Scheer shows us how it’s done in In­dia

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - OPINION -

Some­thing re­mark­able hap­pened in in­dia the past few days. a promi­nent canadian politi­cian toured the coun­try and even met with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi wear­ing just a busi­ness suit and con­duct­ing him­self in a ma­ture and dig­ni­fied man­ner.

con­ser­va­tive leader andrew Scheer is in in­dia to talk trade and pro­mote ship­ping canadian oil to in­dia from New brunswick via a re­vived tran­scanada’s en­ergy east pipe­line.

back in Fe­bru­ary, Prime Min­is­ter Justin trudeau’s pop­u­lar­ity took a hit af­ter the world me­dia panned the PM as a se­ri­ous world leader fol­low­ing his tour of in­dia. trudeau em­bar­rassed him­self and the coun­try by dress­ing up in at­tire be­fit­ting a bol­ly­wood bride­groom and gen­er­ally mak­ing a spec­ta­cle of him­self.

it was one of the more bizarre forms of cul­tural ap­pro­pri­a­tion and eth­nic pan­der­ing com­mit­ted by a po­lit­i­cal leader in a long time. and the in­dian pub­lic didn’t ap­pre­ci­ate his charm of­fen­sive.

Scheer is by his own ac­knowl­edge­ment on the trip mostly to high­light this con­trast. in fair­ness, his trip is largely for do­mes­tic con­sump­tion — es­pe­cially for canadian vot­ers of in­dian her­itage — as much as it to re­pair re­la­tions with in­dia.

yet Modi, who snubbed trudeau when he showed up in New delhi, clearly felt it worth his time to sched­ule Scheer in and forge a re­la­tion­ship with the man who might be our next PM.

and it’s only nat­u­ral for canada and in­dia to fur­ther strengthen ties. Modi pledged to work to­ward a free-trade deal with canada sev­eral years ago and we should urge him along on that project. Mean­while, the no­tion of ex­port­ing our oil to in­dia’s mar­ket via our east coast should be se­ri­ously pur­sued.

Scheer’s balanced visit though isn’t just about trudeau’s in­dia trip. it’s about how poorly the lib­eral gov­ern­ment has been en­gag­ing in diplo­macy in gen­eral.

Our spat with the Saudis was un­nec­es­sary. trudeau’s in­ces­sant virtue-signalling on gen­der and other is­sues has caused headaches with both TPP and NAFTA talks.

and For­eign affairs Min­is­ter chrys­tia Free­land par­tic­i­pated in events liken­ing u.S. Pres­i­dent don­ald trump to a tyrant. thank­fully, we still made it out of the USMCA talks rel­a­tively un­scathed.

how our lead­ers con­duct them­selves while rep­re­sent­ing our coun­try mat­ters.

in trudeau, we’ve seen a leader fo­cused on im­age, ide­ol­ogy and the­atrics.

Scheer re­jected the flash, and acted like a diplo­mat.

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