Justin Trudeau saw American thinking and “Russian propaganda” behind the Conservative vote
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada accused the Conservative opposition on Friday of being under the influence of American right-wing thinking and Russian disinformation, after it voted against a trade pact with Ukraine on grounds of a carbon tax provision.
Earlier this week, 109 Tory MPs voted against the proposal to update the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre called it “cruel” and “disgusting” to demand Kiev impose a carbon tax.
Speaking at a press conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland – having announced a new “green alliance” with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – Trudeau called this explanation “absurd.”
“The real story is the rise of a right-wing, American MAGA-influenced thinking that has made Canadian Conservatives – who used to be among the strongest defenders of Ukraine, I’ll admit it – turn their backs on something Ukraine needs in its hour of need,” the Liberal PM said.
MAGA is short for “Make America Great Again,” the winning slogan of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign that has been dusted off for this 2024 comeback candidacy. In addition to blaming “MAGA-influenced thinking,” Trudeau argued that the “right-wing” forces in the US and in “certain corners” of Europe were “starting to parrot Russian disinformation and misinformation and propaganda” to push for ending the Western support to Ukraine.
“All Canadians should be concerned,” Trudeau insisted, when the Conservatives “turn their backs on history, turn their backs on our friends and allies, turn their backs on the international rules-based order and our support for the UN charter on territorial integrity.”
He then announced that Ottawa would donate “over 11,000 assault rifles” and more than nine million rounds of small-arms ammunition to Kiev.
Some 1.4 million of the 40 million Canadians are of Ukrainian origin. Many of them are descendants of pro-Axis nationalists who fled after WWII, and reside in the Conservative stronghold of Alberta. Explaining his party’s vote on Thursday, Poilievre accused Trudeau of being “pathologically obsessed” with the carbon tax to the point of wanting to impose his ideology on Kiev “while the knife is at the throat of Ukrainians.”
Liberals have countered that Ukraine has had a carbon tax since 2011, as part of Kiev’s push for EU membership, and that Article 13.24 of the new trade deal was just a suggestion for further discussion. Trudeau was able to advance the proposal to a parliamentary committee with the votes of Bloc Quebecois and the National-Democrats.
You can share this story on social media: