Canada: Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau 2014
Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire welcome a new son
Hadrian was born at 9 a.m. Friday, according to Mr. Trudeau’s office.
He weighs 8lbs 3oz, with Mr. Trudeau sending out a picture of his small hand Friday morning on Twitter shortly after his birth. The birth came on the 30th anniversary of the resignation of Trudeau’s father, Pierre, as prime minister. He resigned on Feb. 29, 1984 — a leap year.
Paul Wells: Justin Trudeau’s choppy waters
The Liberal leader’s conference in Montreal was a promising moment surrounded by sharks
The most striking thing about the weekend wasn’t anything Trudeau did. It was the truly extraordinary number of Liberals I met who are planning to seek their party’s nomination as 2015 election candidates.
A few played high-profile roles at the convention. Andrew Leslie, who used to command the army. William Morneau, who runs the country’s largest human-resources firm. Chima Nkemdirim, chief of staff to Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Jim Carr, who ran the Manitoba Business Council.
I met half a dozen others and had little trouble coming up with the names of dozens more. In many cases they’ll have to beat other Liberals before they get to run as candidates. In Ville-Marie in downtown Montreal, Liberal organizer Brigitte Legault is running against two prominent lawyers, Marc Miller and Bernard Amyot, for the nomination. Amyot is a former president of the Canadian Bar Association. Jean Chrétien had a fundraiser for him. According to Amyot, the former PM later told him, “T’es ben mieux de gagner, tabarnak.” It translates as, “You had better win now, for goodness’ sake.” More or less.
… the convention passed resolutions calling for a future Liberal government to implement national strategies on transportation, energy, housing and more. There was much talk of an infrastructure deficit. Jim Carr, the Winnipeg candidate hopeful, put the “infrastructure deficit” at $7 billion for his city alone. Filling that hole, and treating the rest of the country equitably, would cost nearly half a trillion dollars. Of course Trudeau doesn’t plan to spend that much money. So Carr was just talking. Everybody at the convention was just talking, until Trudeau gave his speech and left without meeting reporters to take follow-up questions.
If he gets elected, he will have many of those shiny candidates helping him as newly elected MPs. Such big swings happen sometimes—in 1984 with Brian Mulroney, in 1993 with Chrétien, to some extent in 2011 when Jack Layton tripled the number of NDP MPs. Trudeau has defied gravity for close to a year. He has another year and a half to float up there before Canadians vote. Well, to float or fall.
Poll Suggests Some Liberal Policies May Boost Support, But Pot Legalization Is Risky
Only one proposal — enhancing CPP to allow Canadians to contribute more for their retirement — had more support than the Liberal Party itself, which Ipsos pegs at having the backing of 37 per cent of decided voters. Fully 40 per cent of respondents said that proposal it would make them more likely to vote Liberal, while just five per cent said it would make them less likely to cast a ballot in that direction.
No other proposal had more than 37 per cent support but if we exclude the respondents who did not understand the policy at question, we see three other proposals did have the potential to boost the party: more funding for mental health, more power to the Speaker of the House of Commons to hold MPs to account, and free votes for MPs when government confidence is not at stake.
Trudeau’s Hockey-Ukraine Joke Ripped By Top Conservatives
(CP via HuffPost) In a pre-taped interview that was broadcast at the end of a big Olympic hockey weekend that saw Canada win gold over Sweden, Trudeau was asked about the situation in the Ukraine and the prospect of Russian involvement.
“It’s very worrisome,” Trudeau said after telling the panel that he now considers Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to be illegitimate. “Especially since Russia lost in hockey, they will be in a bad mood. We are afraid of a Russian intervention in Ukraine.”
“Only because of hockey?” the show’s host, Guy A. Lepage, asked Trudeau.
“No,” Trudeau replied. “It is an attempt to bring a light view of a situation that is extremely serious.”
Bill Morneau, Chair Of C.D. Howe Institute, Steps Down After Partisan Speech To Liberals
(HuffPost) Just before addressing delegates, HuffPost reported that Morneau would seek the Liberal nomination in Toronto Centre. That riding is currently held by another star Liberal candidate, Chrystia Freeland, who intends to run in 2015 in the Toronto riding of University —Rosedale. Morneau, sources say, originally had his eye on the riding of Don Valley West, but was told to run in Toronto Centre after the former Liberal MP Rob Oliphant put up a strong internal fight.
