Trudeau talks Trump, Khadr, ISIS and pot in exclusive interview with CTV News
It's been an eventful two years since Justin Trudeau was sworn in as prime minister, and 2017 was perhaps the most newsworthy yet.
- Watch the full interview with Trudeau tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CTV
As 2018 inches closer, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down with CTV Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme to reflect on the year that was. In the wide-ranging interview, they discussed some of the flashpoints and faces that defined the year, from Omar Khadr to the looming legalization of marijuana.
U.S. President Donald Trump was a big talking point as heated NAFTA negotiations break for the holidays without any new agreements announced. Trump has vowed to rewrite or completely throw out the deal, which Trudeau’s government has made one of its key objectives to save.
Despite the troubled NAFTA talks, Trudeau remained positive in his assessment of Trump.
"Donald Trump has demonstrated that he’s a bit of a disruptive force. He does unpredictable things,” Trudeau said. “He's a deal-maker. He's a negotiator."
Trudeau noted that he’s optimistic about his relationship with Trump. "The thing that reassures me fundamentally is he got elected on a commitment to help people, to make America great again."
He added: “The way to help those people is to bring in trade deals and jobs and economic growth that is going to help.”
On the more than $10-million settlement reached in the case of former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, Trudeau expressed his own frustration.
“I am frustrated and outraged about having to make that settlement. People should remain frustrated and outraged, because then perhaps future governments will never again think it would be easier to allow for someone’s rights to be violated because they are politically unpopular.”
The prime minister also expressed his personal belief that former ISIS fighters can be de-radicalized in the event that they return to Canada. In a recent interview on CTV’s Question Period, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said he believed the likelihood of reintegrating former ISIS fighters is “pretty remote.”
“There’s a range of experiences when people come home. We know that actually someone who has engaged and turned away from that hateful ideology can be an extraordinarily powerful voice for preventing radicalization in future generations and younger people within the community,” he said.
And, on one his government’s more divisive announcements, the legalization of marijuana, Trudeau suggested he won’t partake when the drug is sold in retail outlets next year.
“No, this is the joke in the whole thing,” he said. “I don’t drink coffee, I don’t drink much alcohol, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I never really have.”