I sat with the Prime Minister at Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal last Thursday.
This was before the meeting of the first Ministers, a meeting that turned out to be a lot of talk about the tension, but not many consequences for all who talk.
This is not one of these interviews at the end of the year; this is an interview I'm trying to get for some time. He's busy, that's understandable.
But since we are less than a year away from the election, we are sitting with the current prime minister and his rivals for this job. The purpose of the interview was not to react to the news of the day, but rather to reflect a little on the decisions he made, to defend them and explain them.
You can judge how good a job is in answering these questions.
Over the next few weeks, we will be conducting other interviews with other leaders to help Canadians understand what these leaders and their parties are and when the time comes, how to decide who best represents your values and priorities
RB: It's good to see you.
PMJT: It's good to be here Rosie.
RB: How are you?
PMJT: Very good.
RB: Okay. I'll start with where you were around this time last week at the G-20 and signing the new NAFTA, so I call it. I know you can claim that tariffs and trade deals are not the same thing that they are two separate things, but I think you have had some influence with the United States and you will not get it again. Why did you sign it, even with the tariffs still in place?
PMJT: I think we primarily guarantee that we provide access to our most important trading partner for business, for our workers, our Canadian economy is essential, and the alternative to failure to provide would have set what we have reached the conditions of signing a really important a trade deal with the United States at a time of immense protectionism and uncertainty. I want to say that investors and businesses are extremely happy to have decided on the NAFTA.
RB: Of course.
PMJT: The question of leverage is the one we have to think about. I want to say that we obviously want to get rid of the steel and aluminum tariffs, we must continue to defend our workers, but we also see the way for ratification as a place where there are lengthy conversations from members of Congress, business or associations in the US, by governors who also want to see these tariffs, and we will continue to work on this.
RB: So this is the lever, trying to press people around him or the people in Washington?
PMJT: At every step in the way levers continue to work, we will continue to do what the Canadians expect from us, which is to look at every opportunity to stand up for our interests.
Watch Work to Discuss Tariffs:
RB: When you jumped to a press conference to the president and said at one point, "Donald, even more reason to get rid of those tariffs," you give it to your head that you will do it or not just think you should publicly exhort it thus.
PMJT: No, I talked to him a while ago, and a couple of days ago I had talked to him, and he was impressed how important it was for us to get rid of it, to get rid of these tariffs between our two countries. There is no point in moving ahead with free trade and we still have tariffs, especially those that are justified in national security, which makes no sense when it comes to Canada.
RB: Okay, but we did, we went ahead with free trade, and we dropped the rates on the spot. So, what is the way forward to get rid of them?
PMJT: Continue to engage with a wide range of US partners, congress members, business leaders, and workgroups who know that these tariffs as well as all tariffs harm consumers and workers on both sides of the border.
RB: There was something there after it was done when the US ambassador said we would probably send someone with a bag over his head at a signing ceremony. Why did you feel the need to play along with this, given that it was so difficult, sometimes personal, why give the President this time to respect the trade deal?
PMJT: Oh, Canadians do not want to do this personally, Canadians want to make sure that I do what is right for Canada and it is right for Canada to move forward with guaranteed NAFTA – that's what I heard from Canadians across the country . This is what people of all political origins and of all industries work together for. Our united approach to NAFTA has made a huge difference around the negotiating table and we have a better deal than we otherwise would have.
Watch the whole interview with Justin Trudo:
RB: Yes, but you did not have to stand next to him to sign it. It would happen if he stood there or not, so …
PMJT: Actually, there was a signing ceremony and we were glad we could say "look, we worked very hard, there is work on tariffs, obviously we have to stand up for steel and aluminum workers, but we have secured free trade with The United States, and that's a big thing, not something. "
RB: You said the president was unpredictable, you said he did not play the rules, could you give me an example how this affected your work as a prime minister, having one that is so unpredictable?
PMJT: I think, as the Canadians have seen, we were still constructive in our relationship with the United States. This means that we certainly do not react or exaggerate when we get a surprise in a tweet or statement. We continue to say that the relationship seems to be greater than that between two people in the country's heads and we will continue to focus on this relationship, and this is between Canadians and Americans. This approach takes us well.
RB: But it certainly made your job harder.
PMJT: Being Canada's prime is a challenging job anytime, and there are always personalities and challenges on the world stage that you have to deal with. I used to adapt to surprises on the world stage, not just in the United States. This comes with the territory.
RB: Has it become easier with the president?
PMJT: I think we certainly have a level of mutual understanding that has evolved, working together, tackling this decision for this great work on modernizing NAFTA. So there's a little more understanding of what our people are and how we can work together.
RB: But will not you go out with him?
PMJT: Canadians expect me to be a professional around this and I will continue.
RB: I want to move to another thing that happened in the G20 when you spent some time meeting the Saudi prince. Saudi crown prince, MBS. You raised the question of Raif Badawi, his sister Jamal Hsonghi and the war in Yemen. How does the leader respond to another leader who is approaching him and says, "Listen, we have some problems here, I need you," whatever you ask. How does he answer?
PMJT: I think it depends to a large extent on the way things are formulated, and my framework in all the world's scenes is that Canada wants to help us move on to a better place as a planet and to stress our concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen includes a proposal on "It seems Canada wants to be useful", whether through the UN, with our allies. There are people who suffer and die, we want to be useful.
So it is "a look, we must see a cease-fire, we certainly want to work with you in the international community to get to this cease-fire and be able to run humanitarian aid." This is never a situation for you, knowing that we can stand there and say to another country what to do or how to do it. She says, "Look, it would be great to do this and we could be useful in progress in a constructive way." I think Canadians try to make it on the world stage at all levels.
RB: I see how this conversation will happen in Yemen, less obviously how it will happen to Jamal Hs.
RB: How do you say to Prince Krona that we are sure you have been involved in the murder of an innocent journalist.
PMJT: Well, we say we need better answers for that. We need better accountability. The murder of a journalist is something that is extremely serious for Canadians, for me. But I get many questions from Canadians who, like the citizens of the world, are really busy, outraged by what happened. We need, as a global community, to provide better answers to citizens.
RB: His answer to you, saying that, knowing what you know about the reason behind it?
PMJT: His answer is: "Look, we are happy to continue working and get more information and more evidence, and if you have proof or information, keep it going.
RB: Do you look at your eyes at this moment?
PMJT: Being a world stage leader involves the ability to engage with all types of people without leaving personal feelings to take on their involuntary movements.
RB: Have you heard the tape or were you aware of what this tape is?
PMJT: I was informed about what the ribbon is.
РБ: And what was that?
PMJT: Obviously something that intelligence communities have taken, listened to and worked on, and is part of our reflection on getting real answers.
RB: Can you characterize it for me?
PMJT: I will not characterize it, no.
PMJT: I will not characterize it.
RB: You have also made it clear to the Crown Prince that Canada is advocating for human rights. How can you tell this, knowing that we still sell these light armored cars? Is not there a contradiction in this?
PMJT: This is a matter not only for Saudi Arabia but also for a wider range of countries that have different levels of defense human rights than Canadians and Canadians expect. Whether it's China, whether it's Russia, whether it's Saudi Arabia, whether it's other countries in the world that are not so far away from the LGBT defense rights or others.
We are trying to find constructive ways of having relationships that will make us very honest about human rights where we disagree, where we think we could be useful in improving things, while looking for a way where do not shake your fist on someone and say, "you have to change", expecting that only that will change them.
RB: No, not only that, but Germany did it. Germany said, "We are no longer willing to do that."
PMJT: We are very busy with the problem behind the scenes, looking at export permits and looking for ways forward.
RB: Can not Contract Terminate?
PMJT: There is about that reflection.
RB: What does that mean?
PMJT: This means we are in discussions about what to do with our long-term economic relations with Saudi Arabia.
RB: Exactly so I'm clear, the contract can be broken. Its possible.
PMJT: As I have emphasized, there are special provisions in the contract, both for confidentiality and about significant sanctions. It was a treaty signed by the previous government, and we are obviously watching it.
RB: OK. Let's turn to what will happen this week – the meeting of the first minister. You are about to go to this meeting with a bunch of people you probably do not know too that I'm not going to be characterized as your followers in particular. You have four provinces that have not complied with the carbon tax, now you are imposing on them.
It also appears to be more co-ordinated and actively working against you on the carbon tax. How harder it is to sell this to the Canadians, knowing that there are those other people who claim this is the wrong thing.
PMJT: One of the questions that people asked me about are: Considering the context and yes, the real disagreements around the first minister's table likely to emerge, I would like to take a page from Stephen Harper's book and decide to remove the meetings of the first minister? And the answer, of course, is "no". I think it is very important to sit down and be able to look at people in the eye and talk constructively about how we serve the citizens that we are all here to serve.
