John Ivison: It is clear where the Liberal leader’s priorities lie, and it is not with those stuck in Afghanistan


The immediate crisis in Afghanistan may well have passed by the time Canadians go to the polls next month but the general election will give voters the chance to choose the leader they think is best suited to handle tricky situations like the end of mass evacuations from Kabul. That judgment is unlikely to be kind on Justin Trudeau. As reports of explosions and mass Western casualties in the Afghan capital began to circulate, the Liberal leader was campaigning in Quebec City, promising an extra $42 a month for seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement. The penny-ante nature of the announcement was in stark contrast to the consequential events happening half a world away, where thousands of applicants to leave Afghanistan for Canada remain trapped. Trudeau didn’t mention the crisis in his planned remarks but was asked by reporters whether he accepted personal responsibility for the failure to move quickly enough to evacuate those who helped Canada. He said the situation was “heart-breaking to see,” but that Canada has airlifted 3,700 people on 17 flights and will continue to put pressure on the Taliban to allow people to leave the country.

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