GOLDSTEIN

Edmonton Sun - - FRONT PAGE - Lorrie GOLDSTEIN

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s in­creas­ingly fran­tic ef­forts to drag On­tario Premier doug Ford into the fed­eral elec­tion cam­paign blew up in his face Mon­day, and de­servedly so.

The Lib­eral plan was to have Trudeau meet­ing with teach­ers in Ottawa Mon­day morn­ing, emot­ing his con­cern about the dire state of educ­tion in On­tario un­der Ford — the PM emot­ing his con­cerns the same way he ap­plies black­face, lib­er­ally.

The news hook was to be that the prov­ince’s 55,000 ed­u­ca­tional sup­port work­ers had just gone out on strike Mon­day morn­ing, as had been widely ex­pected, clos­ing pub­lic and sep­a­rate schools in­def­i­nitely.

This would have been a golden op­por­tu­nity for Trudeau to re­turn to his favourite theme in On­tario that Ford is out to de­stroy pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion in the same way con­ser­va­tive Leader an­drew scheer will de­stroy fed­eral pub­lic ser­vices if he wins on Oct. 21.

but then On­tario ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter stephen Lecce sab­o­taged Trudeau’s plan by hav­ing the au­dac­ity to an­nounce a new ten­ta­tive con­tract with the cana­dian union of Pub­lic em­ploy­ees sun­day evening — thus avert­ing a strike.

Laura Wal­ton, pres­i­dent of cupe’s On­tario school board coun­cil of unions, even com­pli­mented the Ford gov­ern­ment for “open­ing up the piggy bank” to get a fair deal.

While that may have made fis­cal hard­lin­ers in Ford’s gov­ern­ment wince, it also left Trudeau with noth­ing to whine about on a day he hoped to be at­tack­ing Ford for a provincewi­de ed­u­ca­tion strike.

It also raised the is­sue of why Trudeau keeps bab­bling about On­tario’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, which the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has noth­ing to do with.

scheer quipped that Trudeau was prob­a­bly the only par­ent in On­tario who had been hop­ing for an ed­u­ca­tion strike be­cause he thought it would ben­e­fit his re-elec­tion cam­paign, which he cor­rectly called “quite dis­gust­ing.”

It was also hyp­o­crit­i­cal based on Trudeau’s past be­hav­iour.

In­deed, the prime min­is­ter sang a very dif­fer­ent tune in Jan­uary, 2017 when he vis­ited Nova sco­tia, where teach­ers — who were work­ing to rule against the gov­ern­ment of Lib­eral Premier stephen Mac­neil

— urged Trudeau to in­ter­vene on their be­half be­cause of his pre­vi­ous ca­reer as a teacher.

but on that oc­ca­sion, in­stead of wad­ing into pro­vin­cial ed­u­ca­tion is­sues over which he has no ju­ris­dic­tion, Trudeau was all prim and proper about the con­sti­tu­tion’s sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers, flip­pantly telling the teach­ers: “It’s great to be amongst my peeps (peeps?), but I’m a fed­eral politi­cian, so I’m not go­ing any fur­ther into that.”

In other words, Trudeau re­frained from crit­i­ciz­ing a Lib­eral premier back then, as op­posed to at­tack­ing a Pro­gres­sive con­ser­va­tive premier now, purely on the ba­sis of par­ti­san pol­i­tics. That’s yet an­other ex­am­ple of what cana­di­ans have come to ex­pect from Trudeau in power.

He sees every­thing in par­ti­san terms, in how he per­ceives it can ei­ther ben­e­fit or harm him po­lit­i­cally, with­out any set of con­sis­tent, eth­i­cal or moral prin­ci­ples to guide him.

That’s why he got into so much trou­ble in his Lavs­cam and aga Khan fam­ily va­ca­tions scan­dals.

If Trudeau cares so much about ed­u­ca­tion in On­tario, let him step down as prime min­is­ter and run for On­tario Lib­eral leader on March 7, 2020.

Then he can lead an On­tario Lib­eral cau­cus so beloved by the vot­ers of On­tario, that it cur­rently has five — count ’em five — MPPS in the leg­is­la­ture.

This af­ter the Lib­er­als turned On­tario into one of the world’s most in­debted non­na­tional gov­ern­ments dur­ing their 15 years in power from 2003 to 2018.

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