In agonizing for 21 seconds before answering a question about President Donald Trump’s threat to send the military after civilian protesters in American cities, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likely risked causing as much trouble as he was hoping to avoid. Those who would like to see him denounce the president in full throat might be as annoyed as those who think he should accept there’s nothing Canada can really do to help and look out for our own best interests while the socio-political nightmare plays out.
Trudeau’s response wasn’t anything inspiring or novel or revolutionary. “It is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we too have our challenges — that black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day,” he said. “There is systemic discrimination in Canada, which means our systems treat Canadians of colour, Canadians who are racialized, differently than they do others.”
To be fair, the Liberals haven’t always let the side down: They quickly acceded to demands for reforms to the jury selection process after an all-white jury acquitted Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley in the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie. But many defence lawyers argued those demands were woefully misguided.
“Defence counsel routinely use peremptory challenges to increase diversity by excluding white jurors to increase the possibility of selecting a non-white juror,” defence lawyer Michael Spratt wrote explained at Canadian Lawyer. “In simple terms, the new rule will actually mean more all-white juries.”
The jury is still out on that, so to speak. In the meantime, however, you can bet the farm we will soon learn that the Liberals’ changes to impaired driving laws — allowing police to stop and breathalyze drivers without any suspicion of impairment — have disproportionately affected black and Indigenous drivers in particular. Literally everybody saw it coming except Trudeau and his ministers.
OK, I’m kidding — they saw it coming too. They might want to log off, dial down the performative sanctimony and think on that a while.
Read Chris Selley’s full piece: National Post