exit

The Prime Minister’s Next Career

Justin Trudeau is 52, youngish by global standards, but not young-young.

He will likely retire when the Liberals are defeated in the next federal election, an outcome most every poll points to, which should be in  October 2025. Or he’ll leave before that if the Liberals coalition with the NDP falls apart. Or, on the vanishingly small chance he leads the Liberals to victory in 2025, he could stay on until 2029. He took office in 2015 so he would then be the second-longest serving Prime Minister in Canadian history, four years longer than his father Pierre.

Whether he leaves this year at age 52, or in 2029 at 57, Justin will still have time for One More Big Job before he retires to the world of board membership, consulting, teaching and honorary degrees.

What will that Big Job be?

A process of elimination leads to one real possibility.

Justin’s job likely won’t be international since Canada’s reputation in the corridors of global power isn’t what it used to be.

Besides, jobs that need many countries to approve his appointment, especially countries like India or China or Russia, would pass him by.

He’s not a lawyer, so international judgeships and tribunals would be out. He’s not an economist or banker, so ditto anything financial.

He’s not a professional diplomat, though his successor could appoint him Canada’s Ambassador to the UN, which sadly leaves a real diplomat, Bob Rae, out of a job.

Or if the Tories whump the Liberals next time round, Prime Minister Poilievre could appoint him Canadian Consul-General in Los Angeles, which Jean Chrétien did for his predecessor Kim Campbell back in 1996, three years after the Conservatives were reduced to two seats in the House of Commons and Campbell lost her own.

All to say, Justin’s prospects beyond Canada’s border seem terra inimica.

What Justin was before he entered politics was a teacher. According to Wikipedia,“he became a substitute teacher at local schools such as Killarney Secondary, and worked permanently as a French and math teacher at the private West Point Grey Academy. From 2002 to 2004, he studied engineering at the École Polytechnique de Montréal but did not graduate. He started a master’s degree in environmental geography at McGill but

withdrew from the program to seek public office.”

That word “withdrew” caught my eye because many commentators claim Justin has effectively withdrawn from active duty as our 23rd Prime Minister.

Whatever you think of the Liberals’ policies, growing numbers of us view him as absent on housing, on refugees, immigration, federal-provincial relations, foreign affairs (and especially Gaza), the military, the RCMP, CSIS, oh…and healthcare.

He just doesn’t seem to care any more.

You may disagree with Doug Ford or Olivia Chow, or Jagmeet Singh or Pierre Poilievre. But they do all display a commitment to their parties and their jobs.

Not so Mr. Trudeau. But maybe he’s just in training for the biggest withdrawal of all.

Meanwhile…….

1. Ask yourself this every night. A fine piece of common sense from The School of Life.

2. How good is your passport? How many countries can it get you into without needing a visa? Canada’s passport remains one of the most valuable, ranked #7 and tied with the US with 188 visa-free destinations. #1 is France with 194 destinations, and the worst is Afghanistan with 28.

3. Please respect my delusions and I’ll respect yours. Morgan Housel on the rules of life and money.

Speaking of delusory, the world hasn’t stopped talking to each other, and our favourite myths about who lives longer are just that, support for DEI isn’t cratering, at least not yet, and all media isn’t biased. They just have different perspectives.

4. Trucking school. It’s not about learning to drive a truck, but being a trucker. Same with being a mob wife. It’s the lifestyle, which has changed since The Sopranos premiereda quarter century ago.

5. Know before you go. Why can’t we have transparent public toilets like they do in Tokyo?

6. Incredibly fast. They say if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together. So what if you want to go to our Sun’s closest star (and the star second-closest to the Earth) Proxima Centauri? Go incredibly fast, together.

And speaking of life-saving speed, and of flying together

7. Listicles about icicles, restos, and more.  15 reasons to walk in winter. 13 very different Paris restaurants. Plus 6 Americas. Plus 1 Dolly Parton who turned 78 this month.

Plus an old code in old clothes, and a new tool that digs into hard-to-collate US corporate data…and a beginner’s guide on how to follow the money.

8. Heating and eating. Here’s how fast the temperature’s rising country by country. Canada is rising faster than most every nation. Also, here’s how fast food prices are rising, via the price history of Campbell’s Tomato Soup.

9. Weird Travel. Here’s this year’s list. Revenge travel is so last year. Me? I’ll stick with sleeper trains. But if you’re looking for a strange  and short trip, check out this official video from the Trump Campaign.

10. Movie star plays piano, woman plays spoons. First, Anthony Hopkins was walking through the lobby of his Vancouver hotel when he spotted something. Next, Abby the Spoon Lady sat down on the porch.

11. What I’m liking. Last year, I read Isabel Wilkerson’s searing indictment of racism and caste in Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Now, we can all see Ava DuVernay’sadaptation – turning a non-fiction history into a biographical drama – in the movie Origin which is getting rapturous reviews.

Also, Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN) is home to one of the top handful of hospitals in the world. On January 27th, UHN launched UHNITED: What’s never been done is what we do.

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THE BEST WAY TO SAIL ITALY, AND TO HIKE IT

Join Jean and me this May-June aboard the three-masted Sea Cloud II as we sail from Nice to Naples, then in a ‘secret valley in the Italian Alps.’

For either or both weeks, we’d love to have you share these wonderful summertime adventures with us.

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