Picture of the Week: Symbolism is an important part of reconciling with First Nations. The prime minister’s getaway to the sea couldn’t have made this clearer.
Of the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, presented in 2015, the federal government has just completed 13. Some of those achievements are symbolic, such as establishing an official day of reflection, a legal holiday to honor indigenous communities damaged by the residential school system. But symbols matter. The orange T-shirts worn by thousands of Canadians at rallies across the country are one such symbol. The prime minister who takes the day off with his family to relax at a favorite surf spot is different. There are dozens of questions worth asking Justin Trudeau: Why did his daily schedule mislead the media and the public by claiming he was in “private meetings” in Ottawa? Why did your staff change your location to Tofino, BC, only after they discovered you? Did you think you could slip away without the Canadians caring? Why did you choose September 30, of all days, to take this vacation? Why Didn’t you at least get close to the First Nation in Tofino? Why didn’t any of your advisers point out that it was a horrible idea? All good questions, and a reporter from Global News, to your credit, I tried to take them to the prime minister after catching up with him on his walk on the beach. But Trudeau was in no mood to reply. On the bright side, this may turn out to be a day of reflection for the Prime Minister after all.