The inference was that Islanders should be thankful for this, after all he could have just as easily been in the Caribbean visiting his friend the Aga Khan.
There is no denying his charisma and his popularity, but his bubbly style-conscious demeanour is starting to wear a little thin, especially with the national media who have gone from gushing over his every utterance to commenting on his sock fetish.
A recent column is the Toronto Star, a newspaper long considered an organ for large ‘L’ Liberalism, noted that:
“In the last six months, according to one database search, the words “Justin Trudeau” and “socks” have appeared in 463 major media stories. Our Prime Minister is getting reduced to hosiery. He is a literal sock puppet.”
And this from a recent New York Times article, “Mr. Trudeau’s socks have begun to take on a life of their own, chronicled, and mostly celebrated, by observers everywhere.”
A leader with a sock fetish is eminently preferable to one with a penchant for tweeting messages that only have a passing acquaintance with the truth.
Truth be known, Trudeau-the-Younger is to be commended for the manner in which his government is dealing with the impetuous leader of the Free World. The reaching out and seeking advice from Donald Trump’s friend and Florida neighbour, former prime minister Brian Mulroney, was an astute move, as was the decision to lobby the President’s daughter.
Few have bemoaned the fact that President Trump has broken the tradition of making his foreign visit to Canada as a way of testing his diplomatic skills. (The words diplomatic and President Trump in the same sentence seem to be an anomaly.) After his visit to the Middle East and Europe, the President’s handlers maybe questioning the wisdom of forgoing the trial run to Ottawa.
The Trump effect is playing out in a couple of ways on the Island this summer. There has been a slight increase in European tourists, but significant increase in visitors from Quebec and Ontario, particularly among ethnic Canadians, who don’t want the hassle of crossing the American border.
Not that any of this was a factor in the Prime Minister’s visit to the Island which didn’t seem have any real rationale to it, other than being on a list of obligatory, but not essential summer things to do.
However, that said, the one rationale for the visit, particularly to the Cardigan district, might have been to dispel rumours of Lawrence MacAulay, the minister of agriculture, being dropped from the cabinet.
A few weeks ago, when the planning for this visit would have happened, rumours of a summer cabinet shuffle were rampant in Ottawa. Prominent among those expected to be dropped was Mr. MacAulay because he didn't match the supposed desire to have a diversified group representing modern Canada.
However, that overlooks a couple things that Mr. MacAulay brings to the table, even if all you are striving for is diversity. He is one of only three or four farmers among the 184 Liberal MPs, and while not necessary, for optics sake it’s nice to have someone with a farm background in the agricultural portfolio. He is an experienced and steady hand on the wheel, with credibility in the farming community. Mr. MacAulay is also very representative of an important demographic. He’s old and white, and comes from a region of the country with the highest percentage of seniors and the fewest number of immigrants.
The Prime Minister’s office has said there will be no cabinet shuffle this summer. However, there’s now talk in some circles of Trudeau-the-Younger proroguing this session of Parliament and coming back in the fall with a new Throne Speech and a new Cabinet.
Happy Canada Day.
- Alan Holman is a freelance journalist living in Charlottetown. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org