Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre, who posted yesterday on X that Trudeau approved Hunka’s presence in Parliament, demanded that Trudeau take responsibility for the decision and the resulting condemnation of it around the world.
“Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is responsible. He is in Ottawa today. He can get on his feet and answer for his massive diplomatic embarrassment.”
In Trudeau’s absence Government House Leader Karian Gould (L-Burlington) took Poilievre’s questions, several times addressing House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota and saying “It was your decision, and yours alone.”
In an Orwellian move after the close of QP, Gould would attempt to secure the unanimous consent of the House to eradicate all records of Hunka’s presence in the Parliament, the Speaker’s introduction of him and the standing ovation. The Conservatives objected, citing the oft-repeated warning of philosopher George Santayana that “those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Poilievre suggested that Gould would be the latest member of Trudeau’s caucus that he would “throw under the bus” to atone for his mistakes.
“Mr. Speaker, the Canadians are sick and tired of a Prime Minister who never takes responsibility for the things that have happened under his watch. Whether it's the record high inflation or interest rates or the doubling of housing costs or the constant international embarrassments – he always finds someone else to throw under the bus. Are you that person?” he asked Gould.
“The Prime Minister and only the Prime Minister is responsible for the success of international visitors here in Canada. Will he take responsibility for this massive issue that he helped to cause?”
Gould said the Liberal government was “disappointed” over the affair but urged the Conservatives not to “politicize the moment.”
“My question was for the Prime Minister,” Poilievre continued, “because it is the Prime Minister's sole responsibility to guarantee the diplomatic success of major world leaders who come to this country, it is the Prime Minister whose government is responsible for both security and diplomatic vetting of everyone that comes in close proximity of a foreign leader on Canadian soil … Will the Prime Minister apologize for having vetted this individual and letting him come anyway?”
The standing ovation for Hunka has attracted international attention and the ire of Jewish organizations, including the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center who said they were “appalled” and “deeply disturbed” over the incident.
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