Andrew Coyne: Justin Trudeau in total control after Liberal convention
How total is Justin Trudeau’s control of the Liberal party after this convention? So total that, the leader having brutally kicked the party’s senators out of caucus, suddenly, unilaterally and in explicit contravention of the party’s constitution, the party voted, in a “sense of the convention” resolution, to deem it constitutional, and to direct that the constitution be amended to make it legal.
So total that speaker after speaker at the convention, several with vastly greater life accomplishments, took the podium to praise the leader, not merely with the usual “next prime minister of Canada” boilerplate, but in terms faintly suggestive of a religious cult. So total that, though he had already left the convention — ducking out the back door to avoid reporters — delegates gave him a rousing standing ovation anyway, just for practice.
Justin Trudeau Cancels Convention Press Conference, Ignores Reporters
Reporters were told Saturday that Trudeau would not hold a customary closing press conference at the end of the Liberals’ biannual convention Sunday, and many journalists took to Twitter to express their confusion and frustration.
6 things Liberals got out of the Montreal convention
Liberals go home feeling upbeat about who they are
Justin Trudeau tells Liberal convention he can ‘make change happen’
Liberal leader says ‘Conservative base’ are not enemies but neighbours
(CBC) In a much-anticipated speech Justin Trudeau on Saturday highlighted the one concrete example of change he has effected since becoming Liberal leader — Senate reform. …
Trudeau spoke about themes he has covered before — a growth economy, open trade, a robust environmental policy — without offering any detail about how his party might make reforms or changes. But he spoke broadly and at times eloquently about a kind of Liberal philosophy. Read text
Five most important moments of Trudeau’s Montreal speech
No rear-view mirror
Justin Trudeau used his speech Saturday to pivot off the youth and energy of the convention. He didn’t look back at the past accomplishments Liberals love to brag about (balanced budgets or not joining Americans in Iraq). Rather, he looked ahead, describing the government he wants to lead and the choices Canadians will have for the 2015 federal election. Adam Goldenberg: Three things that weren’t in Justin Trudeau’s speech
(Globe & Mail) All Canadians deserve a ‘fair shot at success,’ Trudeau tells Liberals
Close Trudeau ally elected new Liberal president — For Anna Gainey hockey is a little too violent for her tastes but she has no problem with the game of politics.
Justin Trudeau’s Open Nomination Pledge For Liberals Has Some Exceptions
Trudeau has pledged that anyone can compete for the chance to be a candidate during the next election, but the Liberal leader will not always remain on the sidelines.
There will be “rare circumstances in which he does indicate public support for a particular candidate entering public life,” Trudeau director of communications Mylène Dupéré confirmed to The Huffington Post Canada Friday.
The Liberal leader tried to stay out of a nomination battle last summer in Toronto Centre that featured his recruited star candidate, journalist Chrystia Freeland.
Trudeau’s team helped advise the candidate and select her team – and that did not sit well with everybody in the riding.
Chrystia Freeland at Liberal convention
CBC’s Evan Solomon speaks with the Liberal international trade critic following her address [with Larry Summers] to the convention on Thursday night
Andrew Coyne: Liberal plan to ‘reinvent’ party appears to be in disarray
This is not a “new” or “reinvented” Liberal party; it is not even the centrist party of recent memory. From the evidence of the convention, it is an almost parodically left-wing party, and even if, as expected, the leader ignores most of the members’ handiwork in drafting the platform, what has been coming out of his own mouth is not hugely dissimilar: a difference more of degree than direction.
Trudeau’s promise to run open nominations could cause problems for incumbent Grits
But other Liberals say it will re-energize the party.
(Hill Times) “I will ensure that in 2015, every candidate for Liberal Party will be nominated through an open nomination process. I will not appoint any candidate in any of Canada’s 338 ridings,” reads a release on Mr. Trudeau’s website.
Liberal Party spokesperson Olivier Duchesneau, said the party is currently reviewing its nomination rules when asked to define open nominations and whether or not that means incumbent MPs will be protected. … Currently, Liberal Party nomination rules include a “Green Light Process,” whereby a committee is formed to interview potential nomination candidates and recommend them for approval, or, “where appropriate in the circumstances,” for refusal. (8 July 2013)
The At Issue panel shares their thoughts on Justin Trudeau’s opening speech at the Liberal convention.
