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Prominent Brazilian magazine publishes scathing critique of Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes questions from the media following an announcement in Sudbury, Ont. Thursday April 7, 2016.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Apparently unfamiliar with that adage about people who live in glass houses, a prominent Brazilian magazine has published a blistering critique of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The column is headlined "Justin Trudeau is adorable, but exceedingly ordinary: Everything is wrong with Canada's Prime Minister – except his looks." It was written by Vilma Gryzinski, international affairs columnist for Veja, which is distributed nationally and leans, like most major Brazilian media, to the right.

Her ostensible peg is the upcoming release of a biographical film about the Prime Minister called God Save Justin Trudeau, but Ms. Gryzinski has a wide range of criticisms of the "narcissistic" Canadian leader.

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She has found time to look beyond Brazil's borders and pen a takedown of Mr. Trudeau even though Brazil is in the throes of a massive political crisis. The Brazilian President risks imminent impeachment for alleged misdirection of federal funds – Veja has been campaigning vociferously for her ouster for months.

The Vice-President is also now the subject of an impeachment, for alleged improprieties, while the next in line of succession, the president of the lower house of Congress, is being investigated for allegedly accepting $5-million (U.S.) in bribes. Dozens of major political figures were recently named as involved in corrupt schemes in a senator's plea bargain testimony.

Ms. Gryzinski, the former executive editor of Veja, calls Mr. Trudeau "the embodiment of vaguely leftist and confusingly well-intentioned liberalist dreams, a handsome guy who shamelessly shows off his physique and preens for photos in yoga poses."

She seems particularly perturbed by what she views as his soft-on-terrorism stand, which she conflates with his inclusive attitude to Muslim Canadians. He will, she writes, "support any insanity, including terrorism, when committed in the name of the Muslim religion. He frequently visits mosques, dressing in typical outfits from countries such as Pakistan, and praying in the Islamic fashion." The Islamic State heralded his election, she says, and no wonder.

She delves into the Prime Minister's personal history, recounting his mother Margaret Trudeau's youthful adventures at Studio 54 and famous lovers, before saying she "abandoned her children." As the young bride of the first Prime Minister Trudeau, Margaret "injected new life" into stuffy political circles, she writes, before adding, "Margaret injected other things, too" and chronicling a list of drug use.

The Prime Minister's Office declined to comment on the article, and Ms. Gryzinski did not reply to a request to comment.

The Canadian media come in for their share of scorn in the article – she calls them "sycophantic" and blames them for showing Mr. Trudeau "self-destructive deference."

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Nevertheless, Canada will likely remain the "dream destination" for many would-be immigrants, including Brazilians, she writes.

"Justin Trudeau will find it hard to screw up a country so well organized, if dull."

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About the Author
Latin America Bureau Chief

Stephanie Nolen is the Latin America correspondent for The Globe and Mail.After years as a roving correspondent that included coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Stephanie moved to Johannesburg in 2003 to open a new bureau for The Globe, to report on what she believed was the world's biggest uncovered story, Africa's AIDS pandemic. More

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