Three and a half years into Trudeau’s term — is there a single thing that Trudeau hasn’t made worse?
Just look at our relationship with China.
Now, obviously, I do not support China’s government. But I will acknowledge the obvious — Canada’s relationship with China is the worst it’s ever been.
I don’t need to remind you what they said about our guy — and this is before we had this latest fight. They call Trudeau "the little potato." And his Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland bragged about it, when it was obviously an insult.
Well, remember who Chrystia Freeland is — she’s the cabinet minister who, in a tough negotiation with Belgium, broke down into tears on camera.
How on earth does such a disaster retain her job? Let alone be voted "best diplomat in the world," by some think tank in Washington?
She attended a panel discussion that called Trump a tyrant — it really was an anti-Trump rally. She did this in the middle of the NAFTA renegotiations, and showed up in Washington wearing a weird t-shirt with bizarre messages about the negotiations. While those negotiations were ongoing.
Why isn’t anyone saying: stop this woman from wrecking things?
Chrystia Freeland’s job before becoming an MP was as a star journalist — everyone says that about her, just like they call her a star diplomat. I want to tell you about the last thing she touched as a “journalist”.
She worked for Thomson Reuters, one of the largest news companies in the world. And they were starting a new venture, called Reuters Next.
Reuters spend $20 million on it. They put 150 staff on it. It was a major project but not as major as running a government department. So how did that all work out?
Well, tonight we'll look back at that fiasco. It should have been a red flag.
For instance, here's what Buzzfeed reported. Buzzfeed is partisan and leftist, but their report on Freeland has been largely unchallenged:
How Chrystia Freeland Hastened Reuters Next's Demise
The dynamo who left Reuters to run for a seat in Canada's parliament was both the motivating force behind the wire service's ambitious digital revamp and one of the primary reasons it was killed, current and former employees tell BuzzFeed. (...)
Freeland started as just a journalist. And she hired her friends.
People who had actually run things — managers, businessmen, people who know how to do things — they were shut out.
"The project decided against using any internal resources; the belief was that they were mired in bureaucracy and they were not the team to build a new vision for editorial," the current Reuters employee said.
I think that’s exactly what Freeland and Trudeau did at foreign affairs.
Freeland and Trudeau and Butts think they’re so smart that they don’t need to ask life-long career diplomats how to do things.
When the preview and beta of Reuters Next launched earlier this year — after multiple delays — the front-end was admirably slick, delivering on the promise of a stream of content based around one story that brings in material from all of Reuters and outside sources. It impressed the Reuters board and outside critics like Nieman Lab.
But the improvements were little more than a digital mirage. Behind the scenes, none of it worked.
"We ended up working on a system that was even worse than the legacy system," the Reuters insider said.
Normally the executive responsible for such a melt-down would go into the wilderness for a bit. Maybe do some reflecting. Fade away.
Not Freeland. She failed upward — Justin Trudeau put her in charge of one of the the most important files in our country.
And she has gone about wrecking everything, one country at a time. Just like at Reuters.
Except at Reuters, $20 million into it, someone stepped in and said, “enough”.
Here we are, with China taking our hostages, Trudeau unwelcome in India, Saudi Arabia on the warpath, Trump eating our launch with tariffs and trade restrictions, Trudeau alienating Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, refusing to even congratulate him after his historic win; and you have to ask:
Just how far will she be allowed to wreck our foreign relations before we fire her?
NEXT: Speaking of Justin Trudeau's cabinet, Sun columnist Lorne Gunter says that the prime minister had no choice but to fire John McCallum after his statements about the Meng Wanzhou case.
Tonight he joins Ezra to talk about what's next.
FINALLY: Your messages to me!