Trudeau with his Indian culture overkill came across as patronizing | Shree Paradkar

It seems like everyone is piling on the gaffe-strewn trip of PM Trudeau to India. Paradkar’s is one of the best:

If apparel oft proclaims the man, then Polonius who uttered those words in Hamlet would have quite literally given our prime minister a dressing down this week. From the viewpoint of the Shakespearean character, Justin Trudeau would have broken the basic rules: his clothes were as costly as money could buy, but gaudy, too, proclaiming him unserious.

A charitable supposition would be that maybe — just maybe — since Canada is barely a blip on Indian consciousness, Trudeau decided to lean on his celebrity status to make an impression.

That much he did. So groan-inducing has Trudeau’s visit to India appeared thus far that it merits being rated as a cliched Bollywood drama.Over-the-top sherwanis and kurta pyjamas, Bhangra sequences, overly choreographed family time overdoing the namastes.

Then a touch of villainous melodrama in the form of a mistaken invitation to Jaspal Atwal, a man convicted of attempting to kill an Indian cabinet minister on Vancouver Island in 1986. Atwal was also charged, but not convicted, in connection with a 1985 attack on Ujjal Dosanjh, a former Liberal health minister and former premier of British Columbia.

That faux pas for which the Liberals apologized would be a terrible development during any official visit. On this one, it gave lie to Trudeau and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s appeasement of the Punjab chief minister’s concerns of official Canadian support for the Sikh separatist movement.

The demand for a separate nation of Khalistan is an issue that has little support among Sikhs in India. It does not enjoy unanimous support here, either.

The concerns were fair: Trudeau’s appearance at a Sikh parade in Toronto last year with yellow and blue Khalistan flags in the background and posters of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale — the leader of the Khalistani movement — was not looked upon kindly in India.

Nor would Canada be sympathetic to a visiting foreign leader who posed with Quebec separatists.

Many of the poor first impressions would have been avoided had planners simply switched Day 6 to Day 1. Trudeau, finally wearing a business suit, met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, got that equally cringe-inducing, but in this case gratefully received, trademark bear hug from Modi, and was received with state honours.

Was there really no adviser in our PMO or the Foreign Office who said before the trip, “Meet Modi first. Go easy on the clothes. Wrap up the visit in 3 days. Be prepared to deal with the separatist issue”?

Earlier in the month, an expert told Global News, “There’s no question that the whole Khalistan question will overshadow this trip.”

Then an unnamed government official told the news outlet it was not expected to be a big issue.

If he had a chance to counsel Trudeau, Omer Aziz, a former adviser at the Department of Global Affairs in the Liberal government, says he would have said, “It’s going to come up and you need to make sure you know what you’re going to say.”

Before going to India, Aziz would have suggested Trudeau make a speech in support of united India and draw comparisons to separatist movements here.

Trudeau’s trip was billed as one to bolster economic and cultural connections. Because Canada’s minorities of colour are consigned to hyphenated labels, and never viewed as simply Canadian, Canadian leaders end up viewing foreign policy through the lens of diasporic politics.

And so, Indo-Canadians and Sikh-Canadians have come to expect images of a leader’s visit to New Delhi, the requisite visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, perhaps a Hindu temple or two.

But carry it too far and the symbolism of “we care” can become tiresomely reductive.

Religious and cultural observances such as a cloth on the head may be seen as a sign of respect. Wearing clothing from the host nation could be seen as a bit of charming politicking on the sidelines of trade deals and policy development.

As a main dish, overshadowing a $1 billion trade deal, it’s unpalatable. Neither Indians nor Indo-Canadians are quite so unsophisticated as to not detect being patronized.

Aziz sees this trip as evidence that governments should hire and empower more staffers of colour who understand the complexities of the world. “Literally all this was avoidable,” he said.

For all the talk of Trudeau’s diverse cabinet, behind the scenes decision makers, staffers and bureaucrats remain monochromatic.

