Canadians are fond of imagining ourselves as progressive. We’ve been patting ourselves on the back since the 2015 election for voting in a government that promised to open the doors to refugees and take action on indigenous rights.
But now that the time has come to take action on those promises, that bright image is hard to hold onto. The start of 2017 was marred by the revival of the Keystone XL pipeline, tightening restrictions on refugees and the horrific Quebec City mosque shooting by a Canadian white nationalist.
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Trump, people were quick to paint them as polar opposites. It’s a familiar story. Every selfie Trudeau takes adds to his public image as the progressive answer to a conservative political climate, even though his policy track record is nothing to get excited about.
Don’t let the popularity of Justin Trudeau’s telegenic liberal mug distract you — nationalism is on the rise in Canada, and conservative politicians seem to be jumping onboard.