"Ill-founded and abusive" is how superior court judge Michèle Monast described a Quebec woman's defamation lawsuit against Justin Trudeau. In a decision published on November 29, Monast shot down Diane Blain's case against the prime minister.
The lawsuit followed a 2018 incident at a Liberal party rally in Sainte-Anne-de-Sabrevois, Quebec, in which Blain asked Trudeau when he would "give back the 146 million [Quebec] paid" to support what she called Trudeau's "illegal immigrants."
In response, Trudeau told Blain that "this intolerance toward immigrants has no place in Canada, this intolerance toward diversity, you have no place here."
Throughout the event, Blain confronted him and asked several times if he was "tolerant of the Québécois de souche" — people who claim descent from French colonizers.
"Madame, your racism has no place here," Trudeau responded before RCMP officers intervened.
In her lawsuit, Blain sought a total of $90,000 in compensation from Trudeau for what a court document describes as "distress, stress, and inconvenience caused to her" as a result of the 2018 interaction, as well as a perceived "infringement of her freedom of expression and opinion and her right to be treated without discrimination," among other claims.
But Judge Monast wasn't having any of it.
In her decision to dismiss the lawsuit, Monast wrote that "Ms. Blain's assertion that Mr. Trudeau's comments about her were defamatory and that he damaged her reputation is not supported by any evidence."
She cited a testimony that she said "was replete with contradictions, exaggerations and implausibilities" and concluded that Blain's "lack of civility, the aggressive tone in which she asked her questions" and, among other things, "her hostile attitude" demonstrated "that she was trying to provoke him."
Monast called Trudeau's response to her first question "legitimate" and said "it was not unreasonable" for Trudeau to "consider, in such a context, that Ms. Blain's comments indicated some racism."
"She testified that she found it offensive and hurtful to be told that she was intolerant and racist toward immigrants because she does not consider herself to be an intolerant and racist person," Monast wrote.
"The statements she has made on various occasions, her social media posts, and the testimony she gave during her examination for discovery and at trial unfortunately indicate otherwise."
The judge concluded by accusing Blain of using the event to "gain notoriety and to promote her political ideas."
"It is not unreasonable to conclude, as suggested by Mr. Trudeau's counsel, that she initiated legal proceedings against Mr. Trudeau for the same reasons."
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Instead we got a broken promise on electoral reform, the Trans Mountain Pipeline, surprisingly conservative rhetoric, and obscene spending on vacations to the Bahamas… among other things.
Yes, Trudeau can snap a great selfie and has made Canada look great on the world stage, but back at home, he’s no longer the nation’s golden boy.
Enter Jagmeet Singh, the newly-made leader of the New Democratic Party and a possible force for real change in Canada.
Originally from Scarborough in Toronto, Singh moved around a bit growing up, never leading the privileged life of a Prime Minister’s son like someone else we know.
Singh used to be a criminal defence lawyer before getting into politics, endowing the new NDP leader with some credible experience and a skillset befitting a world leader.
And, as is plainly seen from his (often brightly coloured) turban, Singh is a practising Sikh.
Taken all together, we have a politician who isn’t born of intense privilege, understands the plights of racial and religious minorities, is incredibly intelligent, and can connect with Canadians of any creed or class.
Singh, in many ways, is reflective of modern Canada, and that’s why he’s so damn popular among young and old alike.
Trudeau doesn’t have the entirety of the youth vote anymore. After many of Trudeau’s broken promises, young Canadians aren’t as enchanted with the current Prime Minister as they were a few years ago.
Singh, on the other hand, is the alluring new option who may actually make some beneficial change in Canada if elected.
Singh is kind of like Trudeau 2.0. But instead of being a white guy (like every other Prime Minister we’ve ever had) who is obsessed with his image, Singh is a largely self-made man who truly reflects Canada’s diversity.
The only obstacle in Singh’s path to Prime Minster-hood is Quebec.
Why? Well, Quebecers have a well-known dislike for religious attire. The debates about wearing a burka or niqab are STILL ongoing.
Singh’s turban, a symbol of his religion, could put off Quebecers, a crucial voting pool.
Hopefully, that won’t be the case. Politics is all about image, but Trudeau’s has lost its lustre, and Singh shouldn’t be discredited because of his religious and cultural background.
But we got a full two years until the next federal election. Trudeau may make some strong moves to re-convince us how amazing he is.
Or, as is more likely, he’ll keep doing what he’s doing, leaving the door open for a new contender (like Singh) to move in and take the lead.
