If there is one good thing that has come out of the gloom of a global pandemic then that has to be the news of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turning a corner in his otherwise inept and insipid political career.
Trudeau, who has been bashed left, right, and centre for the large part of his previous and current tenure for his liberal-hara-kiri, leftist, and at most times fragile foreign policies, seems to have finally found his footing.
From the fancy dress debacle during the India trip to his constant political blunders in addressing the threat of illegal immigrants, the Canadians have for far long been facepalming at Trudeau’s worrisome antics.
But slowly Trudeau is making a shift. His foreign policy has come of age and if he continues on this path then someday he might even dissociate himself from the horrid domestic leftist politics. And all this sudden change happened because of a pandemic and also because of losing the non-permanent UN seat.
Dissing the Khalistan terrorist outfit SFJ
The recent example of a shift in Trudeau’s stance was calling out the joke of a terrorist organization named ‘Sikhs for Justice’(SFJ). The organization which is funded by Pakistan has been seeking to hold a worldwide ‘Referendum 2020’ to carve out ‘Khalistan’ out of Indian Punjab.
And given Trudeau’s past record where his love for Khalistan elements has been out in the open for everyone to see, the Indian government wasn’t expecting much from the Canadian.
However, Justin Trudeau and his government, in an apparent attempt to fix its ties with India, explicitly stated that it will not entertain or accept the results of the Referendum 2020.
A spokesperson of the country’s Foreign Ministry told Hindustan Times, “Canada respects the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India, and the Government of Canada will not recognize the referendum.” The statement further said that the bilateral relationship between Canada and India “is a priority for the Government of Canada.
The strong-worded statement came as a shock to everyone who has followed Trudeau’s political career. It was the same Trudeau government that had brought Jaspal Atwal during his 2015 trip to India. Atwal is a convicted assassin and former Sikh terrorist who tried to assassinate the visiting Punjabi cabinet minister, Malkiat Singh Sidhu, on Vancouver Island in 1987,
Standing up to China, cancelling Huawei
Who would have thought that Canada, under a Prime Minister like Justin Trudeau, would grow the spine to take on China? But 2020 has been such a crazy year that the unthinkable has happened.
Canada, much like the rest of the world is all set to dump China, and along with it, Huawei’s 5G technology. Two Canadian telecom carriers – BCE Inc. (parent company of Bell) and Telus Corp have decided to use equipment from Nokia and Ericsson to build their next-generation 5G networks in Canada. This effectively means that Canada has shown China the door, along with its co-opted 5G technology provider.
The show of strength by Trudeau-led Canada and its telecom major’s comes in the backdrop of escalating tensions between the two countries over the almost-certain extradition of Huawei CFO and Vice President, Meng Wanzhou to the US.
Aligning with the US and calling China for the detention of its citizens
Beijing which has been miffed with Canada for allying with the USA, as a retaliatory measure arrested two Canadian nationals named Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a businessman.
The detestable tit-for-tat measure against the arrest of Wanzhou by Canada has irked Trudeau. PM Trudeau came out all guns blazing on the Communist country and said, “If the Chinese government concludes that detaining (citizens) is an effective way to gain leverage over Canadians and the Canadian government, to randomly arrest Canadians, then no Canadian will be safe.”
The Canadian PM had a reason to be angered and he further continued saying, “To demonstrate to China that they can just arrest Canadians and they can get what they want out of Canada – even for us going against the independence of our judicial system – would be absolutely unacceptable.”
The US is now pushing for the extradition of the Huawei executive, and the extradition hearing scales are tilted heavily against Meng. Currently, she is under house arrest in Canada and despite Beijing’s pressure tactics, Trudeau is standing still.
The whole encounter has also given birth to a new dynamic in the region. Justin Trudeau has shaken hands with Donald Trump, whose domestic political turf is entirely different from that of Trudeau’s. While the USA’s traditional ally EU has been getting rebellious by the day in confronting China, the Trump administration has found a new friend in Canada.
Canada wants India now
Canada wants to get closer to India because it recently lost the prestigious opportunity to land a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.
Two seats were available in the category for member states from Western Europe and other countries, but Canada could not get a UNSC seat whereas India won one of the seats rather handsomely from the Asia region. Consequently, Canada is now trying to make amends towards India to gain more clout in the world body for any future opportunities.
Losing the Security Council seat was not exactly a catastrophe but it sure as hell told the world about Justin Trudeau and his inexplicable lacklustre foreign policy more than anything else.
It is rightly said that “Mere rhetoric of a liberal regime stands exposed when there is no concrete foreign policy in place” and for too long Trudeau had been treading on a path which was bringing nothing but disgrace to him.
Nevertheless, Trudeau seems to have come of age and it augurs well for him as countries like India will more likely be able to warmly reciprocate towards Canada if Trudeau keeps up with his newfound enlightenment path.
So far, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government have given a cold-shoulder to Canada and Trudeau especially but hopefully, the wheel might be broken now.