Justin Trudeau kicks off Liberal convention with partisan speech
(CBC) As Liberals gathered in Montreal for a policy convention this weekend, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s opening night speech took shots at the Harper government, saying Canadians are tired of the tactics of fear and division practised by the Conservatives
Michael Den Tandt: Grits aiming for swing voters with economics-heavy focus
The question, assuming there is no stunning unveil of a heretofore unknown economic magic bullet, will be simply this: How will Trudeau’s plan differ from the Conservative plan? The answer, again flagged in the new video, is nuanced; more generous spending on job creation, education and training, a gentler hand when working with the provinces, a lighter touch with foreign trading partners, and the like. These are differences of style and tone and degree, in other words, and not of kind.
So this appears to be the grand bargain on offer, in an effort to bring moderate conservatives back to the Liberal camp; not a sharp deviation from Conservative economic policies (New Democrats would say no deviation at all), but a promise to improve on them and more broadly share the wealth. The clearest divergence between Red and Blue in 2015 will therefore concern democratic reform, and the tenor of leadership itself.
In effect Trudeau and his team are moving, with this renewed focus on the economy, to take the subject off the table. Their objective is to shake conservative pockets of Ontario and B.C. loose from the Tory coalition. There are two risks in this; first, that the economics may push some left-Liberals into the NDP camp; second, that any convergence in policy automatically puts greater emphasis on the contrast in leadership. That works for the Grits when Trudeau is on his game. It fails when he blurts his way into the weeds. “It’s not about me,” he has often said. Not so. This weekend’s economic thrust, de facto, will put his party in contention to form government. That makes it all about him; now, more than ever.
Althia Raj: Five Things To Watch At The Liberal Convention
1. Justin Trudeau’s speech to delegates
2. Controversial policy discussion – Just over 120 policy resolutions will be debated in closed-door sessions Friday and Saturday and on the floor of the convention centre Sunday.
3. First glance at Trudeau’s future candidates
4. The Conservative Party’s efforts to obstruct events
5. The welcome given to former Liberal senators
Only seven of the 32 Senate Liberals are expected to show up in Montreal. … Senator Romeo Dallaire, who was scheduled to introduce retired Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, has decided not to show up. Dallaire and Leslie both felt his presence might be disruptive, said one Trudeau advisor.
“Roméo Dallaire was like a second father to Andy Leslie. He was his mentor as a young soldier and they just mutually agreed [because] people are trying to make a spectacle of Liberal senators at the convention, that it wasn’t in either Andy or Roméo’s best interest for him to make the introduction.”
Liberal convention to showcase star recruits
And at this week’s national Liberal convention, which starts Thursday, he’ll be keeping company with people whose intellectual heft, breadth of experience and economic credentials he hopes will help dispel qualms about his suitability to be prime minister.
The convention, Trudeau’s first since being crowned leader last April, will showcase some of the stars he’s recruited to run for the Liberals in next year’s election. Among them: Jim Carr, president of the Business Council of Manitoba; Bill Morneau, head of the country’s largest human resources consulting company and chairman of a respected think-tank; and Jody Wilson-Raybould, British Columbia regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations. All three will make their debut as prospective members of Team Trudeau at the convention, where they’re scheduled to give keynote speeches and take part in panel discussions.
Justin Trudeau’s Inner Circle A Reflection Of The Leader
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s closest supporters, instrumental to his past and future success, look a lot like him: well-connected 40-something young parents with politics in their blood.
Justin Trudeau’s Economic Priorities Explained With Help Of Cartoons
In the spirit of James Carville/Bill Clinton “[it's] the economy, stupid” — in our opinion, Mr. Trudeau’s gentle – soporific? – tone is more suited to a children’s bedtime story than the harsh realities of the economy, but perhaps it will be a welcome relief from turgid policy paper.
Zach Paikin announces that he really wants to be a Liberal MP in 2015
Zach Paikin has become something of a cult figure in Canadian political circles in the past couple years for reasons that only partly involve the fact that his father Steve Paikin is the well-regarded host of the definitive TVO chat show The Agenda and a frequent moderator of televised federal election debates.
Ever since his bid in early 2012 to become the federal Liberal policy chief at age 20, the assumption has been that Paikin would run for office soon enough.
Paikin announced on Tuesday that he will give it a shot in the riding of Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, in the Ontario city where his dad was born and raised but does not live himself, having grown up in Toronto and graduated from McGill University in Montreal.