There will be things we agree to, there will be things we do not agree with, and if there are such conversations, although some will be more difficult than others, and some years will be more difficult than others, it will still be something that I think the Canadians are justifiably expecting from their prime minister. I am glad that this is our fourth year in this regard and I will continue to think and meet with the Prime Ministers every year because this is really important for our Federation.
RB: I get this, but it was not the question. The question was: is it harder to sell the carbon tax when you have premieres that claim to be the wrong thing?
PMJT: I think the fact that there is a bunch of conservatives who have decided that pollution is to be free is not that hard to resist. I think the Canadians understand that we need to fight climate change, prepare our economies for the future and ensure that we support the Canadians during this transition. That's exactly what we do, that's exactly what our plan is.
We are imposing a price on pollution because we want less pollution and the fact that the conservatives in this country do not want to move forward by fighting climate change or helping people to ensure that we can get good jobs in the future, is a conversation I'm ready to have at all times. The political machinations around me that the conservatives of Andrew Scherer, Doug Ford, to others are trying, are really off the base where my conversations with Canadians are.
RB: I think Canadians are also worried about climate change. I'm not sure, however, that they are willing to give up the comfort of their lives because of climate change. which is something you offer, right?
PMJT: No, but that is exactly what we are doing to get a price tag for pollution, we also have to ensure that ordinary families in the provinces where the federal government has to bring a price for pollution cause the conservative government to win. that these families are actually better, better supported. What we do with the incentive for action in the climate area is to ensure that a family in Ontario, which will have extra costs because of the cost of pollution, will be more than compensated for it.
Q: What is your hope about how these people change their behavior and how do you know how quickly this will happen?
PMJT: Well, I think we know that when you put a price on something you do not want …
PMJT: As a contamination.
PMJT: Well, we're setting a price for pollution, right?
RB: It's a tax, but it's good.
PMJT: And we take care, we will act, the money goes straight into the jurisdiction. This is not happening in the federal funds. This is not something we will spend on something else. In fact, we are returning this money to the citizens in the province where they were raised because we know that if you make pollution freely, people will give more than that.
This is quite frankly what the Conservatives want to do. They want to get rid of pollution again, to use a comfortable phrase. We say that no, if you want to pollute, there must be a price related to it.
RB: Still, we have seen politically, I think he is your political ally, Emanuel Macron, facing this issue over the past few weeks. He put his rite of fuel, riots on the street, and he had to go down. What lesson did you learn to watch this?
PMJT: He did not provide the second part of it, you put a price on pollution because we want less pollution, but also make sure that ordinary Canadians will be able to afford this transition to a lower carbon economy.
RB: So the discount is the difference?
PMJT: Отстъпката, подкрепата за семействата, защото хората се притесняват за бъдещето, притесняват се за промените в климата, притесняват се и за работата на децата си и за пенсионирането си. Убеждаването, че подкрепяме семействата през това време на прехода, е основна отговорност за всяко правителство. Това е в основата на нашия подход, това не е това, което можем да видим за подхода на консерваторите, и това не са онова, което другите страни са направили.
РБ: Така че, когато консерваторите и други хора, когато говорят за пътуващите по-специално, хората, които живеят в предградията около Торонто, които трябва да карат много, трябва да носят своите детски места, всичко това, ще бъдат натоварени най-много. Смятате ли, че отстъпката означава, че тя ще бъде съвсем различна, че не е нужно да се притеснявате или очаквате, че хората ще почувстват притискане, когато започне да се случва, когато започне да се изкачва?
PMJT: Не, средното семейство ще бъде по-добре с отстъпката под това, което правим. Но това не е всичко, което правим, очевидно. Ние инвестирахме масово в обществения транспорт, инвестираме в по-чисти енергийни източници, в възобновяеми енергийни източници, в чисти технологии и правим исторически инвестиции, за да гарантираме, че работните места в областта на иновациите, като се придвижваме към нисковъглеродна икономика , са предни и централни.
РБ: И все пак Обединените нации твърдят, че повечето от страните с големи емисии, включително Канада, не са на път да изпълнят Парижките цели, нито една страна от Г-20 не е всъщност. Така че вие правите това и това не е въздействието, което ООН иска да види. Те призовават за по-спешност. И така, как реагирате в лицето на това? Ускорявате ли това, което правите? Променяте ли това, което правите?
PMJT: Страните по света търсят, с голям интерес, как Канада се движи напред, като поставя цената за замърсяване и подкрепя обикновените граждани чрез този преход. Това е модел, който много хора много, много се интересуват, защото това е модел, който ще ни постави на път да постигнем нашите Парижки цели.
РБ: Е, ООН казва не. ООН твърди, че няма да се случи.
