top of page

Michel Maisonneuve: Trudeau owes Canadians an apology for his gross mismanagement

Re-printed without permission it must be saved.

Michel Maisonneuve

Published May 16, 2024  •  Last updated May 16, 2024  •  5 minute read

Many Canadians are well aware of the myriad of apologies that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has delivered throughout his time in office. Some half-hearted apologies were issued for his own behaviour; others have been for the ills and errors of his predecessors, with no explanation of the context in which they lived.

I never would have believed I’d say this, but it occurred to me recently that he has one more apology to make — to Canadians. One more heartfelt, tearful apology for his complete mismanagement of our country. And wouldn’t it be fitting if he delivered it and then resigned in shame. That would show courage.

Let’s look at his record, beginning by asking ourselves if we’re better off than we were in 2015. At that time, Canadians traded an experienced, able and credible prime minister for a youthful, inexperienced politician with colourful socks promising sunny ways.

Four years later, the novelty had worn off and voters handed Trudeau a minority government in 2019. So incredulous and so convinced that Canadians must have made a mistake, he called a needless election two years later in the middle of a global pandemic, which yielded the same result.

Desperate to hang onto power, he then entered into an agreement with the NDP, giving the fourth-place party in the House of Commons outsized control over government policy. That disgraceful alliance has harmed all facets of Canadian life, and continues to impede on provincial authority.

Trudeau should apologize for his fiscal mismanagement. From the beginning, the prime minister promised “moderate” deficits and that the budget would balance itself. Yet all of his budgets have produced enormous deficits, and our debt has more than doubled. We spend more on interest payments servicing the debt than we do on the entire defence budget.

We’ve had the WE Charity scandal and the ArriveCan app debacle that cost taxpayers millions. Since 2015, the size of the public service has increased markedly, yet seems less efficient than ever. Veterans have faced obstacles getting benefits and long delays have been seen at passport offices. Yet these extra bureaucrats did had the time to redesign our passports, erasing our history and ridding them of any reference to our glorious past, our many heroes and our most prized monuments. We deserve an apology for that.

Today, almost nine years on, we are faced with an affordability crisis, a housing crisis and increased taxes. The carbon tax has not only increased the price of gas, it is making everything more expensive, while doing little to further reduce the inconsequential 1.5 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases that Canada produces. Our resource sector is being sacrificed by Trudeau’s obsessive fixation with climate change. The industries that employed thousands, raised our productivity and filled our coffers are due an apology.

We have a poorly thought out immigration policy, which has seen unprecedented numbers of refugees and immigrants welcomed to this country without any thought of what those numbers would do to our housing supply, our social services and our already overtaxed health-care system. Those who believed they were coming to a prosperous country to build a better life but are now homeless and unemployed are owed an apology, too. And some are regretting their decision to emigrate.

The Canadian Armed Forces are in worse shape today than during what Gen. Rick Hillier, Canada’s former chief of defence staff, called the “decade of darkness” in the 1990s. The Armed Forces are short some 16,500 personnel, have capability gaps that render Canada unprotected and are unable to contribute to international operations. The recent defence policy update talks about “exploring” remedies. It is time to stop exploring and start fixing.

Meanwhile, Trudeau has not lived up to our NATO commitment to spend two per cent of GDP on defence, and has privately stated that he has no intention of meeting it. This basically amounts to a breach of contract. It’s time to apologize to our men and women in uniform, and to our allies in NATO.

On the world stage, the prime minister invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to speak to the Canadian Parliament in the presence of a former Nazi. He promised equipment that was inexcusably delayed or never arrived at all. Due to Trudeau’s view that there’s no business case for Canadian natural gas, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was rebuffed and had to look elsewhere to replace the gas Germany got from Russia.

Canadians of the Jewish faith are dealing with the government’s lack of courage in allowing the promotion of genocide by supporters of Palestine, not snuffing out antisemitism and not standing by Israel. He should apologize for his abhorrent behaviour.

Of course, Trudeau repeatedly apologized for his behaviour as a young man when he wore blackface. Yet he refused to apologize over allegations that he groped a female reporter decades ago, saying, “I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way. But I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently.”

Since then, he has left many questioning his self-proclaimed feminist credentials. He pushed out his former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, an Indigenous woman who stood by her principles in the SNC-Lavalin affair. Former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott in turn stood by her colleague and resigned from cabinet over Trudeau’s behaviour. And Celina Caesar-Chavanne, disillusioned by what the Liberal party had become under Trudeau’s leadership, also left the fold. An apology from this fake feminist is long overdue.

Regardless of your views concerning the Freedom Convoy, it is a fact that the prime minister did not have the courage to meet with the protesters to hear their grievances, then called them fringe radicals and finally invoked a law to have these Canadians treated like terrorists.

Today he allows hate speech bellowed by terrorist supporters who march in our streets and threaten and intimidate anyone with a different opinion. All Jewish-Canadians, all peaceful protesters and all who practice true free speech without hate deserve an apology.

Because of the prime minister, our country cannot descend much lower in the eyes of Canadians and the rest of the world. As one of my friends pointed out, is it any surprise that talk of separation in my home province of Quebec is back in the news?

Never have Canadians been so divided and so devoid of hope. It is past time for new leadership who will be proud of Canada and its citizens, who will properly manage our country, its resources and its potential. We need leaders who will unite us and make us the proud and prosperous country we once were, and can be once more.

But first, let’s start with this prime minister making one more sweeping apology for his mismanagement of our country as he heads out the door.

National Post

Lt.-Gen. (retd.) Michel Maisonneuve spent 35 years in the Canadian Armed Forces and 10 more as academic director of Royal Military College Saint-Jean. He was named the 30th annual laureate of the Vimy Award in 2020.


bottom of page