Dear Prime Minister Trudeau

One of the things I said yesterday is that, in a post-Trump world, we have a responsibility. We are responsible to stand for what is right and to encourage those in power to do the same. I am starting with a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau. If you are Canadian, consider sending him a letter of your own. If you are American, write to your reasonable Republican leaders. If you are from any other country in the world, write to your leaders. Trump can be held back, if we do it together.

Your Pride Parade high-fives were great, and now you can follow through
on the values you symbolically supported there.
Photo Source: Flickr

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

As you know, Donald Trump was just elected the president of the United States. Of course you know. Yesterday, you congratulated him on his win and have invited him to Canada.

In your statement, you said that we have "shared values" with the United States. I am giving you a lot of benefit of the doubt that you were referring to the values of an ideal America - not of our values compared with the values America signed off on by electing Trump. Because Canada cannot ever stand for those values, and you were elected based on very different values.

Personally, I am a bit disappointed so far at your follow-through on some of your promises. You did increase arts funding, which I am grateful for. You also marched in Pride parades, a powerful symbolic statement of your values of inclusivity and celebration. Thank you for that. In the next turn, however, you approved a pipeline and went back on promises to Canada's Indigenous people - this is not okay.

So first of all, I want to remind you of the values you were elected for: peace, unity, and caring. Partnership with the Indigenous people of Canada. Support for the environment and the rights of those whose rights are too often questioned (women, people of colour, transgendered people, people with disabilities, and more). You presented yourself as a Prime Minister who would care about the needs of this country and its people - not just the rich or powerful. As a Prime Minister who would uphold progressive values, who would be inclusive and collaborative.

Our diplomatic relationship with the United States is important. Because of this, you will be put in a lot of difficult situations in the next four years. You will have to make decisions between things like economic security and the values of Canada.

Please, do not ever compromise our values. Work with Trump where you can, when it does not compromise these values, and stand up to him whenever necessary. Do it diplomatically, when you can, but if you must pull a Hugh Grant in Love, Actually and openly call him out for being the bully that he is, then do that, too. 

As Prime Minister, you always have a choice for who you are going to ally yourself, and therefore this country, with: the rich or the poor; the privileged or the oppressed; the truth-speakers or the liars; the bullies or the victims. The choice isn't always either-or, but sometimes it is. Be aware of who you are standing beside, who you are aligning yourself with, and who, by default, you are then standing against. Do not stand against the people and land your are here to protect. 

I hope you will be increasingly aware of your power as an ally in all your decisions as Prime Minister. Perhaps I am getting too caught up in my fear, but right now it feels especially important, especially symbolic, when it comes to Donald Trump. He stands for so much that is wrong. You must stand for what is right. Hopefully this won't mean opposing him at every turn - he may not be able to do half the things he promised - but it might.

The water is going to be hot for the next four years, but as Prime Minister, you should be used to a little heat. If it gets too hot, call on us, the Canadians whose values you are protecting. If you stand up for us, for truth and equality and compassion and accessibility and inclusivity, then I will stand with you, and I know others will, too.

Be the Prime Minister that was promised to us when you were elected.

Sincerely,

Andrea Loewen
Second Generation Immigrant (descended from refugees) and Settler/Visitor on the Unceded Coast Salish Territories

PS: Hopefully we have entered a dark alternate timeline due to someone's errant time-travel, in which case this may all get corrected soon without us even knowing anything happened. This means that if anyone rushes into your office claiming to be from the future and that the world isn't supposed to be like this and somehow you're the key, HELP THEM! Destroy the amulet, distract the dementors, repair their weird car, whatever.


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