Exclusive: The Canadian prime minister tells the Guardian why, in a world where populism, divisiveness and dread are on the rise, hes taking the opposite approach
Ordinary people around the world have been failed by globalisation, Justin Trudeau has told the Guardian, as he sought to explain a turbulent time labelled by the election of Donald Trump, the Brexit vote and the rise of anti-establishment, nation-first parties around the world.
What were facing right now in terms of the rise of populism and divisive and anxious narratives around the world its based around the fact that globalization doesnt seem to be working for the middle class, for ordinary people, the Canadian “ministers ” said in an interview at his oak-panelled place in their respective countries parliament. And this is something that we marked years ago and constructed an entire stage and schedule for determining on.
Last year, at a time when Trump was being described as a long shot for chairwoman and the hazards of Brexit seemed a distant alternative, Trudeau, 44, swept to a majority government on an ambitious programme that included addressing growing inequality and creating real change for the countrys middle class.
One year on, what has emerged is a government that seems to go against the political tide all over the world; open to trade, immigration and diversity and led by a social media adept whose scenes on feminism, Syrian refugees and LGBT claims have elicited satisfy among progressives.
But as he registers his second time in superpower, Trudeau a former high school teacher and snowboarding teach is under pressure to show the world that his government has met an alternative means of tackling the concerns of those who feel theyve been left behind.
We were able to sign free trade agreement with Europe at a time when people have often been closing off, he said. Were actually able to approve pipes at a time when everyone wants environmental protection. Were being able to show that we get peoples suspicions and there are constructive ways of allaying them and not only the resources necessary to lash out and dedicate a big kick to the system.
Canada has not remained immune to such press, he said despite what the fresh wave of interest in migrating to the country in the wake of Trumps victory and the Brexit vote proposed to. I think theres a lot of people saying oh well, Canada is a special neighbourhood, and the administration is, said Trudeau. But we are subject to the same kinds of tensions and pressures that so much of the world is facing right now.
Trudeau said he is keenly is conscious that countries around the world is see. I think its always been understood that Canada is not a country thats going to stand up and beat its chest on the international stage, but we can be very helpful in pattern mixtures that the project works, he said. Quite frankly if we can show as we are working very hard to demonstrate that you can have engaged global perspectives and growing that works for everyone then that imbues a lot of the uncertainty, the anger, the populism that is surfacing in different pockets of the world.
In January, Trudeaus government will face off against the single greatest challenge to date: a Trump presidency. When it comes to US relations, few countries have as much at stake as Canada last year find nearly three-quarters of Canadas exportations manager to the US while some 400,000 people a date cross the shared border.