I am sorry. From the bottom of my heart. Really. Things haven’t been great lately. And for that I do apologize.
I’m sorry I created a federal holiday for reconciliation then went and spent part of it vacationing. I’m sorry I didn’t go to Kamloops instead. I’m sorry my itinerary said I would be in “private meetings” in Ottawa and didn’t mention my flight to Tofino.
I’m especially sorry this sojourn attracted national attention. Because—cough-fishwrap-cough—we should all have been focusing on reconciliation. So what I’m sorry about, most of all, is that you seized on my trip rather than spending the day in quiet reflection.
The thing is, I keep saying “sorry” over and over and over. But what makes me feel the sorriest is how my apologies never seem to satisfy you. Even when I use all the right words.
Because, you know, on behalf of Canada, and indeed all Canadians, I have publicly apologized for some really important things.
You may recall some of my many apologies: I was sorry about the Komagata Maru. And about the MS St. Louis. I apologized to Italian-Canadians. I apologized to LGBTQ Canadians. I apologized—more than once, to really drive home the point—to Indigenous survivors of residential schools. And I apologized better than Harper did.
Not only have I been willing to take these historical wrongs on my shoulders, but I have also been willing to say I am sorry about my own innocent mistakes. This is the kind of magnanimity that Canadians deserve. But somehow it isn’t adequate, for you.
I lowered my chin regretfully in recognition of many things that you all decided to make a fuss about. To recap: I was apologetic about my elbow. I was sorry about the Aga Khan vacation. (Though it was actually really nice.) I was dismayed that the Creston reporter remembered events differently than I did. I was remorseful about the blackface incidents, and the fact I couldn’t say how many there had been. For God’s sake, I even admitted a mistake, at least the mistake you all seemed to think I made, when it came to WE Charity. We—I mean, I—I was so expressively sorry about that. Couldn’t you tell?
Even after all these apologies, it’s like you’re begging for more. So I’m telling you again. I’m saying that I’m sorry. I’m really, mournfully sorry! I’ve learned my lesson! Okay? Are we done now? How is this not working?
You might think that I should be sorry for not pursuing umpteen other Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action, instead of picking the very easiest one to implement—a federal statutory holiday—and then not even observing it myself. Fine, sorry, okay? I’m working on it. Just—sometimes I work on it from Tofino. I wish you would stop focusing on the boil water advisories and start focusing on how earnest my apologies have been.
You might think I should be sorry for calling an election in the midst of the pandemic, because my numbers looked good for a majority government. You might think I should apologize for declaring victory when my party didn’t get the most support, when such a small share of the population actually wanted me in charge. Well, look, sorry, I guess. But it’s really not my fault that our votes were so efficient.
So you say I should apologize for failing to implement electoral reform. (Though some of you who would’ve said so a year ago are biting your tongues now. Thanks, Max.) You say I should regret disappointing you on myriad other promises, too. Like forgetting about pharmacare. Or helping a brother out at SNC-Lavalin. I’m really sorry you feel that way, okay? I truly apologize for how hard it is to govern.
Oh, and now you think I should regret not surrounding myself with “more critical staff”? You think I should regret not bringing “new blood” into my office? People who’d give me a heads up when my vacation habits were going to look fishy to the—I’ll just go ahead and say it—fishwrap press? At least then I’d be safe rather than sorry, right?
Well, MY SINCEREST APOLOGIES. See, I really like my friends. They never ask me to say sorry in private. Love means never having to. I’m just sorry you don’t love me like they do. I’m just sorry that “sorry” never seems to be enough.