“I think that frankly minorities, brown folks, people of colour should say this is enough,” says Aziz. “It’s time that millennials (like me) said either you’re going to share power with us or we’re going to mobilize and you’re going to suffer at the ballot box.

“We’re not going to be treated as any one’s vote bank.

“We don’t need you talking down to us. We don’t need you to begin every single speech saying diversity is our strength. What we need is at that beginning point of our conversation we need to be treated as equals, with respect. Then we can have a conversation about policy.”

via Trudeau with his Indian culture overkill came across as patronizing | Toronto Star


Marketed Multiculturalism Makes Canada A Hostile Homeland: Sarah Beech

Some valid points but a bit over the top in words and rhetoric, and too general with few concrete and implementable suggestions:

On January 30, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Government of Canada will officially recognize the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, which began in 2015 and runs until 2024. The objective of this recognition period is to highlight and celebrate the contributions people of African descent have made to Canada. But, what does that actually mean for black Canadians?

According to Trudeau, “This means learning more about the issues that affect black Canadians, including improving research and data collection, so we can better understand the particular challenges they face.”

In some respects, additional data is needed, but the collecting of more data will not necessarily produce new ways of thinking about historic problems, like anti-black racism.

Overall, Trudeau’s remarks were lackluster, peppered with symbolism to validate Canada’s selected brand of nationalism without explicitly delineating a strategic plan or any course of concrete action. I do not expect that he or his government would have been able to release a 10-point plan, but to make an address without any definitive next steps is futile in the fight against anti-black racism. His speech, the topic and the timing (two days before Black History Month, and three years late,) appear contrived and symptomatic of marketed multiculturalism.

Marketed multiculturalism occurs when racial and cultural diversity are used by social, political and economic discourses to validate state sponsored messages, amplified by news media, that Canada is a post-racial multicultural society. This marketed myth preserves the status quo, tokenizes racialized people and obfuscates the existence of racism and anti-black racism in this nation.

Within the marketed multicultural framework, when an acknowledgement of racism is made by institutions responsible for the systemic oppression of racialized people, the surreptitious ways in which racism operates become more nuanced. The prime minister’s announcement was a representation of this phenomenon. The particulars of his speech reinforced multiculturalism in Canada more than they declared a commitment to combatting anti-black racism. While the two are not mutually exclusive, in order for either to be fully realized the commitment has to be more than just promised.

For multiculturalism to be legitimately realized in Canada, the policy needs to go beyond the page. Acknowledgements need to be met with action. Cultural inclusion, equity and other principles upon which authentic multicultural ideology is premised must not conflate performance with progress. The absence of this distinction makes Canada a hostile homeland for black Canadians, Indigenous people, racialized immigrants and other people of colour.

As politicians make (more) policy, they both have a propensity to succumb to the effects of marketed multiculturalism, where acknowledgement and accountability are systemically destined to never meet within the status quo. While accountability is not impossible, it does require all Canadians to interrupt the political performance, forgo the politeness and promote political progress for racialized people in Canada.

via Marketed Multiculturalism Makes Canada A Hostile Homeland

L’ancien chef de La Meute réplique aux propos de Trudeau | Le Devoir

Hard to know what is the best strategy: call them out and risk giving them more oxygen or ignoring them in the hope that their messages will be less heard.

But in general, whether calling people “deplorables” or “nonos” is likely unproductive; better to call out and contest their statements then label people:

Les propos tenus lundi soir à Québec par Justin Trudeau font tiquer La Meute. Le premier ministre, qui a traité les membres du groupe nationaliste identitaire de « nonos », a été copieusement insulté par l’un des adhérents de premier plan de l’organisation, mardi.

Le premier ministre n’a pas manifesté de regret d’avoir déclenché l’escalade verbale qui se lit dans un message publié sur la page Facebook publique du regroupement par Sylvain « Maïkan » Brouillette, qui taxe Justin Trudeau — sans le nommer — de « trou de cul ».