PMJT: Ще можем да постигнем тези ангажименти.
PMJT: Чрез цената на замърсяването. Хората ще търсят начини за новаторство, за по-малко замърсяване и за положителния добродетелен цикъл, който настъпва чрез това, тъй като хората правят по-добри изобретения и иновации, ние действително развиваме пътя напред по смислен начин, който ефективно ще намали емисиите си от изменението на климата и ще подобри резултатите ,
РБ: Значи ще постигнете парижките цели?
PMJT: Ще постигнем нашите парижки цели, да.
РБ: Споменахте консерваторите в провинциите. Изглежда, че има някакво нарастващо движение в провинциите, което се случва много, както знаете, и когато либералите са на власт федерално. Движението изглежда е въплътено поне отчасти от Дъг Форд. Така че аз се чудя какво мислите, че е толкова привлекателно за него за гласоподавателите и дали са едни и същи хора, които се интересуват от вас.
PMJT: Мисля, че няма никакво съмнение, че онтарянците, както всички канадци, се притесняват за растежа в икономиката, притеснени за работата си, притеснени от промените, които виждат в икономиките около тях, около глобализацията и искат да направят че има отговори за това как те се вписват в това. Това е нещо, което споделям като загриженост с всички премиери, включително премиер Форд. Затова ще работим заедно, опитвайки се да разберем начини за израстване на икономиката, за да помогнем на гражданите да се развиват по положителен начин.
РБ: Да, но не можехте да кажете, че споделяте едни и същи ценности.
PMJT: Не, но споделяме подобни притеснения за това как ще помогнем на онтариотите и затова очаквам да седна с него, за да говорим за това как се движим напред по начините, по които сме съгласни.
РБ: В неделя премиерът на Алберта обяви намаление на производството на петрол, за да се справи с тези исторически ниски цени [for oil] в Алберта. Тя също така купува железопътни вагони, за да се опита да намери повече пътища. Казахте, че това е криза. Как може да не предложите помощ, ако е криза?
PMJT: О, абсолютно предложихме помощ и ние …
RB: Като какво?
PMJT: На първо място, признаваме, че Алберта и Албертанс минават през ужасен момент точно сега. Тази ценова разлика е по-тежка, отколкото почти всичко, което се е случило през последните години, и се нуждаят от помощ. първото и най-важно нещо, от което се нуждаят, е да могат да получат нашите петролни ресурси на нови пазари, различни от Съединените щати. Фактът, че Канада, канадският петрол е в по-голямата си част затворник на американския пазар, означава, че получаваме огромна отстъпка.
Ако искаме да продължим напред в прехода към икономика с по-ниска въглеродна интензивност, ще трябва да можем да платим за този преход и отнемането на милиарди долари годишно няма никакъв смисъл. Именно затова сме толкова отдадени на усилията да се насочим към пазарите по правилния начин, пазари, различни от Съединените щати, като разширяването на газопровода "Транс планина". Но ние следваме решенията на съда как да го направим.
Проблемът е, че в продължение на десет години имахме правителство, което игнорира съдилищата, пренебрегва местните общности, пренебрегва науката за околната среда и не се вслушва в загрижеността на канадците за това и загубихме десет години от изграждането на тези проекти.
Гледайте, когато Трудо обсъжда петролната индустрия:
РБ: Това е вашето дългосрочно решение. Но премиерът е загрижен за краткосрочните и затова прави тези неща точно сега. Какво й предложихте? Какво можеш да направиш за десетки хиляди хора, които са съкратени в този сектор сега? Има ли нещо, което можете да направите?
PMJT: Ние абсолютно се вглеждаме в инструментите, които имаме около EI. Разглеждаме инструментите, които имаме около подкрепата за доходите. Ние направихме редица неща около това, около ситуации в миналото и ние ще продължим да правим това. Също така искам да седя с премиера на Нисли и да чуя как федералното правителство може да бъде партньор в решаването на това по реални начини.
РБ: Но тя ти е казала, че иска да купиш железопътни вагони например.
PMJT: Знаете ли, това е нещо, което сме щастливи да погледнем. Ако това е предложение, което смята, че ще направи значима разлика, тогава ще се радваме да погледнем как работи. Искам да кажа, че сме там, за да бъдем партньори, които да помогнат.
РБ: Отговорът, обаче, не е наистина, ние вече сме ви купили тръбопровод, какво още искате?
