of bureaucracy sign off on pushing the button to post even the most innocuous Happy Mid-Autumn Festival greeting.

It’s a medium designed to promote a polished version of Trudeau’s political reality, a place where future blueprints for a few thousand houses are the government solution to the affordable housing crisis and where grocery prices magically stabilize after one ministerial meeting with chain executives.

That’s why Trudeau may tweet a Happy Franco-Ontarian Day, but won’t dare mention the unfairness of out-of-province students facing a discriminatory financial penalty for their anglophone heritage to attend Quebec universities.

That’s why he can and did post a dozen glowing tweets about the visit to Canada by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy minus any mention of the House of Commons ovation afforded to a former Nazi collaborator.

But the gravitas of the office dictates that true leadership must acknowledge some uncomfortable and harsh realities.

What he initially flagged as a potential violation of international law, by inference suggesting an attack of Israeli origin, must be corrected as a missile misfired from the Palestinian side.

He must condemn the Palestinian protests besieging Jewish businesses with the same zeal he praised family-run enterprises during small business week.

And if he’s willing to share his quiet visit to a mosque to tell worshippers that “we’re here for you,” he must consider visiting a synagogue (unless he has done so but omitted it from his itinerary) to repeat that reassurance to them.

During this dangerous divisive time where the world is lining up in polar opposite corners, it may seem prematurely naïve for Trudeau to post his desire for Israel and the Palestinian territories to negotiate a permanent two-state peace-and-security arrangement.

I can almost hear the unicorns snorting disbelief at that remote possibility, but let’s all hold hands and sing a hopeful Kumbaya in any event. It’s a pleasant dream.

That’s the bottom line…



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