Le membre du groupe aux positions proches de l’extrême droite a affublé le chef libéral de cette épithète sous prétexte qu’il « a fait des associations et des amalgames révoltants » entre La Meute et le drame de la mosquée de Québec survenu le 29 janvier 2017.

Dans le discours qu’il a livré dans la Vieille Capitale lors de la cérémonie de commémoration de l’attentat qui a fait six victimes, Justin Trudeau a pesté contre les « racistes », ces « nonos qui se promènent avec les pattes de chiens sur le t-shirt ».

C’est ce qui lui a valu la réplique de Sylvain « Maïkan » Brouillette — qui, selon ce que rapportait Vice News en décembre dernier, a abandonné son poste de chef de bande pour redevenir simple membre de La Meute. Il a été impossible de déterminer quelle est sa position hiérarchique actuelle.

« Un nono c’est quelqu’un qui voit une patte de chien au lieu de voir l’emblème du Québec surmonté de ses valeurs de démocratie, de làïcité (sic), de liberté et d’égalité », écrit-il dans sa tirade coiffée du titre « C’est quoi un nono ? ».

« Celui qui fait des associations et des amalgames révoltants entre la Meute et le drame de la grande mosquée de Québec est non seulement un nono, mais un trou de cul », peut-on lire sur la page Facebook qui compte près de 17 000 abonnés.

L’auteur du message soutient également qu’« un nono ce n’est pas quelqu’un qui s’affirme pour défendre ses valeurs », mais bien « quelqu’un qui acceuille (sic) en héro (sic) dans son bureau un criminel comme Joshua Boyle ».

Il fait référence à l’audience qu’a accordée Justin Trudeau dans son bureau du parlement à l’ancien otage des talibans en Afghanistan qui a été rapatrié au Canada en octobre dernier, et qui est depuis sous le coup de multiples accusations criminelles.

Il réserve aussi dans cette publication quelques mots à l’intention de Philippe Couillard. Sans le nommer, il accuse le premier ministre du Québec d’être un « nono » — dans son cas, pour avoir comparé « la colonisation du Canada avec l’immigration moderne ».

Dans son allocution devant la foule réunie pour souligner le premier anniversaire de la tragédie, le premier ministre québécois s’est demandé pourquoi certains citoyens se sentaient plus Québécois que d’autres alors que leurs ancêtres sont aussi des immigrants.

« On est tous venus d’ailleurs rejoindre les Premières Nations, il n’y a que la date qui change. Et cette date ne détermine pas notre niveau de citoyenneté », a fait valoir Philippe Couillard, lundi soir, à Québec.

Trudeau ne regrette pas

Du côté d’Ottawa, Justin Trudeau n’a exprimé mardi aucun regret d’avoir eu recours au terme « nonos ». En marge d’une annonce, il a au contraire promis qu’il serait « toujours là pour dénoncer ceux qui ne sont pas en train de bâtir une société meilleure et plus ouverte à tous ».

Il a argué qu’il y avait « encore des gens intolérants à l’intérieur de notre société », et qu’il en allait de sa « responsabilité » comme premier ministre de « dire clairement quand des propos sont haineux, quand des déclarations ou des gestes sont inacceptables dans cette société ».

Le député conservateur Pierre Paul-Hus ne partage pas cette lecture ; selon lui, de tels propos sont indignes de la fonction qu’occupe Justin Trudeau. « Traiter ces gens-là de nonos, je trouve que ce n’est pas des mots qui devraient sortir de la bouche d’un premier ministre », a-t-il dit.

via L’ancien chef de La Meute réplique aux propos de Trudeau | Le Devoir

Trump’s ‘s—hole countries’ remark casts remarkable light on immigration policies: Shree Paradkar

Implications of Paradkar’s arguments is that essentially we should have a completely open door rather than managed immigration programs.