PMJT: Е, не, ние все още имаме много работа да направим, за да получим Третата линия. Всъщност, разширението Line Three ще дойде през третото тримесечие или четвъртото тримесечие на следващата година. Това ще донесе известно облекчение и движението напред по правилния път на Транс планина ще премахне и натиска. Но вие знаете, че ние работим напред към основния проблем, който имаме, имаме един пазар за Алберта и за нашето прерийско масло.
РБ: За TMX очевидно се връщате, както каза Федералният съд, трябва да направите точно сега, да се консултирате отново с First Nations, като имате по-добър диалог. Какво обаче искате да направите, за да го построите; да промените маршрута, да победите по-добре някои от тези общности на първите народи? Искате ли да разгледате тези неща?
PMJT: Абсолютно това е в основата на решението на федералния апелативен съд. Ние сме страна на уважение към върховенството на закона, уважение към конституцията и съдът ни даде план и каза, че трябва да свършите по-добра работа с консултациите с местните общности и трябва да свършите по-добра работа някои от екологичните науки по отношение на морската безопасност и точно това правим.
Разполагаме с страна с огромни природни ресурси, но и с гражданите, които с право са заети с влиянието на развитието на ресурсите върху себе си, върху околната среда, върху бъдещето на децата си. Да се замислят правилно са точно това, което съдът излага план и какво ще следваме.
РБ: Но понеже си го купил вече, с моите данъчни долари и с долара за данъци на всички, трябва да вървим напред. Тя трябва да върви напред под някаква форма и по някакъв начин, нали?
PMJT: Ами ние купихме съществуващ тръбопровод и възможността да го преместим напред и ние ще следваме това, което съдът изложи като начин да направим това по правилния начин, и да се доберем до правилното решение дали това е в Канада или не национален интерес и това правим.
РБ: Но ти вярваш, че е така?
PMJT: Нееднократно казах, че трябва да получим ресурсите си на нови пазари, но трябва да го направим по правилния начин. Проблемът, който имахме в продължение на десетилетие при предишното правителство, е, че не са били заети да правят нещата правилно. Те просто искаха да се опитат да направят нещата, и това, което доведе до това, не е да се направят нещата на всички.
В момента разширяването на тръбопровода Trans Mountain например върви ръка за ръка с поставянето на цена за замърсяването и всъщност достигането на нашите Парижки цели. Тъй като знаем, че докато получаваме петролните ни ресурси на нови пазари, ние внасяме повече богатство, което може да плати за този преход и иновациите, докато в същото време Алберта реши да постави абсолютна горна граница на емисиите на петролни пясъци, което ще ни позволи за да постигнат тези Парижки цели.
RB: Когато GM обяви бъдещото си изключване от автомобилния завод Oshawa, казахте, че ще помогнете на тези работници да се върнат на крака. Но това ми се струва, знаете ли, за това решение, за хората, които са съкратени в Алберта, има толкова много, колкото можете да направите. И така, какво бихте казали на онези хора, които са загрижени, че работата им се развива, че работните места не са може би работните места на бъдещето.
РБ: Какво можехте да направите за тях?
PMJT: Е, на първо място, подкрепата за тези семейства и хората, които минават през ужасно трудно време, е изключително труден момент. Oshawa има извънредно дълга стогодишна история с това растение и това е опустошителна новина, която GM е представила и ние продължаваме да работим както с GM, така и с хора, за да се опитаме да видим дали няма път напред. Но със сигурност подкрепата за тези семейства е най-умната. Също така разбираме, че да, ще има промени в работната сила, има промени в потребителските навици, има промени в световната икономика, които идват с повече автоматизация, различни снабдителни вериги по света, AI.
Знам, че винаги ще има роля за производството в Канада, за производството с висока стойност в Канада, независимо дали става дума за нови технологии, които идват, или за подобрения в старите технологии. Този фокус е нещо, в което продължаваме да инвестираме и затова инвестираме в умения, в университет, в научни изследвания на стволови клетки, в привеждане на жените в работната сила, това са видовете неща, които се опитваме да помогнем на канадците в този преход ,
RB: Получавам това и че се опитвате да мислите за работни места за в бъдеще, но GM не иска да остане тук, така че какво ви казва това?
PMJT: Всъщност GM инвестира значителни суми, например в инженерно-изследователски обект в Маркъм, където работят по бъдещи работни места, гледат на повече електрически автомобили и автомобили, които се управляват самостоятелно. А Канада е част от начина, по който мислят за бъдещето.
