"Having a little more of an awareness of what's going on in the rest of the world, I think is what many Canadians would hope for Americans. Because you can't be Canadian without being aware of at least one other country, the United States, 'cause it's so important to us. I think we sometimes like to think that Americans will pay attention to us from time to time, too."
Justin Trudeau was going to be in the spotlight with the White House State Dinner on Thursday. So why not warm up in having Americans get to know you by being on "60 Minutes."
Lara Logan took us into the past, connecting Trudeau with his famous father, Pierre Trudeau, and showed how Trudeau has been in the spotlight from the start. Even with the connection to his father, Trudeau's professional path took him out of that spotlight. The landmarks that made an impact: the death of his brother, Michel, in 1998 in an avalanche; the death of his father in 2000; and running for office, winning a seat in the Papineau riding in Montréal in 2008.
The meteoric rise was something Logan hit on as they were walking through the halls in Parliament Hill, how after being in politics for only 8 years before becoming prime minister.
Logan took us through Trudeau's love for boxing, playing up the now infamous boxing match with Sen. Patrick Brazeau (yes, that Patrick Brazeau) where Trudeau's strategy was to outlast a much tougher opponent. Trudeau won in the 3rd round when the referee stopped the fight.
"People think that boxing is all about how hard you can hit your opponent. It's not. Boxing is about how hard a hit you can take and keep going. That ultimately is much more the measure of a person than someone who says, 'Oh, I've never been knocked down. I've never been punched in the face.' Well you know what: maybe you should have. You might learn a few things about yourself."
Definitely a metaphor for politics, too.
We saw Trudeau at Carnaval de Québec in Quebec City with his children and wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, along with Bonhomme de neige (good snowman). The scenes inside the Parliament Building were inside the House of Commons (which you aren't allowed to go in during the tour), down the hallway of the portraits of prime ministers, and the gorgeous Parliamentary library. The library is not normally a place where you can take pictures, but "60 Minutes" gives us access most people wouldn't get unless you literally went to Ottawa.
Logan noted that while Canada withdrew its 6 jets in the fight against ISIL, but "more than doubled the number of advisers on the ground."
"There's a lotta countries that do very well at dropping bombs. There are other things that Canada actually does better than most other countries. And one of them is training people on the ground."
Unlike the panic stricken politicians in the United States who were afraid to take in Syrian refugees, the cameras showed Trudeau personally welcoming Syrian refugees to Canada. What a powerful contrast.
Logan challenged him on the potential safety of allowing the refugees into Canada.
"Every time, every time a tourist or an immigrant or a refugee shows up in another country there's a security risk. And, I am more than comfortable that doing what we've done, accepting in 25,000 Syrian refugees does right by both the safety of Canadians and by the values that define us as a nation. … Ultimately, being open and respectful towards each other is much more powerful as a way to diffuse hatred and anger than, you know, layering on, you know, big walls and oppressive policies."
This is the new Canada; same as the old Canada.
Pierre Trudeau joked that hockey players and cold fronts were the main exports of Canada. The visual in the "60 Minutes" story was Dale Wiese of the Montréal Canadiens scoring on a penalty shot against Boston at the Bell Centre. Jim Hughson had the call. The penalty shot looks to be from November 13, 2014, a Thursday night game that was carried on Rogers Sportsnet 360.
Logan told us that "the U.S. gets more oil from Canada than any other country." Very true. "it's one of this nation's biggest trading partners." "60 Minutes" makes sure about its facts, but I thought Canada was the largest trading partner. These stats back my statement. If the U.S. has a country where there is more trade, the show should let us know.
Then again, the show had a picture (above) of Pierre Trudeau with Canadian actress Kim Cattrall (yes, that Kim Cattrall from "Sex in the City") when talking about Margaret Trudeau.
"The State Department says more than eight million Americans depend on Canada for their jobs and nearly $2 billion in trade flows across the border every day." Those are huge numbers. Yes, the United States should pay more attention to Canada.
photos credit: 60 Minutes/CBS News