Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
I am writing to you to voice my grave concern about how the government is to deal with the administration of Donald Trump. While I understand that it is important for Canada to engage in profitable trading relationships, I do not believe that the foundations of Canadian identity and society should be sacrificed on the altar of commerce.
I know that I am not alone as a Canadian in believing in an open, equal and kind society where everyone has the same rights under the law, where those in trouble are welcome, those who are ill must be healed and those who are poor must be helped. Making this vision a reality is the Canadian project. Everything that President Trump has said or done in his campaign and brief stint in office so far has revealed that he has no respect for any of these pillars of Canadian society and indeed of decent humanity.
I urge you and other members of cabinet to ensure that Canada becomes an active member of a worldwide coalition of the decent. I’m quite sure that Donald Trump would not enjoy a series of conversations with the leaders of such a coalition telling him that his every word and deed is abhorrent. It is your job to tell him that. It is your job to call out this bully.
Yes, our trading relationship with the Americans has historically been important and it would be delightful to continue the same sort of relationship. That, however, is not the reality that we are living in now that the American government is being led by a misogynist, racist, homophobic fascist who does not understand the importance of the fourth estate or of opposition in a modern democracy. It is just possible that we must might have to wrench ourselves away from our economic interdependence with the United States of America. Agreements like CETA are a good way forward, as is increasing reproductive health funding for women worldwide along with the Netherlands and others.
For the sake of Canada and the sake of the world and the sake of your own political survival you must distance yourself from this monster.
Last weekend my parents and my sister were at a party welcoming a new family of Syrian refugees to Canada. As so many other Canadians have done, they formed a committee with others, raised money and now are friends to a new and lovely family settling in with help from Canadians. I am attaching a photo of the piece that my sister, an art teacher, made for them in welcome. It reads “God protect you”. These refugees are people just like us. They are us. I know you know that. I cannot have you dealing on equal terms with a man who does not believe that all humans on Earth are equally people.
I realize that the government must be thinking that a policy that speaks truth to the power of the president of the United States is very risky but I also believe in the long term that doing what is good and right and decent and essentially Canadian cannot go wrong.
Dr. Charlotte Masemann