Many thought the suave and sophisticated Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, had easy way up the political ladder being the son of a two time prime minister.
His father Pierre Trudeau dated Hollywood icon Barbara Streisand during his first stint, as a bachelor, in the late 1960s. Today his eldest son, Justin is in trouble over his father’s political legacy. However it has got nothing to do with Streisand.
During his second spell in the 1980s Pierre Trudeau clashed with the head of Canada’s Alberta province over oil ownership. Trudeau demanded that the oil-rich Alberta should share its oil profits with other provinces. For this he earned the wrath of the natives of Alberta and its provincial government even went to the extent of cutting down oil production to by-pass Trudeau’s demand.
The late Trudeau, who was known as an intellectual, remained an extremely popular prime minister in all other provinces and territories while Alberta never quite reconciled with his memory.
Nearly four decades after senior Trudeau’s tussle with Alberta, today his son is paying the price for that.
“We already know you always hate Alberta” was the one liner that Alberta natives used when they took to twitter to troll Justin Trudeau after his slip up – omitting Alberta in the list of provinces in the speech he made at the Canada’s 150 anniversary celebrations held on Saturday.
It was just unfortunate that the PM forgot Alberta of all provinces in his innocuous bid to offer an ownership to people in all ten provinces by calling out the names of all. Ironically Alberta had been in his speech script too and the prime minister had reportedly used a tele-prompter for the oration. It is assumed that the premier would have looked away from the prompter during that part of his speech.
When the mistake was pointed out to Trudeau by a broadcast host, he made it a point to correct it before the event was wound up. “Let me just start by saying I’m a little embarrassed. I got excited somewhere over the Rockies…Alberta, I love you” the prime minister told the audience.
It would have been a pardonable slip up in any national leader’s speech. Even in the case of Trudeau it would not have looked bad if it had been another province. However for people in Alberta which is known to have a strong opposition following to Trudeau due to his father’s legacy, it was a big insult.
The natives of Alberta took to twitter as if the omission was intentional. They not only reminded him of their existence, but also the tussle the province had with his father.
If Alberta spoilt Trudeau’s day there was someone who made it. It’s none other than Donald Trump. “Happy Canada Day to all of the great people of Canada and to your Prime Minister and my new found friend Justin Trudeau” the US President tweeted on the same day.
Coming from a President who is better known for making enemies than friends, Trump calling Trudeau his friend, after all the recent ups and downs in the US-Canada ties, analysts feel, is quite an achievement for the Canadian Prime Minister.
Among the many clashes between the two leaders was Trudeau’s appeal for seven Muslim nations immediately after Trump’s travel ban. “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. Welcome to Canada” Trudeau tweeted in January.
Maintaining healthy relations with the US leadership is almost mandatory for its northern neighbour. “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt” the senior Trudeau had once said. With Donald Trump’s grunts giving shock treatment to the entire world every passing day, there’s no way his next door neighbour Justin Trudeau getting immune to them.