BY VIDYA GOPAUL
All the newspapers that I have read all have asked the same question: Did Justin Trudeau, his defence minister, Harjit Sajjan and Katie Telford know about the sexual allegations about his top military staffer, Jonathan Vance, in 2018?
Trudeau flat out said that he heard about the seriousness of the allegation through the media, just like he said the same thing about the SNC-Lavalin scandals. He even said that the story in the newspaper was, and I quote, “false,” when it later turned out to be that he was heavily involved in that scandal from the beginning.
This Prime Minister and his cabinet members have self-proclaimed themselves as feminist Liberal Party of Canada, and yet, they have done little to help and improve the issues dealing with the issues regarding women, especially in regards of sexual harassment. So the question is — where are the leaders when you need them? It seems that Trudeau declared as a self-proclaimed feminist party to get votes and once he was/is in power. His government is nowhere to be found to help the cause of women’s issues, especially in terms of sexual harassment – which is main objective of the #MeToo movement. Once the scandal broke, his government is beating around the bush instead of addressing the serious issues of sexual harassment in the military department.
Here are some statements his government made in order to look ignorant about the issues — ” I knew about the allegations thru news media”, “I did not know how serious they were”, “I did not know who was involved” , “I had no information about it.” I do not think that he and his Liberal government, including some of his female MPs, are taking those issues very seriously.
When the members of the committee in Ottawa went in detail about those allegations, and when they were on the brink of discovering people, who were close to Trudeau were involved, his government shut down the committee to prevent further damage of the party. Even well-known women are questioning Trudeau’s brand of Liberal Feminism. One of his own MPs, Celina Caesar-Chavannes, quit because it is alleged that he yelled at and belittled her. She called him a “fake feminist.” Sabrina Maddeaux quite rightly wrote in a National Post column that, “(Green Party leader) Annamie Paul is absolutely correct. Justin Trudeau is a fake feminist.”
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland then fired back at Paul, stating she is “not a token” after being accused of serving as a “female shield” to the prime minister. In other words, high-ranking females in Trudeau’s government are turning their back to women’s issues, including sexual harassment issues. Some knew those allegations and shoved them under the rugs because they were afraid of losing the election. For example, in the case of Katie Telford, a Liberal MP knew in 2018 and purportedly made aware to her, just before the next general election, that some sexual allegations were being reported.
“I assumed this could have been a serious allegation,” Telford said at one point. “But I had absolutely no information about it.” It is sad to see that even among the high ranking female politicians are infighting to prove who is more feminist than the other: between Jody Wilson- Raybould and Carolyn Bennett; a disagreement over the word “pension” in a her twitter account; between Annamie Paul and Chrystia Freeland calling names at each other!
Here is the list of the casualties of Trudeau’s “feminism.” First came former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould and former MP and treasury board president Jane Philpott. Both were sacrificed on the altar of political expediency in favour of SNC- Lavalin, a Quebec company accused of corruption, bribery and fraud.
Then, Celina Caesar-Chavannes quit the Liberal Party. So, who is Trudeau kidding that he and this government are truly embracing feminism? The bottom line is he declared he is a feminist just to be elected as PM of Canada, and that is a very sad story considering the current state of affairs. In the end, it seems that the #MeToo movement and any other feminist movements are here to defend themselves. But how? How many times are you going hunt, chase and put the offenders of sexual harassment in jail?
I have noticed that all those offenders are very wealthy, well known celebrities, married and are easy targets. Bill Cosby (“The beloved American Dad”), Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, Charlie Rose, Sylvester Stallone, Les Moonves of CBS, Matt Lauer of NBC, casino magnate Stephen Wynn, Morgan Freeman, Robert Kraft and many others.
These men are filthy rich. They are millionaires and billionaires. The latest is Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York state, who has been allegedly charged for sexually harassing several women — and resigned over the matter in embarrassing fashion, to boot. How about the little guys who are still committing those more serious crimes than the wealthy ones — and haven’t been caught or “weren’t worthy” of catching? The issues of sexual harassment will be still a prominent issue unless we tackle them from the bottom-up — and not top-down!