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The Scandon’ts in Canadian politics

By in Opinions
Shawna Langer/ Graphics Editor

Since the birth of Canada in 1867, politicians have found themselves in all manners of scandal. Even Sir John A. Macdonald himself was accused of taking bribes in the early days of Canadian politics.

Although historical scandals are incredibly interesting, it’s the modern day scandals that matter to us as voters in the upcoming election. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau found himself in deep trouble regarding the SNC-Lavalin scandal, and more recently, having been caught up in an uproar surrounding blackface and brownface makeup he wore in 2001.

Of course, Trudeau isn’t the only candidate in this election that has found themselves in hot water. Andrew Scheer has been under fire due to some dubious details about his status as an insurance broker prior to his engagement in politics.

While the other leaders have been met with critique and trouble of their own — Jagmeet Singh for his ties to India, and Elizabeth May for her team’s impressive photoshop — the main attention should lie on the two leaders who have parties holding over 30 per cent of the vote.

Trudeau has been asking Canadians to forgive his instances of blackface and brownface since the news broke of his inappropriate behaviour back in 2001 when he was 29 years old. More photos from his days in high school were leaked as well.

I am all for forgiving people for stuff they have done in their youth, even the several images of his racist garb from when he was a teenager, which could be looked over as immaturity of youth.

However, at 29 and in the role of a teacher, Trudeau doning brownface for an Aladdin costume goes above and beyond the line of stupid shit. He was trusted with the role of shaping children, and then he did something rudely racist and publicly unprofessional. 

Beyond this, it truly rides the line of hypocrisy for Trudeau as somebody who presents himself as a champion of diversity. To be fair, his blackface was prior to his political career and I agree that people can change, but his lack of absolute honesty combined with the other scandal of the past two years — SNC-Lavalin for starters — is telling.

I’d say Justin Trudeau is turning out to be a lot worse of a leader than anyone anticipated. 

Now, nobody is perfect and Andrew Scheer is not one without his scandal either. Recently, he’s been under fire for some suspicious details regarding his alleged insurance salesman experience as well as his inherited status as an American citizen. 

It was revealed earlier this month that Scheer holds a dual Canadian-American citizenship and has only recently started the process to renounce his American status. He claimed that he made the decision in 2017 after being nominated as the party’s leader. However, he didn’t file to waive his citizenship until a month prior to the beginning of his election campaign in August this year.

Which begs the question of why? He has been a politician for 15 years, but he has only embraced full Canadian citizenship this year? 

Scheer claimed to have been an insurance broker prior to securing his place in politics at the age of 25, however, it appears he had never finished his courses to be a full on broker. This really puzzles me — it just seems like a silly thing to lie about given that he’s on the docket as potential prime minister of Canada. 

It’s a terrible move for the leader of the opposition. Canadians don’t want a PM who equivocates and obscures facts to try and make himself seem better, right? 

I guess the lesson to be learned here is to keep your eyes and ears open — our elected officials may never be as they seem.

Cameron Dufort

Graphic: Shawna Langer/ Graphics Editor

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