(The new riding boundaries include part of ridings currently held by NDP MP Chris Charlton and Conservative MP David Sweet. Liberals basically finished third throughout Hamilton in the 2011 federal election, much as they did overall.) …Paikin also gained notoriety for his role at the helm of a group called The Rosedale Club, whose well-attired young members engaged in political discourse over scotch and cigars, while snickering at outrage for their exclusionary aura.
The online commentary offered by Paikin in forums like iPolitics and Huffington Post Canada has also drawn its share of attention along with jabs on social media. (Canada.com recapped these experiences on Oct. 26, 2012: Who is Zach Paikin and why are they saying those terrible things about him?)
No mystery in the program behind the general’s moving costs
(Maclean’s) From the shocked tone of Defence Minister Rob Nicholson’s prepared statement on the more than $72,000 his department spent moving Andrew Leslie from one Ottawa house to another when the former general retired from the Forces, you’d think this government had never before had cause to take a close look at their relocation program.
Having preemptively declared that Leslie’s moving costs “appear grossly excessive,” Nicholson went on to say that he “will be asking” his officials to explain. It’s hard to think of any good reason for the minister to offer his gut reaction first and only afterwards ask his department to brief him—aside, of course, from the fact that Leslie is now advising Justin Trudeau as a high-profile Liberal recruit.
Leslie responded by saying that he merely availed himself of a standard relocation benefit available to anyone retiring after long service in the military or the RCMP. That $72,000-plus figure looks large, of course, but [he] noted that the whole process was managed by “a third party provider,” not directly by him, and the total includes not just the cost of moving his possessions, but also legal and real-estate fees.
Friends, Like so many others before me, I have served Canada as a soldier for 35 years. Upon retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces in 2012 I joined the Liberal Party of Canada because I felt it was time for a change in how politics is conducted in this country. I saw how the Conservative Party often attacks those people that might dare to disagree with them. All too often, their tactic is to make the issue personal and not about differences in policies or vision. Now that I have recently joined Justin Trudeau’s team, the Conservatives have made me the target of a just such an personal attack. Like everyone else who retires after 20 or more years of service in the Canadian Forces, when I retired I was offered by the government and accepted, a standard benefit called the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (IRP). This program has been in place for decades and has been overseen and managed by the Conservative government for the last 8 years. It does not matter what rank you are, everybody is eligible for this benefit. It supports veterans and their families with one last move to anywhere in Canada. In my case my family and I decided to buy a reduced size home in the same city as the one that I lived in at the final stage of my Army career. After moving homes 18 times in the service of my country, I was glad to make a new house in Ottawa our new, permanent home. Each step of the process is overseen by a third party supplier, and independent approvals for every expenditure are required, as directed by the Treasury Board of Canada. Costs are paid directly to the suppliers (real estate agents , movers etc) by the Department of National Defence. I knew when I signed on to be an advisor to Justin Trudeau that I would be subject to partisan attacks and scrutiny very different than other retired soldiers. I can take it. I have been shot at by real bullets. What is disappointing is that this particular attack may raise questions over a military retirement benefit and I do not think veterans deserve to have another measure called into question. This has also affirmed for me is that I am making the right choice by continuing to serve my country alongside Justin Trudeau, and the positive approach that he is bringing to our country and our politics. I hope that like me, this attack will motivate you to work harder in our efforts to build a better, more positive country for all of us. With thanks, Lt. Gen (ret.) Andrew Leslie
Obviously part of the Conservative plan to disrupt the Liberal Convention. The costs appear to be justified, and the program is open to all ranks with 20 or more years of service, but the optics are dreadful.
CTV Exclusive: Retired general claimed $72K in expenses for move within Ottawa
One of Canada’s most high-profile military leaders claimed more than $72,000 in expenses, including real estate fees, for a move from his Ottawa home to another residence in the city after he retired, CTV News has learned.
Documents obtained by CTV News show retired general Andrew Leslie, who once led Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, claimed the expenses for a move in 2012.
Leslie retired from the military in 2011, but members of the Canadian Forces are entitled to expense one last move after they retire. The Ottawa Citizen gives a fair-minded summary of the situation to date Trudeau military advisor’s move cost DND $72,000 including this comment: “Beyond the obvious “entitled to his entitlements” angle, one intriguing aspect of the story is where it came from: There was no mention in the CTV report or its web version of the documents being released under the Access to Information Act, suggesting that they may have been strategically leaked.”
