It certainly didn’t take long for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take the bait from Marion Buller, the chief commissioner of the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Buller irresponsibly stated, in plainly nutty language, in her final report that Canada has and continues to practice genocide as “a continuous policy, with shifting expressed motives but an ultimately steady intention, to destroy Indigenous peoples physically, biologically and as social units.”
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Apparently, we continue to take “proactive measures to destroy, assimilate and eliminate Indigenous peoples.”
As most of the world paid homage to the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the beginning of the end of a true genocide of Jews at the hands of Nazi Germany, Trudeau boldly declared that “we accept the findings of the commissioner that it was genocide.”
Talk about being out of step.
So, with that admission of guilt we join the fine ranks of countries like Germany, Cambodia and Rwanda who have historically committed true genocide on a wide scale. What nice company to hang out with.
Retired general Romeo Dallaire was quick to put Trudeau in his place.
He said: “I’m not comfortable with that. My definition of genocide, I read it very deliberately at the start of the Rwandan genocide, and it was a deliberate act of a government to exterminate, deliberately and by force and directly, an ethnicity or a group of human beings — and that meant actually going and slaughtering people.”
Former attorney general Irwin Cotler, a prominent international human rights lawyer, warned that “I think we have to guard against using that term in too many ways because then it will cease to have the singular importance and horror that it warrants.”
Our apology-loving prime minister, who’s apologized for more past misdeeds than any other prime minister in history, may have gained a handful of votes among Indigenous people, but he has once again compromised us on the international stage.
How will Saudi Arabia react when we tweet out, as Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland did last August, that “Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia?”
To that, a Saudi responded: “Saudi is gravely concerned about the lost souls of the 1,000 indegenous (sic) women in Canada.”
Now Saudi Arabia can add that Trudeau admitted to genocide. What an ace in the hole they now have.
What about next time, we lecture China on the superiority and independence of our judiciary? All they had to hammer us back was the SNC-Lavalin affair. Now the Chinese will have a field day with our prime minister confessing that we’re a genocidal country.
Finally, when Trudeau wags his preachy finger to U.S. President Donald Trump about his anti-immigration policies, I’m sure Trump will have a blast making Trudeau eat his words. Which is worse, blocking immigration or admitting to leading a genocidal country?
Alas, the consequences of Trudeau’s blunder have already begun. The Organization of American States has written to Freeland to establish a panel to investigate the allegation of genocide against Indigenous women and girls.
Secretary general Luis Almagro tweeted out his letter: “Given evidence of genocide perpetrated against Indigenous women and girls in Canada, I have offered the creation of an interdisciplinary group of independent experts. It is necessary to clarify these allegations and achieve justice.”
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I’ll make Almagro’s job easier. They are not genocide allegations. There is a public admission of guilt of genocide by our prime minister.
The second part of achieving justice will hopefully happen Oct. 21, the date of the next federal election.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this column said the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War was recently observed. The 75th anniversary of the Allies’ victory in Europe will not happen until May 2020. This month, however, marked 75 years since D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy.