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WARMINGTON

Brazeau has PM Trudeau against the ropes this time

By Joe Warmington, Toronto Sun

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have defeated his “good foil” Sen. Patrick Brazeau in the ring five years ago.

But he didn’t win Wednesday when Brazeau used skill, strategy and intelligence to score points.

Turns out this may have been actually been “Thrilla on the Hilla” part two.

With Trudeau’s bizarre, hurtful remarks in Rolling Stone magazine about his 2012 political sparring partner, many on Wednesday were channelling their best Don King and Bob Arum to try to promote a rematch.

In one corner would be the champ — Justin “The Shiny Pony” Trudeau — and in the other, challenger Patrick “Brass Knuckles” Brazeau.

The trash talking had already started.

“I wanted someone who would be a good foil and we stumbled upon the scrappy tough-guy senator from an Indigenous community,” Trudeau was quoted as saying in Rolling Stone. “He fit the bill ... I saw it as the right kind of narrative.”

And here we were thinking it was all for charity.

Fighting words! Let’s book the hall and start selling tickets. All for charity, of course.

Not going to happen.

“I did want a rematch after I lost and he immediately declined,” Sen. Brazeau told me Wednesday.

It’s not going to happen now.

“I appreciate your interest” but “my boxing days are over,” teased Brazeau.

Too bad, because there were a lot of people who would love to see that smug look wiped off Trudeau’s face.

But to Brazeau’s credit, he took on the prime minister in a different way than he did in the ring. This time, he delivered the decisive blows. Instead of taking the bait and moaning about being belittled to an American audience by the boastful prime minister, he used the moment to talk about Indigenous issues.

“I just tweeted two messages aimed at the PM,” he told me in an e-mail.

I jumped right to Twitter and sure enough there they were.

On the button.

“@JustinTrudeau True reconciliation would be for your gvt to accept the Senate amendments to end discrimination under the Indian Act #cdnpoli,” Brazeau tweeted.

And then he added: “@JustinTrudeau INAC (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) says my son cannot get his status card for 1-2yrs. But passports can be issued in 48hrs? #cdnpoli.”

The senator tells me the reason it takes so long to obtain the status card is “because the Liberal government didn’t accept the Senate amendments to get rid of all discrimination for entitlement to have a First Nations status card.”

Brilliant.

None of it surprised Brazeau’s senate colleagues, who have marvelled at his comeback since life-saving surgery which followed personal and legal issues that are now behind him.

“He’s working hard, coming to work every day with a smile and seems like a happier person,” said Sen. Bob Runciman, who is set to retire Aug. 10.

Senators are not worrying about some silly remarks in a magazine or commenting on ridiculous suggestions Trudeau is against First Nations when everybody knows their issues are his government’s priority.

So Brazeau taking the fight on this way has impressed a lot of people.

Citing the “Descheneaux court decision,” Brazeau doesn’t seem to care much about a boxing match in 2012, but sure cares about the status of his eight-year-old son who can’t get his card.

As of deadline, Trudeau hadn’t responded. But since the PM decided to talk about him to Rolling Stone, Brazeau decided to ask him about this issue on social media.

He may have lost by technical knock out (TKO) in 2012, but five years later it was Brazeau landing the winning blows.