Yes, Trudeau has done some pretty good things as Prime Minister. But he's also done some things horribly wrong, and because we should always hold our politicians accountable, here's a rundown of some of the worst things Trudeau has done as Prime Minister.
1. Forgetting To Mention Alberta On Canada Day
Let’s start things off with a light (but still embarrassing) gaff by our Prime Minister, when he forgot to mention Alberta during a Canada Day speech. Everyone forgets about Alberta, but being the Prime Minister of Canada should make you the one person to never omit a province or territory when listing them all off. Not that anyone outside of Alberta really cared, it’s just quite the blunder on Trudeau’s part.
2. Keeping Information Hidden From Canadians
Getting information from the Canadian government and its many branches, like the RCMP, is painstakingly difficult. Canadians have a right to “confidential” government information, we just need to send in an access to information request. These requests, however, can take a very long time to process, and under Trudeau, things have only gotten worse. Trudeau promised a more transparent government, but what we’ve got is the opposite, as vital information is more difficult to obtain than before.
3. Spending $215,000 On A Vacation We All Paid For
Seriously, more than $215,000 for a vacation to the Bahamas, paid for by Canadian taxpayers? If that’s not enough to ruffle your feathers about Trudeau, I don’t know what is. In all fairness, that exorbitant price tag may not have been Trudeau’s fault, at least not completely, but it’s still ridiculous.
4. Letting The Opioid Crisis Claim Too Many Canadian Lives
Let’s face it, the Trudeau government has been sluggish to respond to Canada’s ongoing opioid crisis. Sixteen Canadians are hospitalized each and every day due to opioid poisonings, and the federal government has done little to curb this phenomenon. Mostly, it’s been up to cities to respond. The federal government could take action, decriminalizing heroin or cocaine would be a big step forward on this, yet we’ve seen nothing of the sort or similar. Canada’s current approach simply isn’t working and Canadians are dying. It’s time Trudeau did something about it.
5. Keeping Canada Environmentally Friendly
Ending fossil fuel subsidies was an electoral promise made by Trudeau, a move that was supposed to make Canada a greener nation. Then, when the Liberal Party budget came out, we got nothing of the sort. In fact, some fossil fuel subsidies are going to stay around until 2025 under Trudeau’s plan.
6. The Trans Mountain Pipeline
Speaking of environmental gaffs, let’s not forget about the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Here we have Trudeau showing his true colours, because while he’s all about forward-thinking and environmentalism in theory, on paper he’s a money-oriented kind of guy. The controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline is in Canada’s “best interest” says Trudeau, which is strange given the amount of Canadians who protested against the pipeline.
7. Discriminating Against Gay Men
If you aren’t a guy who sleeps with guys, you probably don’t know about a wildly discriminatory law in Canada that says, if you sleep with men, you can’t give blood. Well, you can, as long as you don’t have sex with another man for five years. Crazy to think about, but it’s true, a byproduct of HIV/AIDS hysteria. Trudeau promised to abolish this law but instead altered it slightly. The new rule is that a guy can’t have sex for a year with another man if they want to give blood. Yup, still pretty backwards and unrealistic.
8. Not Extending Parental Leave For Parents
Canada is one of the worst places to have kids, mainly because parents have such a short amount of paid time to spend with their kids. Trudeau promised to extend parental leave to 18 months, yet we’ve heard nothing on the matter since the Prime Minister came to power. Technically, Trudeau hasn’t broken this promise yet, but complete inaction (thus far) is just as frustrating.
9. Putting Canada Into Even Deeper Debt
A debt-free nation is next to impossible. Trudeau, however, did make promises when it came to budgeting and debt. For the year of 2016-17, Trudeau pledged to a $9.9 billion deficit. The deficit came to be $23 billion in that year. This year, Trudeau promised a $9.5 billion deficit, but in reality it’s probably going to be more around $28.5 billion. Spending more on Canadians is great, but when a politician does the complete opposite of what they said they were going to do, you have to call their leadership into question.
10. No Electoral Reform
Back when Trudeau was campaigning, he made a big point of saying how Canada’s current electoral system was flawed. We all agreed because the “first past the post” system makes very little sense. But then, at some point, the Trudeau government said “Nah, we’re actually going to keep things as is” and completely abandoned the promise. No one really knows why, but one could hazard a guess that electoral reform probably wasn’t all that beneficial to the Liberal Party.