And rather than only commentary, some numbers with respect to the Haitians in Canada who were obliged to leave after the 2014 change, versus regularizing their status, would be helpful:

However, the outrage also reveals a society more eager to be scandalized by the President’s words than upset by government actions that harm those same lives for whom they are purporting to demand respect.

Trump’s words on Haiti are particularly galling, given what its citizens have endured and American and Canadian modern roles in undermining that nation’s democracy.

Trump pulled the plug on a humanitarian program that allowed some 60,000 Haitians to remain in the U.S. under special immigration status while their homeland recovered from devastating disasters.

Canada cancelled its own program of giving Haitians special status and began asking Haitians to pack their bags in 2014 under Stephen Harper. That cancellation was completed in 2016, under Justin Trudeau with little fanfare.

Yet, Trudeau is the good guy of the global immigration crisis. Remember that viral tweet that was so celebrated after Trump moved to ban immigrants from Muslim-majority countries? “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada”

Last year, poor Haitians who took Canadian goodness seriously, trying to cross unguarded points from the U.S. into Canada had the lowest acceptance rate — at 17 per cent — for asylum claimants between February and October.

Individual Canadians have been generous after the Haitian earthquake. More recently, Montrealers have been moved to help Haitian asylum seekers.

Still, the overall lack of indignation over the continued rejection of Haitians suggests a Canadian comfort with discriminatory attitudes so long as they’re not overt, Trump style.

via Trump’s ‘s—hole countries’ remark casts remarkable light on immigration policies | Toronto Star

Indigenous advocates slam Trudeau for comments about Patrick Brazeau

Ironic that the most balanced reaction to the PM’s comments appears to come  from Brazeau, not the activists. Brazeau had built up his personal narrative along the lines the PM stated and was a controversial figure to many Indigenous activists and others:

Indigenous advocates are denouncing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent comments about Senator Patrick Brazeau in Rolling Stone magazine, saying his remarks could damage the Liberal government’s relationship with aboriginal people.

In the U.S. magazine’s August cover story, which asks “Why Can’t He Be Our President?,” Mr. Trudeau describes his surprise victory in a 2012 charity boxing match against Mr. Brazeau, a former Conservative who hails from the Kitigan Zibi First Nation in Quebec.

“I wanted someone who would be a good foil, and we stumbled upon the scrappy tough-guy senator from an Indigenous community. He fit the bill, and it was a very nice counterpoint,” Mr. Trudeau says in the article. “I saw it as the right kind of narrative, the right story to tell.”

First Nations leaders say the Prime Minister’s remarks about Mr. Brazeau fly in the face of his government’s commitment to a renewed relationship with Indigenous people.

“I was actually shocked to read that coming from someone who’s been speaking about reconciliation and repairing relationships,” said Pam Palmater, an associate professor and chair in Indigenous governance at Ryerson University in Toronto.

“To read this super-arrogant, super-racist comment was really disgusting.”

Assembly of First Nations regional chief Roger Augustine, who represents New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, said Mr. Trudeau’s comments about Mr. Brazeau could undermine his government’s message.

“To describe him like that is demeaning,” Mr. Augustine said. “It’s not a professional way for anyone to talk.”

Cindy Blackstock, a First Nations’ children’s advocate and social-work professor at McGill University, said Mr. Trudeau’s comments play into a narrative about colonialization “where Indigenous peoples are the savages and the non-Indigenous people are the civilized.”

“It’s unfortunate,” Prof. Blackstock said. “He’s using Indigenous peoples to try and emphasize the good qualities about himself.

“That really reinforces a lot of negative stereotypes about Indigenous peoples,” she added.

She said Mr. Trudeau’s remarks lead to more questions about the Prime Minister’s commitment to an equal relationship with Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Mr. Trudeau recently suggested the government is not providing First Nations with the same level of funding for child welfare and health services available off-reserve because native communities do not yet know how they would spend additional funds.

“As a pattern, it’s concerning,” Prof. Blackstock said. She called on Mr. Trudeau to clarify his remarks to ensure they aren’t repeated in the future.

