Do you really think the evidence he’d offered is strong enough to support the accusation. And his concern about foreign interference in Canada appears uneven to put it politely. Not afraid to call India out; China not so much.

Expand full comment

I admire Mr Wells for trying to see the big picture, to find some good in the Prime Minister intentions regarding relations with India.

The problem is that Trudeau’s past performances for wiggling out of tight spots has involved a lack of forthrightness and hoarding of information.

Standing in Parliament to toss a grenade into diplomatic relations with a democratic nation is serious business, but the rationale from Trudeau is that Canadians will have to trust him. No further details will be made available. I think Canadians have been burned by that tactic before, so why should we trust Trudeau now?

Expand full comment

I still don’t understand why he took his eldest son to India? And from his son’s Instagram account, it looks like all he did was have coffee dates and partied. Trudeau is a poser; a vapid grandstander who loves the sound of his own breathy voice. I don’t doubt there is credible evidence but we don’t really trust him to get it right. His incompetence and that of his entire Cabinet has been on display for years. I’m tired. I’m not even touching #NaziGate. SMH 🤦🏼‍♀️

Expand full comment

The interesting thing to me is how the Canadian media, many of whom have decided that it’s time for the PM to go and therefore he can’t do anything right, have made the public airing of the incident, and not the incident itself, the big issue.

Let’s be clear: there is reason to think that agents of a foreign government assassinated a Canadian citizen, on Canadian soil. A citizen, by the way, who committed no crime on Canadian soil.

American officials have made it clear that the information, from Five Eyes, is credible. The much maligned Jody Thomas made two trips to India to discuss the issue privately, and to share information.

Foreign media have also made it clear, as the Economist puts it, that if the information pans out (and it is likely it will) “there must be consequences”.

This is the issue – not the consequences for the standing in the polls of the major players.

If discussion of such a flagrant violation of our sovereignty is going to be subordinated to horse race politics, what hope is there for a mature, stable democracy in Canada? I feel a great hole opening up below all of us.

Expand full comment

Two things are very clear. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likes attention, and when the opportunity presents itself, he hops a jet. All this attention-getting travel may result in one being a bit lax in prioritizing his responsibilities.

We could ponder that had the Prime Minister spent more time in Canada tending to our domestic affairs, the government of Canada would possibly have taken more seriously the reports regarding the Pro-Khalistani extremist activities in British Columbia.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar did not come to Canada to start a new life, instead he came to use Canada as a base from which he could plot the overthrow of an established government and create a separate Khalistani state in the Punjab region of India. As you point out the majority of the people in Punjab do not support separation, so it is so futile. India authorities many times, and Interpol as well according to public sources, brought to the attention of the Canadian government their concerns of what they described his terrorist activities, but those concerns were ignored, granting him citizenship in 2017.

Once a Canadian citizen, he was protected by our laws, and as he has now been killed he government of Canada will seek justice for his death. If it is true that agents of the Modi government murdered Nijjar, the Canadian government is now obligated to bring the killer(s) to justice. What a sad state of affairs.

I just need to vent regarding the situation resulting in Speaker of the House Rota's resignation. I find it understandable that perhaps Speaker Rota did not think through that if Yaroslav Hunka fought against Russia during WWII, he would have done so in collaboration with Nazi Germany. Should the Prime Minister himself or his staff not have figured this out? Most importantly though Deputy Prime Minister Freeland with her Ukrainian heritage would definitely have been aware of this, as would President Zelenskyy and his wife, but they all gave the man a standing ovation. That I find absolutely baffling.

Expand full comment

Paul you let him off too lightly. Any leader has to choose their priorities. I f everything is a priority then nothing is. Almost his entire caucus has been relegated to cheer leader status. What kind of priority was the event in Montreal? We have an Environment Minister ( although...) who could have gone to Washington. London was a mess of his own making because he treats backbenchers like clapping seals.

No words of how poor the government internal systems were that no one caught the Nazi in HoC. They don’t do briefing books when world leaders address the HoC?

