Justin Trudeau’s mom comes to his defence

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Justin Trudeau has had a lot of people — especially in the media — come to his defence over the past couple of weeks about those darn negative attack ads.

Well, now his mom his coming to his defence.

[ Related: Tories release first attack ads against Justin Trudeau: “He’s in way over his head” ]

According to an article published at northbaynipissing.com, Margaret Trudeau spoke about the ads at a recent speaking engagement for mental health awareness.

“...someone is bullying my Justin and that makes me mad,” she said to rousing applause from the packed audience at the Capitol Centre.

“We have to get rid of bullying in politics,” Trudeau said, “ and focus on what we can do for each other.”

Unable to resist a small jab in her son’s defense, she pointed to footage in the TV ads of Justin removing his shirt during a fundraising event.

“If Stephen Harper took off his shirt in public, I’m not sure he’d raise any money for charity,” Trudeau quipped.

The full article can be read here.

[ Related: Are attack ads the same bullying? ]

If that's the way Margaret Trudeau truly feels, she probably won't like what political consultant Gerry Nicholls' had to say about people calling the Conservatives 'bullies.' In a recent column on his website, Nicholls argues that the media has been doing the same thing for many many years.

Think of how, during the 1972 federal election, the media published an unflattering photo of Progressive Conservative leader Robert Stanfield dropping a football.

Or how about the time the CBC’s Rick Mercer launched a petition during the 2000 federal election to get Canadian Alliance Leader Stockwell Day to change his first name to “Doris”?

Remember the mockery over [Stephen Harper's] cowboy outfit?

And more recently, the media has taken to openly mocking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford because of his weight. The Toronto Star, for instance, once posted a video on its site of a woman laughing at Ford as he ordered a meal at a KFC restaurant.

Now none of this is to suggest we should feel sorry for Ford or Day or Stanfield or Harper. Like it or not, mockery and attacks have always been a part of democratic politics; that’s why it’s not a business for people with thin skins.

Nicholls is right — political parties and the media have been doing this sort of thing even before Margaret Trudeau was living at 24 Sussex.

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