Robert Jago, a First Nations activist and writer, said many minority men are familiar with the stereotyping that Mr. Brazeau faced because of his race.

“It’s sad to see Trudeau not just buying into that stereotype, but using it for political gain,” he wrote in an e-mail. “If Trudeau believed in reconciliation, I’d think that he would be striving to show common cause with his fellow parliamentarians of Indigenous ancestry, not objectifying them as he has Brazeau.”

A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office said Mr. Trudeau’s commitment to reconciliation can be measured by his actions. “He has made it clear that there is no relationship more important to him – and to our government – than reconciliation with Indigenous peoples,” spokesman Cameron Ahmad said in an e-mail. This includes launching a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, which is now seen by many as troubled, as well as billions of new dollars promised for education, health and social development on reserves.

“We are fully committed to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship and to reconciliation,” Mr. Ahmad said.

Mr. Brazeau declined an interview request. In a message to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network last week about the Rolling Stone article, he wrote, “I’ll take it as a compliment.”

Source: Indigenous advocates slam Trudeau for comments about Patrick Brazeau – The Globe and Mail

Canada’s real strength? It’s not diversity: Catherine Little

Valid point regarding diversity of choice that Canada offers regardless of origins, in terms of identities (but I wouldn’t necessity place it in opposition to the general point about diversity being a strength, just a reminder that of diversity within diversity, and the importance of choice):

Recently, I have been puzzling over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments during his interview with CTV’s Your Morning co-host Anne-Marie Mediwake. Ms. Mediwake described her family’s journey to Canada and the Prime Minister stated that he sometimes felt “jealous” of immigrants. His reasoning was that immigrants got to choose Canada while those born here were Canadians by default.

I don’t think there is anything to be jealous about. No matter how we came to be Canadian, our role in strengthening this country is dependent on the choices we make everyday. As an immigrant who did not personally choose Canada but has gratefully lived here for more than 90 per cent of my life, my perspective is this: I don’t believe the diversity of the population is our country’s greatest strength. Canada’s greatest strength is the diversity of the choices the population is free to make once we are here. Our future is dependent on enough people making wise ones.

Source: Canada’s real strength? It’s not diversity – The Globe and Mail

Justin Trudeau wore our Muslim hipster socks

Although this is the kind of carefully managed public appearances that drive the opposition crazy, it nevertheless highlights the initiative and the political savvy behind Halal Socks (not to mention PMO’s ensuring that they were worn when most appropriate):

It’s no longer surprising when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s socks make headlines. There were Star Wars socks for May the Fourth, a NATO-themed pair for a leaders summit and maple leaves for Live with Kelly and Ryan. But no one was more surprised than Shehryar and Sara Qureshy to learn Trudeau would sport a rainbow-striped pair reading “Eid Mubarak” at Pride in Toronto on the weekend to mark the end of Ramadan. Shehryar and Sara are the husband-and-wife team behind Halal Socks, the Toronto-based company that produced the now famous pair. “We were totally flabbergasted,” Shehryar says. “I think Sara was screaming.” The company, which sells Islam-themed socks, only launched this month, and the ensuing attention crashed its website. Shehryar and Sara explain how it happened.

Q: How did you start the company?

Sara: Last Eid, I was trying to find something for my husband, and I was having a really difficult time finding something that was festive. I was complaining to him, “I’m having a hard time, let me know what you want.” He’s like, “You know I love socks. Why don’t you find me some socks that go with this occasion?” I searched but I couldn’t find anything, and I told Shehryar that. He’s like, “Okay, we got something here.” So that’s how it started.

Q: Are the socks really halal?

Shehryar: We actually went to different mosques, both conservative and liberal mosques, around the Greater Toronto Area, and talked to prominent leaders in our community to make sure the designs are compliant with their beliefs. There were some designs that had to be altered. We’ve got one with a mosque design, for example, and one imam who told us there’s a big community that will take this negatively, and see this as putting mosques underneath your feet. We said, no problem, let’s remove it. So we were confident that when we launch, we’ve got acceptance from these major Muslim hubs in the GTA.

