Trudeau's made a blunder of our international relationships

If Trudeau wants to be a global advocate for Western values, he needs to abandon his penchant for virtue-signalling and learn to take a stand in real life.

(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

By: Candice Malcolm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approach to foreign policy has been nothing short of shameful. After Trudeau was elected, he smugly told the country that “Canada is back” on the world stage. No longer would Canada strive to be a principled leader on moral issues. 

Instead, Canada would go back to its meek role of a global “middle-power,” as minister Chrystia Freeland put it, and a so-called “honest broker” on the world stage. 

The bureaucrats in the department of foreign affairs swooned over Trudeau and his decision to revert Canada to its stale old self. When Trudeau first entered the Pearson building, home to the supposedly non-partisan foreign service, he was given a rock star welcome. 

The building’s lobby was packed with adoring bureaucrats applauding Trudeau’s election victory and leaning in for selfies with the celebrity PM.

For those of us who aren’t partisan members of the Liberal Party, it was a national embarrassment.

But after all the fuss about Canada minding its own business and seeking middle ground with our adversaries — be it communist dictatorships or Islamist theocracies — Trudeau has managed to make a blunder of Canada’s international relationships. 

In just three years, Trudeau has made international headlines for disputes with countries ranging the spectrum; China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and our once closest ally in the U.S. 

Trudeau has bizarrely insisted on tying Canada’s trade deals to his leftist pet causes, including feminism and global warming. In response, Canada is now being excluded from trade negotiations over the future of NAFTA. 

After criticizing former Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his foreign policy approach, which deliberately promoted Western values, Trudeau has fumbled down the same path — with much less success. 

Harper would criticize you to your face; Trudeau does it behind your back — or, in the latest case, by virtue-signalling on social media. 

This brings us to our current spat with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

The Saud royal family runs an Islamist dictatorship with few redeeming qualities. Its penal code is among the most regressive in the world, rivalling ISIS for its brutality and unwavering commitment to Sharia Law.

Freedom of religion simply doesn’t exist in Saudi Arabia. Churches are banned, Christianity is forbidden and criticizing Islam can lead to a beheading in the town square. 

Saudi Arabia shamelessly exports its medieval ideology around the world, by funding radical mosques and radicalizing Islamist centres and schools throughout the West. 

Fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers who murdered nearly 3,000 civilians in 2001 were Saudi citizens; a 2016 report revealed that several of the hijackers received assistance from individuals connected to the Saudi government. 

This makes the now-deleted Saudi government-linked tweet — showing an Air Canada plane headed towards the CN Tower — all the more despicable. 

But Canada has long been willing to turn a blind eye to Saudi barbarism, including under the former Harper government. Not only do we sell military equipment to the Saudi regime, we also rely on their oil.

Canada should be exporting our own oil, but instead, we import some 87,000 barrels of Saudi oil per day.

If Trudeau wants to be a global advocate for Western values, he needs to abandon his penchant for virtue-signalling and learn to take a stand in real life. 

Rather than sending passive and critical tweets, Trudeau should stop importing Saudi oil and immediately halt the flow of cash to Saudi-funded schools and Islamist centres in Canada.