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Critics latch onto perceived snub, costume changes, as Trudeau tours India

by The Canadian Press (feat. Ferry de Kerckhove)

The Canadian Press
February 21, 2018

OTTAWA -- A clash of political ideals may be behind a perceived snub of Justin Trudeau that has made international headlines as the prime minister passes the mid-point of his trip to India, says one expert familiar with the region.

Those headlines are also writing the script for the Conservative Opposition at home that is pouncing on the visit as just another expensive Trudeau family vacation.

Media outlets including CNN and Al Jazeera have seized on the comments of Indian officials who have accused the Trudeau government of backing Sikh separatists.

But Ferry de Kerckhove at the University of Ottawa says a more likely reason President Narendra Modi has avoided greeting Canada's Liberal prime minister with open arms may be because the two men don't remotely share the same world view.

The professor at the university's graduate school of public and international affairs says Modi's political leanings more closely resemble those of U.S. President Donald Trump -- and even former prime minister Stephen Harper -- than they do Trudeau's feel-good approach.

Criticisms of the Trudeau family's ever-changing attire during their multiple stops in front of some of India's iconic cultural landmarks, meanwhile, have not gone unnoticed by the official Opposition, with Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre and others wondering aloud how much Canadian taxpayers are paying for their many costume changes.


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