For Trudeau, Macron's phone call is a drop
Jean-Marc Salvet The Sun
Emmanuel Macron called François Legault on Tuesday morning.
Share November 4, 2020 3:00 a.m. Updated at 4:00 a.m. Share For Trudeau, Macron's phone call is a bust CHRONICLE / In the once almost infernal triangle, but fortunately for a long time appeased, of Paris-Quebec-Ottawa relations, it is a Earth tremor. Because it is not only a diplomatic but political slap that French President Emmanuel Macron inflicted on Justin Trudeau by calling François Legault on Tuesday morning to thank him for Quebec's “clear position” in the defense of freedom of expression. – in the words of the head of the Quebec government himself.
It seems that the two men first discussed the savage attacks perpetrated in the heart of Quebec this weekend. But Mr. Legault stressed the fact that the President of the French Republic thanked him for his support in the full defense of freedom of expression. And he wanted it to be known!
It is a masterful slap that Mr. Macron sent to Justin Trudeau by proxy.
Basically, the first representative of the French Republic sent a strong message on the parameters to be those of freedom of expression. Behind this telephone from the Élysée Palace, we see opposing value systems.
With this phone call, Emmanuel Macron also recalled that the relationship between France and Quebec is unique, that it is virtually unparalleled in the world between a sovereign state and a state not represented at the United Nations.
But for Justin Trudeau, it's a pantyhose. It is an immense embarrassment.
Apart from the passage of Charles de Gaulle in 1967, the expressions of affection sent by Paris to Quebec have almost always, if not more and more over time, sought to avoid offending Ottawa.
It is in this sense that this little phone call is a big political thunderclap.
Emmanuel Macron has long been seen – among others by Quebec sovereignists, but not only – as a follower of multiculturalism à la Trudeau. In Ottawa, we had not seen its evolution over the years.
After this phone call, Justin Trudeau defended freedom of expression without ambiguity, without his blunders of the last week. We may be in the presence of different value systems, the fact remains that it was a serious fault towards his French ally to seem to distribute the blame as he had done. In the context, it was unacceptable.
After this phone call from the French president to François Legault, Mr. Trudeau reframed his remarks: he affirmed that he will always defend freedom of expression, including the caricatures of Mohammed. It was clear on the fact that freedom of expression includes the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo : “The terrorist acts, the hateful acts that we have seen in France are absolutely unacceptable and absolutely unjustifiable. There is no justification for this violence and that is what I said and that is what I will continue to say, ”said the Prime Minister of Canada.
Without speaking to him directly, Emmanuel Macron forced Justin Trudeau to reframe his message. It’s happy.