|Montreal, December 20, 2003 / No 135||
by Pierre Lemieux
One of the small but noticeable events in Québec in 2003 was the renaming of Montréal's Dorval Airport the "Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport", after the man who ruled Canada from 1968 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984. If I were a collectivist, I would be ashamed to be a French Canadian after that statocrat. Thinking about it, if I were a collectivist, I could put the blame on his mother, who was English Canadian. But thinking about it twice, Trudeau was not a French Canadian anyway, but a Québécois, that is, a French-Canadian-turned-statist-in-the-sixties, which I am not, anyway.
At any rate, I am not a collectivist, as some of my readers might have noticed. So my approach will be individualist, even if I will take some liberties with the "we" and the "us."
As life becomes more politicized and, thus, more conflictual, naming and especially renaming public places after dead rulers becomes more controversial. This was not the opinion of the federal Transport minister who said that Pierre Elliott Trudeau "wasn't controversial." "I spoke with Sacha Trudeau [Pierre Elliott's son] a couple of times," he admits, which is quite normal in a hereditary democracy.
So, Mr. Trudeau was not controversial? Let's see.
Trudeau gave us...
He gave us Mirabel Airport, expropriating hundreds of farming families for reasons of state and, ultimately, for nothing at all since the airport closed two decades after haven been carved out from private properties.
He gave us Big Brother. When he arrived in the federal cabinet, federal expenditures amounted to16% of national income, and the budget was roughly balanced. When he left, federal expenditures had shot to 25% of national income, and federal budget was in deep deficit. It is one of the ironies of history that he left power in 1984, although he must be admitted that his successors generally continued his soft orwellianism with a vengence.
He gave us a new Canadian constitution that entrenches the idea of redistribution, of stealing from Paul in Alberta to give to Pierre in Newfoundland. He gave us a new charter of rights, which ignores property rights, and essentially grants privileges to politically correct minorities.
He gave us cultural protectionism and nationalism, turning the mediocre culture of free men into a mediocre-squared culture of state wards. He gave us a federal state which is as strikingly red-nationalist as the Québec state is blue-nationalist.
He gave us Medicare, which forbids competition from private insurance, consumes more than $2,000 per Canadian resident per year, and generates waiting lists that only the local Nomenklatura can jump.
He proclaimed the War Emergency Measures Act, and gave power and pride to the police, defending RCMP cops who had committed illegal acts.
He gave us diversity, that is, privileges for politically-correct groups and quiet, supportive state clienteles, while unpopular minorities bend under the weight of state regulations and prohibitions.
He gave us all kinds of slippery slopes, including the first significant gun controls of our four centuries of history, which led to the gun control law of 1991, and to the new infamous one of 1995. The recent project of a national ID card was in direct continuity with the gun owner registry, except that it will turn all Canadians into spied-upon virtual gun owners.
He gave us Marc Lalonde, who, after creating Petro-Canada, went on to organize the anti-smoking jihad, and wrote: "The spirit of inquiry and scepticism [sic], and particularly the Scientific Method, so essential to research, are, however, a problem in health promotion. … many of Canada's health problems are sufficiently pressing that action has to be taken on them even if all the scientific evidence is not in."
He gave us Jean Chrétien, who has faithfully pursued his mentor's work of destruction. And so on, and so forth.
In brief, Pierre Elliott Trudeau destroyed Canadian liberties. He destroyed what this country was and what it promised to be.
Or am I too generous? At the time when Pierre Elliott Trudeau started wielding power as a politician, the same phenomenon of state growth was happening in all Western democracies. Trudeau only did against Canadian liberties what other heads of state were doing against their own peoples. In a sense, he was a nobody, and nothing would have been different had he just remained the wealthy dandy he was. Perhaps the Canadian king would have had less panache, and simple girls would have dreamt of other frogs, but somebody else would have done his dirty job.
But Trudeau does remain a powerful historical symbol of our decadence. And it is alas good state propaganda to force us to pronounce his disgraceful name each time we will want to mention Dorval airport.
|<< index of this issue||