РБ: Тогава защо просто не им кажете, че ще вземат това гигантско растение, което имате и ще направят автомобили за бъдещето. Защо няма да обмислят …
PMJT: Това е част от продължаващия разговор. Очевидно аз и президентът Тръм се съмнявахме, че САЩ губят четири или пет завода. Изгубваме едно растение и заводът Oshawa всъщност е един от, винаги е бил един от най-добрите производители в света за GM.
Така че има реални въпроси за това, какво можем да направим, за да се опитаме да се уверим, че даваме всяка възможна подкрепа на тези работници.
РБ: Защо се удвоявате за дефицита, когато икономиката се справя толкова добре? Това няма много смисъл за хората.
PMJT: През десетте години от предишното правителство се сблъскахме с упорито нисък растеж и нисък брой на заетите и ние решихме много решително през 2015 г. Ние бяхме единствената страна да кажем, че инвестираме в канадци, инвестираме в инфраструктура, инвестираме в нашите общности , поставяйки повече пари в джобовете на средната класа, а онези, които работят усилено, за да се присъединят към нея, както и доходите за деца в Канада, е начинът да се развие икономиката.
Имаше много хора, които бяха скептични. Но това, което всъщност видяхме, е, че парите за обезщетението за деца в Канада, за увеличението на дохода за гарантирана доход за нашите най-уязвими възрастни хора, инвестиране в инфраструктура, която прави разлики в общностите, привличане на инвестиции, стратегически инвестиции в бизнеса , lowering the barriers to small businesses success, our approach has actually delivered the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years…
PMJT: Has delivered five or six hundred thousand new jobs created over the past three years, and we had the fastest growth in the G7 last year. Our approach to invest, in order to grow the economy, is working and we're going to continue to do that in responsible ways. Every year, our debt as a proportion of our GDP continues to decline. We're the lowest ratio in the G7. We're doing very well.
RB: So you're OK with that broken promise though?
PMJT: We are on a trajectory that demonstrates decreasing deficits and growing economies.
RB: But is that because politicians thinking on issues evolves, that you had a different thought about what the economy could be versus what you wanted to do with it when you got in office, or is that just because you said, this actually isn't that important the deficit?
PMJT: No, we've always said that fiscal responsibility is extraordinarily important and that's something that we've demonstrated with the declining share of our debt as a piece of our GDP.
RB: I know, I guess I'm just trying to understand how you went from saying we're going to have this, we're going to return to balance, then to no longer talking about that. Like what was the thinking for you, where you said to yourself that shouldn't be my focus anymore, we shouldn't be preoccupied with that.
PMJT: The fact that our approach is working, that people are getting, you know, new and better jobs, that our economy is growing, that unemployment is low that Canadians are more confident, not just in their futures, but their kids' futures, means that our approach continues to work, and maintaining that fiscal responsibility, and that fiscal discipline is part and parcel of what we always do.
RB: OK so that's a reasonable answer, but how should Canadians interpret that then? That it's OK to break a promise if you can show that what you've chosen is a better option?
PMJT: Well I think people understand that circumstances change and, for example, all the cuts that the Conservatives made in that last year of their government, cuts to veteran services, cuts to border security, cuts to a significant range of programs, that weakened Canadians, and showed a phony balance and, just in time for the election, that immediately snapped back into a huge deficit, regardless of what we were going to do, people understand that they want a government that is going to adjust to what the needs of the time are. We are very much realizing that our plan of investing in Canadians, of investing in infrastructure, and in their communities, is working to grow our economy and we're going to keep doing it.
RB: Did that trip to India do more harm than good?
PMJT: There was a number of things that came out that were very positive about that trip.
RB: Like what?
PMJT: In terms of investments, in terms of jobs, we're talking about a billion dollars in two-way investment, we're talking about thousands and thousands of jobs across this country created. We saw positive connections between our diaspora communities, but yeah, if I had to redo that trip I would do it very differently.
RB: Would you wear the outfits?
PMJT: No, I probably would not. I think that was a clear. I mean I had more suits on that trip than I had outfits, but the pictures of the outfits dominated and certainly it was a lesson learned.
RB: And the whole attempted murderer showing up at a dinner, I know the report has come out and you're not willing to say much about what was redacted, but it seems to me you at least have a lesson here about how you do these things.
PMJT: Absolutely. On every trip there are lessons to learn, ways to improve how we do things. I mean one of the lessons on this is just how important it is that we have a national security committee of parliamentarians that actually come together, all parties together, and weigh in on these issues.
And the professionalism with which they dug into some very complex issues, and the solutions they put forward are significant aide to our government and to all governments moving forward.
