After the election, Justin Trudeau planned to focus on domestic issues. Jason Kenney, in particular, was hell bent on concentrating the prime minister's attention on Alberta. But Susan Delacourt writes that Donald Trump is making it difficult for Trudeau to do that:
From the moment that Trump entered the White House in 2016, he has been knocking Trudeau — and Canada’s foreign policy — off track, often dangerously so. Free trade negotiations with the U.S. ate up much of Trudeau’s first mandate. The ongoing extradition drama over Meng Wanzhou — linked to Trump’s own battle with China and Huawei — has blown up Canada-China relations.
Now Canada has been drawn into Trump’s new tinderbox of the Middle East, not to mention Ukraine, which has figured largely in the president’s impeachment drama.
Even before the plane crash, Trump’s foray into Iraq last weekend forced many Canadian troops to decamp from their NATO training mission in the country and seek safe haven in Kuwait. It remains an open question when Canada can resume this NATO role.
Chrystia Freeland was assigned to navigate the storms at home. And she can still do that. But Trump is the Disruptor-in Chief. He's more than a disruptor. A friend of mine calls him a weapon of mass destruction:
Trump’s penchant for surprising behaviour has been rippling across the planet since his inauguration. Trudeau — and Canada — has had to learn to manage it. If the prime minister ever does write a book about his experience in governing, he may need to put Trump in the title, or at least a subtitle about best-laid plans and the disruptor-in-chief.
A few years ago — well, even a few days ago — very few people would have predicted that a plane crash in Tehran would force us to look at Canada’s relations with the United States. But this is life in Trump’s rough neighbourhood, where Canada keeps getting caught in the crossfire: this time, as the president would say, devastatingly.
Disruption is everywhere these days. Navigating through the rubble will not be easy.
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