Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers an official apology to Inuit for the federal government’s management of tuberculosis in the Arctic from the 1940s to the 1960s during an event in Iqaluit, Nunavut on Friday, March 8, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

EDITORIAL: An effigy incites anger

Piñata depicting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not address specific concerns

An Alberta bar owner who hung by the neck an effigy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the gesture was done “just in fun,” but the image is deeply disturbing.

The effigy—a piñata depicting the prime minister — was hung at the bar for the Canada Day weekend.

While the Trudeau Liberals are not well-liked in Alberta, hanging an effigy is an extreme gesture, moving from the realm of political commentary to hatred.

Criticism of political figures is to be expected and welcomed in a democracy, but this gesture was not a condemnation of the Trudeau government.

Rather, it was a way to feed on disgust for the man himself. This gesture did not address issues such as the SNC-Lavalin affair, the government’s policy on immigration, the way Trudeau has responded to deteriorating relations with China or any other point of policy or leadership. It was nothing more or less than a way of expressing hate for the prime minister.

This is not the first time a Canadian political figure has been targeted by this level of hate.

Earlier this year, members of the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook group spoke of the need to kill Trudeau. Facebook later pulled the comments.

And Trudeau has not been the only face on a target. Three years ago, while she was premier of Alberta, Rachel Notely’s face was used as a target in a golf tournament, because of anger with her government’s policies.

Such an action only serves to further feed an anger which is already all too present among a portion of the population.

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