Q: Tell me about the “Beard Bro” design.

Shehryar: Some of our brothers in the mosque are quite stylish. They’re rocking a clean haircut, their pant legs are high, they’re wearing tight clothes, and they’ve got nice, big beards. Sometimes we’ll joke, “How’s your beard game?” And we’re like, “My beard game is strong.” Now you’re showcasing your socks along with it. Think of this as for the Muslim hipster.

A: So how did the Prime Minister end up wearing your socks?

Sara: I got a hold of Omar Alghabra, the MP of Mississauga Centre, and we asked him if he could somehow gift these socks to our prime minister. We knew Eid was coming up and we knew he’s a sock enthusiast. We just hoped he would be willing to wear them. So Omar Alghabra got them to the prime minister. I think he really liked them because he wore them twice.

Q: Oh, he wore them before?

Sara: Yeah, the first time was last week at an event at the Muslim Welfare Centre in Scarborough. I got a video from Omar Alghabra, and I was ecstatic. The prime minister was giving a speech and mentioned the Eid Mubarak socks. He lifted up his pants a little bit.

Q: Have you seen sales pick up?

Sara: All of this amazing attention hasn’t really translated into many sales yet. But our international orders have gone up a little bit, so that proves Trudeau’s global appeal is there.

Shehryar: The Muslim population is growing around the world, and they’re getting more affluent and willing to spend money on things that appeal to them. Our overall vision is we start with men’s socks, and if this attention translates into orders, we could go into the wider Muslim apparel market, inshallah.

Source: Justin Trudeau wore our Muslim hipster socks –

Multiculturalism Day Statements 27 June: PM, Greens but no CPC or NDP

Interestingly, no statements by either the Conservatives or NDP:

Statement by the Prime Minister on Canadian Multiculturalism Day

“Today, Canadians from coast to coast to coast join together to celebrate the multiculturalism and openness that make us who we are as a country.

“Canadians come from every corner of the world, speak two official languages and hundreds more, practice many faiths, and represent many cultures. Multiculturalism is at the heart of Canada’s heritage and identity – and as Canadians, we recognize that our differences make us strong.

“Canada’s strong tradition of multiculturalism has allowed our society to benefit from fresh perspectives and find new answers to old problems. It has also helped Canada attract some of the most innovative and entrepreneurial people from around the world, showing that openness is the engine of both creativity and prosperity.

“This year, we mark both the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These milestones remind us of the values that unite us – openness, inclusion, and deep respect for our differences. Whoever we are, wherever we come from, these values bring us together as equal members of this great country.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I wish all those celebrating a happy, fun, and educational Multiculturalism Day. I invite Canadians to take part in the many activities happening across the country, and I ask all of us to work even harder to protect and promote multiculturalism. Today, and every day, let us celebrate the differences that make Canada strong, diverse, inclusive, and proud.”

Source: Prime Minister of Canada | Justin Trudeau

The Green Party of Canada released the following statement for Canadian Multiculturalism Day:

“Canada is a multicultural society with a strong history of welcoming immigrants and celebrating ethnic, religious and cultural diversity. We are proud to foster an environment where all have equal voice and opportunity to participate fully in Canadian society.

“As 150th anniversary events take place across Canada this week, we acknowledge the original and diverse inhabitants of this land and recognize that all non-Indigenous peoples are immigrants. Indigenous values of consensus-building and reconciliation are part of what makes us Canadian. But we remain acutely aware that for many Indigenous peoples, this 150th anniversary represents 150 years of discriminatory policies, colonialism and oppression. The task of the next 150 years is to achieve genuine reconciliation and justice.

