(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

Everybody seems to love Justin Trudeau.

Our prime minister is something of a whiz kid when it comes to getting positive news coverage, whether it’s for memorizing a few lines about quantum computing, striking cool yoga poses, declaring himself a ‘feminist’ over and over and over, or for taking perfect selfies with refugees, bureaucrats at Global Affairs Canada and even Chinese Panda bears.

Journalists all over the world swarm Trudeau at international summits and swoon over his good looks. He’s been called “dreamy,” “charming,” “handsome,” and a “genuine heartthrob.”

But the international fanboys and fangirls got to see a different side of Trudeau late last month. Many at home and around the world were surprised, and quite frankly dumbfounded, to hear Canada’s progressive Prime Minister offer glowing praise for ruthless Cuban socialist dictator Fidel Castro.

Following Castro’s long-awaited and much-anticipated death in late November, the government of Canada released Trudeau’s statement, claiming to speak on behalf of all Canadians.

Trudeau said it was “with deep sorrow” that he learned of the passing of “Cuba’s longest serving President.” (Dictators who ban political opponents, independent journalists and democratic elections tend to rule for a long time.)

Trudeau spoke of Castro’s “tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people” and for their “deep and lasting affection” back at him. (Don’t tell that to the families of those killed by firing squad, the refugees whose boats were bombed as they tried to flee, or those who starve and suffer in political prisons.)

Trudeau praised the murderous tyrant, putting his family’s friendship with the Castros ahead of common sense and compassion to those who suffered under Castro’s heavy-handed rule.

Many were left wondering, how could Trudeau be that stupid?

Well, for Canadians who pay attention to Trudeau, this is nothing new. Trudeau has a long history of saying strange and off-putting things; things that make many Canadians feel embarrassed and uncomfortable.

The truth about Trudeau is, he isn’t always very serious.

His career before politics was uninspiring. He did odd jobs, travelled the world, taught drama and elementary French, and charged tens of thousands of dollars to give speeches. Before he became an MP, Trudeau was the type of guy you wouldn’t want your sister or daughter to bring over for dinner.

Even after he became an MP, Trudeau seemed like an aloof party boy. He said that budgets balance themselves and that…(READ MORE)

– Candice Malcolm’s latest book is now available atStupidThingsTrudeauSays.ca