Trudeau’s tactics: Liberal leader reveals his economic plan
For Mr. Trudeau, the political year starts on Thursday, as the Liberal Party holds a four-day policy convention in Montreal that has drawn at least 3,000 delegates. If 2013 was the year he introduced himself to Canadians, then 2014 is the year he must address the skeptics.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Globe and Mail this week, Mr. Trudeau laid out the pillars he sees as economic priorities if he moves into 24 Sussex – education, trade and infrastructure – and made it clear that he sees a return to a bigger, more interventionist federal government.
Mr. Trudeau will give two speeches to the Liberal convention. On Thursday, he will welcome the delegates to his hometown, and then take aim at the Conservatives in what is billed as a speech with a “partisan edge.” In his keynote address on Saturday, Mr. Trudeau will expand on his plans for the country, with a meatier approach to policy. The speech will be his biggest since he won the Liberal leadership, and will serve to test his team’s assertion that he has improved on every level since then.
The convention will be launched with a conversation between Liberal MP and former journalist Chrystia Freeland and former U.S. Treasury secretary Larry Summers, setting the stage for the gathering with an open discussion on “what it takes to create economic growth that benefits everyone.”
Since becoming leader, Mr. Trudeau has been consulting with businessmen, bankers, academics and former politicians on economic matters. The list is not entirely public, but he has had discussions with former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, senior Bay Street figures and academics Mike Moffatt, Kevin Milligan and Chris Ragan.
Conservatives planning to undermine Justin Trudeau at Liberal convention
Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are planning to target Justin Trudeau at the upcoming Liberal convention with a carefully orchestrated campaign to disrupt Liberal communications, highlight disunity in the ranks and question his leadership abilities.
Justin Trudeau’s Economic Agenda Fleshed Out In Caucus Proposals
Of all the 160-plus resolutions to be considered at the convention, those emanating from the caucus are most likely to reflect the leader’s thinking. Indeed, the caucus’ priority resolution on “restoring trust in Canada’s democracy” specifically notes that it is “a compilation of ideas developed by the leader and caucus.”
(HuffPost) Justin Trudeau’s economic agenda is coming into clearer focus through policy resolutions developed by Liberal MPs for their party’s convention later this month.
The caucus resolutions also reveal that the Liberal leader is now willing to consider the notion of a voting system based on proportional representation — an idea he rejected during last year’s leadership contest as too confusing and too partisan.
Trudeau has vowed that improving the lot of struggling middle-class Canadians will be the overriding theme of the Liberal platform in the next election, but he’s offered few concrete proposals thus far.
The caucus policy resolutions put a little flesh on the bare bones of that promise.
One calls for a royal commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the income tax system and recommend ways to make it simpler, fairer and more globally competitive, while reducing the tax burden on the middle class.
Another calls for “significantly” expanded funding for job-creating infrastructure projects, totalling up to one per cent of GDP per year — or about $18 billion annually, based on the current rate of economic growth.
Trudeau’s 35 MPs are also calling for more support for caregivers who help elderly Canadians stay in their homes and for legislated limits on credit card interest rates and fees charged to merchants on credit card purchases.
Liberal MP Irwin Cotler not running in next election
Justn Trudeau loses some front bench strength with the retirement of the long-time human rights activist Irwin Cotler’s secret: calm amid the chaos
How a decent man subjected to vicious attacks can actually stand to work in parliament—and like John Baird to boot (Maclean’s May 2012)
David Jones: Canada Is Never Dull
(The Metropolitain) Washington, DC – Almost a generation ago, when first I contemplated engaging with Canadian issues, I was told that “Canada is dull.” Subsequently, when assigned to Ottawa, I experienced a referendum on revising the Constitution (1992), a change in Tory party leadership, the virtual annihilation of the Tory party (1993), a cliff-hanging referendum on Quebec-Canada separation (1995), and reconstitution of conservatives until they ultimately won a majority government in 2011. Simultaneously, the “natural governing party” imploded with revolving door leadership, Bloc Quebecois separatists lost 90 percent of their seats, and the previously laughably amusing socialist NDP became the federal official opposition. Interspersed there were two wars, a Great recession, and complex trade arrangements.
And now the son of the iconic former federal Liberal leader seeks to make his father’s party relevant again (shades of Bush ‘41 and Bush ‘43). One of his defining moves has just been to jettison all Liberal senators from the Liberal caucus.
