“Sunny ways, my friend. Sunny ways. This is what positive politics can do.” — Justin Trudeau
On November 4, Justin Trudeau will be officially sworn in as the Prime Minister of Canada, following a landslide victory at the largest elections turnout in 20 years.
Trudeau is a legacy child taking over as agent of change for his father Pierre Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minister, who also happens to have ushered in one of Canada’s most glorious periods. Within days of being elected, Trudeau Jr. has already begun to undo almost 10 years worth of damage left in the wake of the previous (toxic) government.
But it seems that Trudeau has captured the world’s attention not because of his political prowess but because the 43-year-old also happens to be ‘super hot’.
In fact, it seems that as of last week, the planet simply can’t stop ogling our prime minister.
Mostly, we’re thrilled to finally be known for something else besides being that really cold country located above the global superpower.
“Meet Justin Trudeau: Canada’s liberal, boxing, strip-teasing new PM”, reads one headline, while another headline asks what we’re all debating over dinner: “Is Justin Trudeau the sexiest politician in the world?”
The always accurate harbinger of truth that is E! Online has declared the new PM a “smoking-hot syrupy fox”.
Most Canadians are perfectly comfortable with the glorification of the new PM. If Trudeau Jr.’s dashing good looks is what it takes for Canada to turn a new leaf and make a new, brighter mark on the international diplomacy stage — then we’re not complaining.
This is because in the past few years, under the exiting Conservative government, Canada hasn’t been her usual punctilious and conscientious self.
In 2011, Canada signed on to and then quickly repudiated its commitment to the climate treaty, Kyoto Protocol. It was the only country to do so.
Equally bizarre was the passage of Bill C-24 — a law that allows the government to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens convicted of terrorism, high treason and other serious offences. Despite much hue and cry by public and human rights organisations, the law came into existence effectively creating a ‘second-class status’ for dual citizens leaving them somehow ‘less Canadian’ and not necessarily entitled to the same rights as Canadian-born citizens.
Perhaps the most damaging move against Canada’s image was the straining of its ties between the government and Muslim population. Even though Canadians have always highlighted multiculturalism as a core value, the past decade spent under the Conservative government has resulted in a shocking and unprecedented surge of anti-Muslim rhetoric.
In the weeks leading up to the elections, there were several instances of reported verbal and physical assaults on veiled women — actions undeniably a result of now-ex PM Stephen Harper’s attempts to vilify Canadian Muslims as the 'other' by suggesting a constant ominous threat of radical extremism.
The above is a handful of examples making it unequivocally clear that Canada is at a crossroads between fear and hope.
Will Trudeau will be the one to guide the nation out of its quagmire?
It is too soon to say.
But, if the numbers at the elections polls and the international fever pitch surrounding his victory (which has strongly resembled the change sentiment seen in Obama’s first campaign) is any indication, then Trudeau may very well be Canada’s only way to “beat fear with hope”.
So, we’re okay if our smoking hot PM now makes you want to visit our frozen country. Frankly, we’re over being the neglected sibling to America. So, if the changes promised by the new PM really do make a dent on, say, our seriously messed up immigration laws, then we will be happy to have you here.
Because even though we are responsible for Justin Bieber and Nickelback (sorry for that auditory mess), we make up for it in other ways.
We gave the world Drake, Jim Carrey and five-pin bowling. We’re friendly as hell. We pretty much invented (and own) ice hockey. And we’re so multicultural that you can go to any one of our major cities, throw a stone and hit a restaurant serving up some of the world’s finest foreign cuisine at pretty much all times of the day.
On a serious note — even though Justin Trudeau has been blessed with lovely hair, a face more chiseled than Kim Kardashian’s after a five-hour contour session, and also happens to eerily resemble a Disney prince, we want you to know that there’s more to him and us than meets the eye.
Sure, our PM has tattoos and was once a nightclub bouncer.
But he also has made us grand promises to raise taxes on the rich, alleviate the financial stress of the middle-class, run deficits for three years to boost government-spending in order to shore up a currently shaky economy, and to work on fixing the religious divide and damage left behind by the exiting government.
Believe it or not, this is why Canada voted him in.
Because Justin Trudeau’s not only bringing sexy back, he’s bringing the old Canada back.