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Trudeau stages photobombs, but still refuses to hold public hearings on NAFTA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the news and social media last week when he was photographed jogging past a group of teenagers in Vancouver just before their prom. Even the BBC reported on it adding, “The winsome world leader has a knack for showing up in unexpected pictures, frequently shirtless.”

The photo helps to create an image of an everyday prime minister who is friendly and accessible to the public.

But Maclean’s magazine reports, “Not to get all technical, but the definition of a photobomb is: ‘to ruin a photograph by appearing in the image without the photographer’s knowledge’. And the Prime Minister would have a hard time arguing that he photobombed kids getting ready for prom when the picture was surreptitiously taken by Trudeau’s own personal photographer, Adam Scotti. …If anything, the prom goers photobombed Trudeau’s running picture, since only Trudeau and his photographer knew the picture was happening. …What once appeared like a pleasant coincidence of timing for whomever gets to pose with the Prime Minister, it’s starting to feel even more like a staged exercise than it was before.”

Rather than staging photos running past students, The Council of Canadians is calling on the Prime Minister not to run past the need to hold public hearings on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Almost 10,000 people have now told the Prime Minister, “It is imperative that the renegotiation process be fair and transparent, and include full consultation with the public, civil society and Indigenous peoples.”

In a surprising contrast, a public notice on the website of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) now states, “To assist USTR as it develops its negotiating objectives and positions for the agreement, the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) invites interested persons to submit comments and/or oral testimony at a public hearing on matters relevant to the modernization of the NAFTA.”

While we are under no illusion that the Trump administration is anything other than racist, misogynist and acting in the interests of the 1 per cent, it is still notable that the U.S. has a formal process of public consultation on NAFTA.

To add your voice to the demand for public hearings in Canada and with First Nations, please click on this online action alert now.