Roundup: The Canadian pathology meets Rolling Stone

Justin Trudeau was on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine yesterday, which set off the Canadian Twitter sphere along its usual predictable paths. Journalists sniffed at the overly fawning tone of the piece (dismissing it as “political fan fiction”), while also pointing out the factual errors in the piece (apparently, Trudeau leads the “Liberty Party”) and ranking its cringe-worthy moments. The woke crowd railed about how Trudeau really isn’t progressive and how much of a terrible promise-breaking failure he is. And the Conservatives, predictably, acted with usual partisan disdain, so much that it strained credulity (Lisa Raitt in particular took the bizarre track of insisting that this was more damaging to coming NAFTA negotiations than her fellow MPs racing to American media outlets to decry the Khadr settlement). So, really, it was a fairly standard day of social media faux outrage.

This all having been said, the one thing that kept going through my head while this was all going on was just how perfectly this whole thing fit into the particular Canadian pathology of demanding approval from the Americans – especially when it comes to our artists or actors. Until they’ve decamped for the States and make it there, we largely tend to treat them with disdain, that they’re some kind of Podunk bush leaguers who obviously aren’t successful enough to have left Canada yet. And yet, the moment they do go to the States and make it big, we turn around and go all tall poppy syndrome on them and tear them apart for thinking that they’re better than us, and how dare they. And this whole Trudeau-Rolling Stone thing smacked of that entirely. The Americans are noticing him, so yay, we’re on the world stage, let’s mark the occasion by writing wire stories about the story and magazine cover, but how dare he seek the spotlight, and how dare they comment on his looks, and how dare they write a puff piece, etcetera, etcetera. Same pathology entirely. It’s boring, guys. Get a grip.

Meanwhile, here’s Robert Hiltz to throw some more cold water on the whole thing.

Trudeau, incidentally, also appeared on the West Wing Weekly podcast, and John Geddes dissects Trudeau’s responses and what they all portend.

Good reads:

  • The Supreme Court of Canada rendered a pair of decisions around the duty to consult First Nations on resource projects, which concerns Indigenous leaders.
  • Here is a look at some of the fallout of the Petronas decision to kill the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.
  • The IMF says that Canada can afford to spend $8 billion on childcare spaces, because the programme would end up paying for itself.
  • While Donald Trump tweeted about banning transgender people from serving in the military, the Canadian Forces tweeted that they’re welcoming them.
  • Canada is expected to send a contingent of police trainers to Iraq post-Mosul.
  • Modernizing NORAD may mean Canada will be forced to invest in ground-based anti-cruise missile batteries.
  • Oh, look – another botched military procurement project, this time for inflatable landing craft. Botched not once, but twice.
  • National Defence is struggling with putting tax exemptions for overseas officers into place before August.
  • Here’s a look at why Chapter 19 – dispute resolution – remains an important part of NAFTA that Canada should defend in renegotiations.
  • The government has only been reimbursing about ten percent of expense claims made by those civil servants suffering from Phoenix payroll issues.
  • One Saskatchewan First Nation got its funding for new water treatment, and Carolyn Bennett says that they are on track to ensure clean water on all reserves.
  • Conservative MP Jim Eglinski has been going to his local pride parades since his grandson came out.
  • Here’s a look at Guy Caron and his proposals were he to become NDP leader.
  • Kady O’Malley can’t get answers on when the government plans to fill the growing number of Senate vacancies.
  • Andrew MacDougall is boggled by the PMO’s inability to properly come up with a decent comms strategy for scandals and outrages.
  • MacDougall also boggles at the Conservatives’ poor comms strategy on the Khadr settlement, insisting on preaching only to the converted.

Odds and ends:

Tristin Hopper walks us through French words and phrases that don’t translate like you think they would.