The Liberal convention in Halifax left Michael Harris underwhelmed. That word also describes Harris evaluation of Justin Trudeau. He does give Trudeau credit for accomplishing a few important things:
There were definitely some things to boast about. Probably the most difficult piece of legislation passed by the government was its death with dignity provisions. Trudeau and the Liberals navigated this emotional minefield with grace and courage.
The Liberals have also clearly improved the Canada Pension Plan and the Child Tax Credit to the benefit of a lot of Canadians. And Justin did vanquish Stephen Harper, as millions of Canadians who cast a strategic vote for him, had hoped he would. All real accomplishments calling for a deep bow.
Justin admitted at the convention that he and his party weren't perfect. That admission set Harris off on a tirade:
Not being perfect doesn’t quite explain the sophomoric self-indulgence of holidaying on the private island of the billionaire Aga Khan while posing as the champion of the middle class.
Not being perfect is a long way from being perfidious. Where is the personally promised electoral reform offered during the 2015 election? Gone, but not forgotten.
But it's Trudeau's broken promises on the environment which particularly irk Harris:
Trudeau broke his promise that Harper-era environmental assessments for energy projects would be replaced by valid, scientific approvals, or there would be no federal permits.
Instead, he issued permits for B.C.’s ruinous Site C dam, which has just been plagued by another landslide, and the ill-starred Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
The prime minister has openly contradicted his passionate commitment to fighting the “politics of fear and division” by fomenting those very things over Kinder Morgan’s dubious pipeline expansion through British Columbia.
He has done that by teaming up with Alberta and the national business lobby to bludgeon B.C. into dropping its environmentally justified opposition to the transportation of noxious substances (diluted bitumen) across its land and waterways.
Perhaps it is that fate of all politicians not to live up to their hype. At the moment, the opposition parties are weak. But should they find their feet, Justin may have a hard time explaining the gap between promise and performance.
Image: The Chronicle Herald