Mr Poilievre also criticised other aspects of Mr Trudeau’s foreign policy.
The leader of the Conservative Party in Canada has slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the diplomatic row with India, saying that Mr Trudeau is “not worth the cost after eight long years” and that he is considered a “laughing stock in India”.
Pierre Poilievre, who is Canadians’ preferred choice as prime minister and whose party is leading in some opinion polls for the general elections in 2025, has also promised that he will restore a “professional relationship” with India if his party comes to power.
In an interview with Nepalese media outlet Namaste Radio Toronto, Mr Poilievre was asked about the “bitter situation” in the Canada-India relationship. “This is another example of how Justin Trudeau is not worth the cost after eight long years. He has turned Canadians against each other at home and he has blown up our relations abroad. He is so incompetent and unprofessional that now we are in major disputes with every major power in the world, and that includes India,” the leader of the opposition in Canada said.
“We need a professional relationship with the Indian government. India is the largest democracy on Earth and it’s fine to have our disagreements and hold each other accountable, but we have to have a professional relationship and that is what I will restore when I am prime minister of this country,” he asserted.
‘Biden Treats Him Like A Doormat’
Keeping his guns trained on Mr Trudeau over his handling of foreign policy, Mr Poilievre claimed China was interfering in the country and that US President Joe Biden was walking all over the Canadian Prime Minister.
“After eight years of Trudeau, our reputation is in tatters. Beijing is interfering in our country, opening police stations in Canada to abuse our people. Justin Trudeau is considered a laughing stock in India, the world’s biggest democracy. President Biden is walking all over Trudeau and treating him like a doormat and slapping him around like a rag doll,” the opposition leader remarked.
“Then you have his incredible embarrassment where he brought a Nazi to parliament when the Ukraine president was in our chamber. Every day, and every way, Justin Trudeau is an embarrassment to Canada and to all Canadians and we can’t keep him as prime minister,” he added.
‘Aggression Towards Indian Diplomats’
To a question on the vandalisation of a Hindu temple and Hinduphobia in Canada, Mr Poilievre said Conservatives share the Hindu values of faith, family and freedom, and that freedom includes the ability to worship without fear and without vandalisation.
“I strongly condemn all of the attacks on Hindu mandirs (temples), the threats against Hindu leaders. The aggression shown to, for example, Indian diplomats at public events is totally unacceptable. I think there should be criminal charges laid against anyone who attacks either the property or people at Hindu mandirs, just like anywhere else,” he said.
A poll conducted for Canadian news platform Global News last month showed Mr Poilievre was the preferred choice as prime minister for 40% of Canadians while Mr Trudeau was preferred by 31%.
The relationship between India and Canada has been at its lowest ebb since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in the parliament last month that his government had “credible allegations” linking the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June with the “agents of the Government of India”.
Canada said on Thursday that it had withdrawn 41 diplomats from India, claiming that India planned to “unethically” revoke diplomatic immunity for all but 21 of its diplomats and that doing so would be “contrary to international law”.
India said no international norms were violated and it was seeking parity in the mutual diplomatic presence.
“The state of our bilateral relations, the much higher number of Canadian diplomats in India, and their continued interference in our internal affairs warrant a parity in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa,” the Ministry of External Affairs had said.
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