“We also turn our attention to the worsening global refugee crisis. In past decades, Canada has been strengthened when we embraced those fleeing from conflict and displacement. Now, more than ever, the world needs more Canada, and Canada must welcome more of the world’s people.”

Source: Statement on Canadian Multiculturalism Day 2017

U.S., Australia have ‘very strong’ relationship despite reports of tense phone call

A reminder that despite all the preparations and efforts by the Canadian government to meet the Trump challenge, there is a high degree of unpredictability at play, and a real challenge for the first Trump-Trudeau meeting:

Australia’s prime minister said his country’s relationship with the United States remained “very strong” but refused to comment on a newspaper report on Thursday that an angry President Donald Trump cut short their first telephone call as national leaders.

At the heart of the weekend conversation between Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was a deal struck with the Obama administration that would allow mostly Muslim refugees rejected by Australia to be resettled in the United States.

Turnbull declined to comment on reports in The Washington Post that Trump had described the agreement as “the worst deal ever” and accused Turnbull of seeking to export the “next Boston bombers.”

The Boston Bombers refer to Tamerlan and Dhozkar Tsarnaev, U.S. citizens born in Kyrgyzstan, who set off two bombs at the 2013 Boston marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260 people.

Turnbull also would not say whether Trump had abruptly ended the expected hour-long conversation after 25 minutes as the Australian attempted to steer the conversation to other topics.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wouldn’t go into details about his phone call with the U.S. president, only saying ‘I can assure you the relationship is very strong.’ (David Gray/Reuters)

“It’s better that these things — these conversations — are conducted candidly, frankly, privately,” Turnbull told reporters.

Turnbull said the strength of the bilateral relation was evident in that Trump agreed to honour the agreement to resettle refugees from among around 1,600 asylum seekers, most of whom are on island camps on the Pacific nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Australia has refused to accept them and instead pays for them to be housed on the impoverished islands.

“I can assure you the relationship is very strong,” Turnbull said. “The fact we received the assurance that we did, the fact that it was confirmed, the very extensive engagement we have with the new administration underlines the closeness of the alliance. But as Australians know me very well: I stand up for Australia in every forum — public or private.”

Hours after the Washington Post story was published — and after Turnbull’s comments — Trump took to Twitter to slam the deal.

“Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why?” Trump tweeted. “I will study this dumb deal!”

Source: U.S., Australia have ‘very strong’ relationship despite reports of tense phone call – World – CBC News

More people should engage in politics so ‘no party gets to run against Muslim Canadians,’ Justin Trudeau says

Pitch perfect:

Galloway asked the prime minister for his reaction to the proposal to screen immigrants for “anti-Canadian values” put forward by federal Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch.

Trudeau did not address Leitch by name. He said he told a group of Muslim-Canadians during a recent meeting that he was happy to have them as supporters. However, he said he suggested they encourage family members and friends to also get involved in politics, whether on behalf of the Liberals or another party that aligns with their values.

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“The other two political parties have leadership races on now. I’d like to see more Canadians of diverse backgrounds engaging with parties that line up with their convictions and ideologies to make sure that no party gets to run against Muslim Canadians or any other group of Canadians and demonize them,” Trudeau said.

“And I think the way we do that is getting involved in the whole breadth of the political spectrum in Canada. I’m happy when people decide they are more aligned with me and my party, but they should also think about being active and aligned with parties that disagree with me on certain issues.”

Galloway also asked the prime minister about how his policy, which has brought more than 35,000 Syrian refugees to Canada in just over a year, contrasts with that of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump and some politicians across Europe, who advocate for a more closed approach on refugees.

“I’m not going to answer whys,” he said. “I’m just going to continue to point out the facts that the way Canada is benefiting from welcoming in people who are so deeply committed to living up to the opportunity given to them.”

He added, “I challenge any one of those governments or those citizens to sit down around a table like this and break bread and not be afraid of the other.”

Source: More people should engage in politics so ‘no party gets to run against Muslim Canadians,’ Justin Trudeau says – | Metro Morning