Long before Justin, Trudeau father was also insulted by an American president

Long before Justin, Trudeau Sr. was also insulted by a US President


In February 2022, Donald Trump called Justin Trudeau a “far-left lunatic.” According to the former American president, Trudeau was destroying Canada with his anti-covid measures. The case is reminiscent of the episode in which Richard Nixon privately declared Justin's father to be a “pompous egghead…an asshole.” There are several reasons for this resentment.

At the time, in the 1970s, the biggest issue between the two countries was the economy. Ottawa found that Canada, the United States' largest trading partner, was not taken seriously.

For example, when Ambassador Marcel Cadieux first meets Henry Kissinger, Nixon's foreign policy adviser, he arrives with a voluminous stack of files. 

Leaflets like this had been produced by anti-war activists explaining to American deserters how to immigrate to Canada during the Vietnam War.

Kissinger looks at him, amazed, and says: “I hope you don’t come and talk to me about the sex life of salmon!”.

Relations worsened when, on August 15, 1971, Nixon announced protectionist measures, including a 10% surcharge on all products entering the American market. 

Ottawa was taken aback. It must be said that Canada was then a partner cherished by the Americans, in particular because of a free trade agreement for the automobile industry. 

Finally, a visit by Trudeau to Washington on December 6, 1971 will save the furniture in extremis. 


Military issues are another bone of contention. In the midst of the Cold War, Trudeau then decided to halve the number of Canadian soldiers deployed in Europe. Nixon then sees him as a queue jumper counting on the American big brother for his defense. 

And when Trudeau criticizes the possible deployment of an anti-missile system by the United States, a threat to peace world according to him, he also passes for an unbearable lesson giver.

During the Vietnam War era, protests against conscription were common in the United States.

Vietnam also poisons Canada-US relations for several reasons. 

First, there are tens of thousands of American conscripts who escape military service by fleeing to Canada, from 50,000 to 120,000 according to estimates. Nothing to please Washington.

In 1972 the minority Liberals voted with the NDP, which presented a motion condemning the bombing of North Vietnam by the United States. The American president's anger is all the greater because he has reduced his country's military commitment and is moving somehow towards peace.

Canada has the opportunity to redeem themselves in 1973. Washington and Hanoi brokered a ceasefire in Paris. 

The White House would like Canada to be part of the oversight commission that would oversee the establishment of a peace process. Ottawa accepts, but then decides to back down, another snub for Uncle Sam. 


Besides these events, Nixon does not like Trudeau because he embodies in his eyes the caviar left, because he comes from a wealthy family. 

He reminds him of former President John F. Kennedy . Coming from a modest background, the Republican president hated this one. Nixon believed that journalists were biased in favor of such politicians. 

When Trudeau resorted to the War Measures Act in 1970, he wrote to an adviser: “You'll see, they [the media] are going to defend one of their Liberal friends.”

It was only after Nixon's resignation that we would understand the extent of his aversion to the Canadian Prime Minister, while a recording of the former president calling him an asshole will be made public. 

Trudeau will take it philosophically. 

“I was called a worse thing than that by people worse than that”.