Trudeau’s five most memorable scandals

Thomas Lambert

September 16, 2021

PM Justin Trudeau is a man of many faces and many roles — some darker than others. While he has always managed to stay squeaky clean socially by abiding by the far-left’s standards, his political career is far from unsullied.

Indeed, it has been marred by scandal after unexpected scandal, having earned the confirmed PM record of breaking the most federal ethics laws in Canadian history, all while disgracing both himself and the country in the process.

For better or for worse, it is an impressive record. And for that reason, this article will document some of the biggest scandals which form the career of this record-breaking Prime Minister, ensuring Canadians know just who it is asking for re-election.

1. Prime Minister Blackface

Perhaps, the most infamous of all scandals, Trudeau’s coloured history of wearing blackface makeup made Canada a laughingstock on the world stage for the duration of the 2019 Federal Election.

Over the course of the election, various media outlets uncovered three photos and one video of Trudeau proudly wearing blackface — and not a hint of shame can be seen on the renowned Social Justice Warrior’s face in any of them.

In the video, Trudeau is seen covered head to toe in dark makeup, sporting a t-shirt with a bundle of bananas on it, and acting, arguably, like a monkey. Apparently, Trudeau thought this was an excellent getup for his high school’s collaborative student video.

Of course, the most covered of his blackface incidents is his browning up for an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed teacher’s event where he went all out to portray Aladdin.

He even painted the inside of his hands and arms black. Now that’s commitment!

Trudeau, fearful that more pictures may emerge, later admitted that he “cannot recall” how many times he had worn blackface. In his defence, though, it’s hard for anyone to recall how many times they’ve partaken in a favourite pastime.

2. The SNC-Lavalin Affair

The SNC-Lavalin affair was a political scandal that emerged in early 2019 after it was revealed that Trudeau put pressure on then-Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to stop prosecuting SNC-Lavalin, an engineering company found to have bribed both Canadian and Libyan officials.

Wilson-Raybould later appeared before the House of Commons Justice Committee, saying that she “experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the attorney general of Canada in an inappropriate effort to secure a deferred prosecution agreement [DPA] with SNC-Lavalin.”

Among these people was Trudeau, who Wilson-Raybould says tried to influence her decision and convince her not to pursue action against the engineering giant.

Trudeau denied these allegations.

However, ethics commissioner Mario Dion disagreed with the PM.

Dion says that Trudeau engaged in a “flagrant attempt to influence” Wilson-Raybould to further “SNC-Lavalin’s private interests” and that Trudeau and his office abused their position to “circumvent, undermine, and ultimately attempt to discredit” her claims.

Following Dion’s report, Trudeau said, “We recognize the way that this happened shouldn’t have happened. I take responsibility for the mistakes that I made.”

“Where I disagree with the commissioner is where he says that any contact with the attorney general on this issue was improper.”

Fortunately for Trudeau, there were absolutely no consequences for breaking federal ethics laws — aside from being further disgraced.

3. The Winnipeg Biolab Cover Up

Of all the scandals on this left, the Winnipeg Biolab case is the most serious, as it involves the potential leaking of data from a Level 4 laboratory to China.

The case began in July 2019, when two Chinese scientists working at the National Microbiology Laboratory were suddenly and without explanation thrown out of the laboratory and stripped of their security clearance. They were formally fired in January.

It was later revealed that scientists Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng, may have leaked data to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — and specifically to the infamous Wuhan virology lab — as part of a long-term espionage mission in Canada’s only Level 4 laboratory.

This case is significant as Level 4 laboratories handle some of the deadliest diseases known to both animals and man and contain research critical to national security.

“It appears that what you might well call Chinese agents infiltrated one of the highest prized national security elements when it comes to biosecurity and biodefence,” Christian Leuprecht, a security expert and professor at the Royal Military College and Queen’s University, stated in June.

Leuprecht believes that the RCMP has not charged the scientists because the government may be covering for more significant security issues, including allies’ roles in the overall investigation.

“This would also explain why you haven’t charged them, because once you charge them, then eventually you have to put people on trial. And when you put people on trial, then you have to disclose the evidence that you have. So, the government might quite intentionally be trying to keep this sort of relatively below the radar as much as it can,” he said.

Following the two scientists’ firings, the Trudeau government refused to comply with House of Commons orders to produce unredacted documents related to firing the two Winnipeg lab scientists for the special Commons committee on Canada-China relations to review.

Opposition leaders subsequently fought this decision, but just when some ground was being made, Trudeau called a snap election, dissolving both government and, effectively, the order to produce the documents.

4. Aga Khan Island Trip

In 2017, after a lavish Christmas vacation in the Bahamas at the Aga Kahn’s private island, the Canadian government (i.e., taxpayers) was forced to dish out over $215,000 for security, accommodations, meals, and jet ski rentals.

While this number is relatively small in the expensive world of politics, the scandalous aspect of the trip appears when looking at the trip’s breakdown. 

Indeed, while much of the money went to security, a whopping $56,000-plus was incurred by the Trudeau family for — of all things — food and jet ski rentals.

The RCMP says that $18,000 went to their staff, and $22,000 of the total was not disclosed as being for accommodations or not, as it would reveal the number of security personnel. The remaining charges for $8,400, $4,500, and $3,500 are confirmed as jet ski rentals and other associated luxury activities.

Who knew that diplomacy could be so much fun!

Mary Dawson, the ethics commissioner at the time, found that Trudeau violated four sections of the Conflict of Interest Act by accepting the vacation from the Aga Khan. Trudeau rejected this claim, saying the Aga Khan is simply a good friend and managed to skirt by.

5. The WE Charity Scandal

During his third ethics investigation in a single term, it was revealed that Trudeau used We Charity’s student program to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees to his family.

The charity was initially contracted to connect university students and volunteer organizations —wherein students would receive a grant for volunteering — to aid students negatively affected by the early pandemic.

However, it turns out that WE Charity obtaining a government contract for $900 million was not a necessarily meritocratic decision.

Indeed, Trudeau has been involved with the charity since its founding in 2007, as has his wife, who has long hosted podcasts for the organization.

In this instance, it was found that the charity hired Trudeau’s mother and brother, paying them $250,000 and $32,000 respectively in speaking fees over the course of a year between 2018 to 2019.

Following these revelations, the federal government subsequently dropped their partnership with WE Charity, leaving several students financially helpless in the middle of a pandemic.

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