RB: You've said that Canadians should expect the next election to be the nastiest yet. What are you going to do to prevent that?
PMJT: I'm going to continue to demonstrate that positive politics that bring people together, that not engaging in personal attacks, not trying to dumb down and simplify politics so it fits on a bumper sticker or an easy slogan, instead treat Canadians as intelligent, rational citizens who want to be part of the difficult reflections on how we move forward. The challenge with populism, as we've seen it rise over the past three years particularly, is that it sort of takes citizens for fools.
It says, while we can scare them by you know, going into our darkest fears and making political hay out of it, I'm always going to look for ways to bring people together, to involve them in the solutions, and demonstrate that Canadians deserve better than politicians who play the fear and division card every time they can.
RB: Do you practice what you preach?
PMJT: I certainly try to, yeah.
RB: You try to?
PMJT: Yeah absolutely.
RB: Would you admit that there are times when you don't?
PMJT: I will admit that I have occasioned to be critical in ways. I always look for ways to be very fierce about distinctions in policy and calling out the politics of division and fear whenever I see it. I won't make apologies for that, cause I'm going to fight for the democratic principles that we have, and the values of an informed populous.
RB: I'm thinking back to a moment at the beginning of October when we were talking about the Terri-Lynne McClintic issue with the healing lodge, and inside the House of Commons you called the Conservatives ambulance chasing politicians — and it wasn't just in the heat of the moment.
RB: Cause then you came right back out and you said it again. How do you feel about that comment now? Does it reflect who you are as a politician?
PMJT: I think it does because I won't make any apologies for calling out people who use the basest kinds of politics and fears to torque a situation. I mean they…
RB: But how did they do that?
PMJT: Know, knowing…
RB: You've changed the policy.
PMJT: Knowing what we know now.
RB: You've changed the policy subsequent to that.
PMJT: Oh yes we did.
PMJT: But they didn't recognize that they had done exactly the same thing 14 times while they were in office. And the fact that Terri-Lynne McClintic was transferred to a medium security institution under the Conservative government, and she remained in a medium security institution throughout the time that they were criticizing me, showed that they were willing to exploit a horrific tragedy to a family, to a little girl, to try and score cheap political points.
RB: Or they were trying to call attention to an issue that needed to be changed that you subsequently changed…
PMJT: That they consistently ignored, and we didn't change it by suddenly giving the politicians power to classify a criminal. We asked…
RB: No, I understand that.
PMJT: We asked the institution to review its policies to make sure they were right. That was a change that they very much could have made when, if they were so outraged about it, while they were busy doing it.
But they chose to play a level of politics, when they themselves had engaged in exactly that behaviour, in a way that is cynical that I will not apologize for calling out the politics of cynicism, of fear, of division, of anger, of hatred.
RB: Yeah but that's not what you did, you called them a name back, ambulance chasing politicians. I just wonder whether you think you should have said something different now.
PMJT: I think it's extremely important to point out when people are playing the basest kinds of politics. And the fact that I am calling out Conservatives on the way they play politics with horrific tragedies to do fundraising, and to try and score cheap points. I'm willing to do it.
RB: After you made the decision to change the healing lodge.
PMJT: Listen, their decision to move forward and to make this an issue on the back of a terrible tragedy was something that would require to call them out.
RB: But you changed the policy, like, it worked.
PMJT: What worked was we actually asked Corrections Canada to review their entire policy. We didn't change that one case. We didn't weigh in the way politics…
RB: No, I understand but it forced you to look at the policy and in that way the opposition was doing its job. Whether you like the language they used is beside the point.
PMJT: I think there's two things.
First of all, yes, it is an opposition's job and responsibility to challenge, to call out, to say you should do things differently, you can do things differently.
PMJT: That's really important. But if they do it by exacerbating the polarization, the anger, the fear within electorate, we start to walk down a very, very dangerous path. And I am always going to be very firm and unequivocal about calling out nastiness and negativity to that level in politics.
And if you take…
PMJT: The comment I made and put it up against the kind of ugly rhetoric that they put forward, you'll see that my comment was actually very mild. But you know, as we often see, there is a habit amongst those particular practitioners of negative politics to have very thin skins when things are turned around on them.
RB: Have you learned anything about your temperament in this job?
I have some observations, but I'll let you go first.
PMJT: Yeah. I'm extremely passionate about standing for what I believe to be the truth and believe in my values. And I get offended when people rely on falsehoods, and I get irritated when people try and play fast and loose with facts, or ignore facts entirely. I think that is weakening not just to our governance, but to our institutions and to our democracy.
