Disastrous trip to India at Elbowgate

Justin Trudeau faces declining popularity and has a history of failure.

New Delhi:

Justin Trudeau escalated tensions with India on Monday by accusing him of linking the killing of a Khalistan terrorist to “agents of the Indian government.” The Canadian Prime Minister, whose popularity is declining, has a history of failure.

Here are 10 points on Justin Trudeau’s missteps:

G20 tensions

Justin Trudeau skipped a dinner for G20 leaders in Delhi on September 9. Negotiations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi have also been frosty, with India raising concerns that Canada is not taking action against the Khalistan protesters. Amid tensions, Trudeau found himself stranded for two more days in Delhi after his plane encountered a problem.

Disastrous trip to India

During a 2018 visit to India, the Trudeau family wore elaborate and over-the-top Indian costumes to official functions and were mocked on social media.

A row over the invitation of a Khalistan supporter

A row broke out during the same trip over Jaspal Atwal, who was convicted in 1986 of the attempted murder of a visiting Punjab minister in Canada, while he was invited to a reception for Trudeau in Delhi.

Tourist trip?

Trudeau has also been criticized for spending more time sightseeing than in official meetings. He was accused of trying to score points with Sikh voters in his country.

Support for farmers’ protests

In 2020, Trudeau expressed concern over farmers’ protests in India against new agricultural laws and said his country would always be there to defend the right to peacefully protest.

SNC-Lavalin scandal

Canada’s ethics watchdog said in 2019 that Prime Minister Trudeau’s team broke the rules by trying in 2018 to undermine a decision by federal prosecutors allowing construction company Groupe SNC-Lavalin Inc to face trial for corruption.

First Canadian Prime Minister in ethics row

Trudeau said he took full responsibility, but refused to apologize, saying he had tried to save jobs.

Private island vacation

The Trudeaus’ vacation on a private island owned by the Aga Khan, the billionaire philanthropist, sparked allegations of a conflict of interest. The Aga Khan Foundation was officially registered to lobby Trudeau and his officials. In 2017, the ethics watchdog sanctioned Trudeau, who said he accepted the report and would allow future vacations with the watchdog.


Trudeau was accused of crossing the floor of the House of Commons to grab a lawmaker and accidentally elbowing a female parliamentarian in his impatience. The Canadian prime minister has repeatedly apologized for the May 2016 incident, saying he was only human and had a high-pressure job.

Sarcastic remark to indigenous protester

Trudeau had to apologize in March 2019 for a sarcastic remark directed at an Indigenous woman who interrupted a Liberal Party fundraiser to protest poor living conditions. He told her “Thank you for your donation” as she was escorted from the room.


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