OTTAWA — When chants of “lock her up” — an echo of anti-Clinton vitriol from the U.S. presidential election — erupted last December during a protest at the Alberta legislature, observers quickly flagged it as evidence of the Trump effect in Canada.
But 21st-century populism knows no geopolitical bounds.
Witness the struggling town of Smith Falls, Ont., where local residents stood up during a public meeting last month to demand that the town take part in a provincial project that would provide everyone with a guaranteed income.
When it comes to finding Canadian examples of the sentiment that fuelled Trump’s improbable election win, where to look — or what to look for — isn’t always clear.
In the Populism Project, The Canadian Press is exploring the factors that led to Trump’s victory, and testing them against Canada’s economic, social and political climate to see whether the same kind of political upheaval could happen here.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits down with Trump for the first time, a meeting that might end up setting the tone for the relationship between the two leaders and their countries for the next four years.
It could get awkward: some see Trudeau’s ‘sunny ways’ political stylings as an antidote of sorts to the U.S. president. A recent column by influential New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof was titled “Canada, Leading the Free World.”
But in the same way Trudeau has supporters abroad, many in Canada are Trump fans, too. And true to form, many of them are in Alberta.