RB: You're scrappy.
PMJT: I can be.
RB: Would you say?
PMJT: I'm not going to, you know, sit by meekly as people weaken our institutions and our democracy.
RB: And what is the difference between being scrappy and being full of sunny ways? Because that's not something you say very much anymore and maybe it's just a reality of governing. I don't particularly love the expression anyway, but is there a difference between that, or can you be scrappy and still positive?
PMJT: I think, absolutely.
PMJT: I think I can and I think I do. I mean, I always look for ways to bring people together. I look for ways to solve solutions. I look for ways [to] solve problems, I look for ways to listen to people and make sure we are consulting and engaging in thoughtful ways. Now it usually requires me to give a longer answer to a complex question than someone who's just looking for an easy populist answer, but I'm always going to be ready to argue a given point.
RB: Do you think though that you're a better politician than the Conservatives? I mean it seems that to me that you're sort of putting yourself on a different level than them and I wonder if that's not a little dismissive of the people who believe the things they're saying, because there's a lot of them.
PMJT: I'm always willing to have a debate on the facts, to look at counter-proposals. But what we're not seeing from the opposition, whether it's on climate or even on economic policy is much of a plan, or an explanation of how they would do things differently. So we're not actually debating on the substance of what we're doing, they tend to go to name calling and a challenge around, you know, personal attacks rather than actually debating the substance of what we're putting forward.
RB: Do you think are a patient person?
PMJT: It depends on the context. If I'm spending time with a Canadian who has questions about what we're doing, I have a tremendous amount of patience. If I'm in a situation where I'm engaging with someone who should know better and chooses to believe that the earth is flat, or that climate change is not man made, then I will be a little more impatient because I feel that is a choice that they're making that is impacting negatively on our ability to come together and actually solve the big problems we're facing.
RB: So you probably don't have good chats with the president then?
PMJT: No, I've had excellent conversations with…
RB: You must be impatient with him though.
PMJT: I've had good conversations with the president.
RB: Do you think that sometimes you are perceived as trivial or superficial? I'll give you examples. The outfits in India certainly gave that perception. The tweet on the weekend to Trevor Noah about the $50 million dollars.
PMJT: Yeah but see, but that's an interesting one, because of course when you make a spending decision like that, there's weeks of reflection on whether or not this is the right thing to do. Because our political opponents don't particularly like the way we announced it, they find themselves opposed to investing money in some of the most vulnerable kids around the world.
RB: No, I don't know that they're opposed to that. I think they're opposed to the trivial nature in which it was announced. Like why do you have to…
PMJT: Would they prefer I have a big novelty cheque like the Conservatives used to do?
RB: No, but tagging a celebrity, what's the benefit of that as prime minister?
PMJT: Well one of the challenges is if we were to put out a press conference in the Ottawa press theatre that says 'we're sending $50 million dollars to education cannot wait to invest in the most impoverished and vulnerable kids in the world,' that might not have actually reached as much of an audience as for example than [a] celebrity engaged down in South Africa.
RB: Yeah, I would argue you stepped on your own message though by doing that.
PMJT: Well, I think a lot more people know that Canada is actually stepping up and helping vulnerable people around the world. And there are always lessons to be learned about this, but I'm not going to make apologies for actually doing it and for making sure that we're looking for different ways of communicating that message.
RB: OK, so I'll leave this part on this. Do you ever worry that brand Trudeau… I was in New York last week and I wandered into a store and there was cups with your name on it, and socks, and all sorts of things. It was very strange to be in New York and all that stuff is there.
I'm sure it's stranger for you. Do you ever worry that brand Trudeau sort of overtakes what you're trying to say and do, which I think to you is more important?
PMJT: I think what we're seeing around interest in Canada on the world stage doesn't have as much to do with me as it does to do with what Canadians have been doing on the world stage for years and for generations. Yes, there's a moment where for all sorts of different reasons, including, you know, social media skills, that Canada is being noticed a little bit more, but the fact that is a positive aspirational impact on so many people around the world…
RB: But it's your face attached to it.
PMJT: Is due to our values.
RB: It's not the, the flag, or it's not, you know, anybody else.
PMJT: You know, there's a mix of things associated with it and if we can do a better job of highlighting what Canada is doing on the world stage, and how what we're doing at home with things like the, the Canada Child Benefit that's making such a big difference. then people will look and say, 'OK, they've got a solution to some of the really sticky problems that we're facing all around the world.'
RB: Thank you, thank you for your time.
PMJT: Thank you very much Rosie.