Expand full comment

Paul: you are striking “a fine balance” -tough to do in these times. Best quote from this article: “ a government that isn’t afraid to alienate Narendra Modi shouldn’t be afraid to alienate Canadians who flout the law to prosecute grudges.” It has been said elsewhere, but bears repeating: diaspora politics cannot or should not override principled (foreign/security/human rights) policy. Will any federal party be willing to renounce diaspora politics ahead of the next election? As a former foreign service officer, I wonder how my ex-colleges at Global Affairs are managing to cope. And for the mess that the Speaker created on Friday, the focus should not only be on Canada, Canadian reputation etc.; what is Zelensky thinking? A waste of a trip to a friendly country?

Expand full comment
Sep 26·edited Sep 26

"I’m pretty happy to have a prime minister who states a simple principle: you don’t get to kill Canadian citizens on Canadian soil."

Okay - fair enough, but for several decades we have turned a deaf ear when the Indian government made the same argument about killing Indians on Indian soil (or in passenger aircraft, but I digress) in asking for Nijjar's extradition (and others). To put this in Canadian terms: if there was a group of FLQ supporters continuing to support violence in Canada from a base in France, would we be satisfied with a French response that matched Canada's in relation to Khalistani activists / terrorists?

Shoe-leather reporting in Surrey by the Washington Post suggests Nijjar’s murder was far more elaborate than some simple case of road rage.

Sure - more elaborate than road rage; maybe slightly more organization than the killing of Ripudaman Malik? Does that serve to implicate India? Nijjar's killing was not beyond the organizational and logistic capability of a community that planned the Air India bombings.

Expand full comment

De profundis clamavi...

I realize that Katie has given very strict instructions that any article on any subject published in Canada must contain at least one picture of her boss.

But, I would implore you to risk her wrath and publish future articles without any photos of the Father of the Nation. After almost eight years with every day bringing with it a tsunami of photos, we all know what he looks like.

Or, at a minimum, a trigger warning would be most appreciated.

Thank you.

Expand full comment

I’ve been viewing India TV because our CBC is SO lacking in journalism. Giving Trudeau any pass this past week only demonstrates blindness.

Expand full comment

Why does anyone want to be prime minister again? I certainly empathize with the man's life this month, as much as i can in my distinctly ''not a prime minister lifestyle', but he's burned a lot of bridges lately. I really hope we can get a leader soon who will look at our security and intelligence issues seriously. Canada is in need of a hard reset. I hope we don't have to learn the hard way.

Expand full comment

Looks to me like Jody Thomas gave Trudeau bad advice. Did she seriously think that India was going to 'help with the investigation'? Surely foreign policy experts at Global Affairs would have advised against creating a diplomatic blow up which has resulted in visa problems for Canadians and a more challenging murder investigation.

Expand full comment

Exellent, balanced, analysis of this debacle. Also worth noting is Andrew Coyne's revelation in Saturday's Globe (cribbed from "independent national security reporter Sam Cooper") that the PMO blocked a "CSIS planned major intervention in 2017" to shut down an intelligence network in Vancouver. This was reported by NSICOP in 2019. It was shut down due to "political sensitivity" likely related to the then upcoming trip by the PM to India. This is a repeat of the Liberal government's misguided policy v-à-v China.

Also worth reading is Justin Ling's deep dive into the complicated war-time situation in Ukraine, on Substack ("About the SS Officer in the Gallery"). Important context for who Mr. Hunka really is.

Expand full comment

The most offensive part of this article was where Paul referred to Trudeau as a “hick from the sticks”. As I read this late last night while watching combines slowly grind through the fields of East Central Alberta, I found this implied affinity with my ilk extremely offensive and quite frankly upsetting. I’ll await your apology, Paul.

Expand full comment

Some readers may recall that shortly after our Long National Nightmare began in October 2015 the PM granted an interview to the state organ of the Democratic party, also known as the New York Times.

Notably, he said the following of Canada "There is no core identity...".

Given the Canadian government's disinterest in reports regarding Pro-Khalistani extremist activities in British Columbia one has to wonder if the people fighting for the establishment of that nation are of the view that it too should have "no core identity".

For someone who is all for a country with no core identity the Father of the Nation seems to spend a great deal of time in diaspora politics, i.e. currying the votes of various groups who seem very much concerned with preserving a core ethnic or religious identity.

Whatever can it all mean?

Expand full comment

Thanks Paul. As always, you approach these issues in an even-handed manner. I appreciate your perspective and your effort to keep us informed.

Expand full comment