Chrystia Freeland Heckled In House, Commentator Tells Her To Use ‘Big Girl Voice’
Her question was an important one, but she does need a voice coach.
Warren Kinsella is a dissenting voice 10 reasons why Trudeau’s Senate bombshell is the stupidest thing, ever
Liberal leader looked like a participant in a Model Parliament
Justin Trudeau: Senate Reform Decision Doesn’t Contradict Consensus Pledge
The expulsion also created immediate confusion, fuelled primarily by the senators themselves, about what exactly the change means in practical terms. Trudeau did little to clear up those issues on Friday.
Trudeau has said the senators will no longer be “political activists.” They won’t be permitted to be involved in national election campaigns or national fundraising activities, he said.
But Trudeau’s advisers privately admit the leader cannot control what the senators do locally, such as at the federal riding level or in a provincial campaign. They will still be permitted to be members of the party.
Trudeau Critics Wanted Substance, And They Got It
(HuffPost) Trudeau’s naysayers attack him as vacuous. He’s a nice guy — but where’s the beef?
Well, Justin Trudeau just showed substance and leadership. It surprised his detractors and caught his rivals off guard.
In so doing, he grew his brand identity. He’s not just a likeable guy anymore. He’s a likeable agent of change.
Justin Trudeau reportedly ‘furious’ at senators continuing to use the Liberal brand
(Andy Radia via Yahoo!) According to Canadian Press, Trudeau’s advisers didn’t expect that to happen.
“[Trudeau's advisers were] unpleasantly surprised when the senators decided to reconstitute themselves as the Senate Liberal caucus and to continue designating themselves as Liberal senators — a move that contradicted Trudeau’s assertion that there are “no more Liberal senators” and gave fodder to rival parties to dismiss his move as a meaningless gimmick.
They were even more surprised, and angered, when Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella agreed to recognize the 32 as Liberals. Kinsella’s decision flies in the face of convention, Trudeau’s advisers maintain, noting that whenever a senator has been expelled from caucus in the past, they have been forced to sit as independents.”
The road taken by Justin Trudeau to his Senate reform decision
(CBC) According to insiders, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the genesis of Trudeau’s dramatic move was a meeting of his tight-knit inner circle before Christmas to frankly evaluate what went right and what went wrong in 2013.
Those involved — including national campaign co-chairs Katie Telford and Dan Gagnier, principal adviser and longtime friend Gerald Butts, chief of staff Cyrus Reporter and national Liberal director Jeremy Broadhurst — marvelled at how the Senate expenses scandal had dominated the federal political scene for most of the year, almost to the exclusion of anything else.
They concluded that Trudeau — who’d been painted as a defender of the status quo while the Conservatives championed an elected Senate and the NDP banged the drum for abolition — needed to be more aggressive about reforming the Senate. … His advisers ultimately concluded that booting Liberal senators from caucus was the only measure that would meet the leader’s criteria.
Jeffrey Simpson: Trudeau’s Senate idea fresh, brave – and worth considering
along comes Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau with another alluring possibility, less implausible on its face than the options of the other parties but nonetheless fraught with problems.
Its virtue is that his changes would not require constitutional amendment; its liabilities include an array of unknowns, impracticalities and implausibilities.
It is a brave, even imaginative idea in a theoretical kind of way, and demonstrates what is not yet fully appreciated about Mr. Trudeau: his willingness to take risks. It puts the Liberals in the Senate reform debate with a new idea, which is the right place to be, intellectually and politically speaking.
Mr. Trudeau unveiled his ideas for a Senate of independent, non-partisan appointees without consulting his caucus or the rank-and-file of the party, and in defiance of the party’s constitution, a method that usefully illustrates the almost unbridled power of a party leader in the Canadian system. Would a body of independent senators, however selected, curb that power somewhat or would they roll over as non-elected people?
Chris Selley: Look who suddenly has a plausible Senate reform plan
If this is purely a political play, it’s a bloody bold one. Paul Wells of Maclean’s argues there are any number of “backtrack scenarios” we might contemplate, comparing it to flip-flops like Reform MPs accepting their pensions and, indeed, Mr. Harper’s approach to the Senate. But when Mr. Harper decided he had to backtrack on not filling Senate vacancies, largely for fear of Stéphane Dion filling them instead, he simply pulled a lever to which he had always had access. A future Liberal prime minister might not be able to pull a lever and get his Senate caucus back, were he to deem it necessary. The Senators might find they rather like independence.
Trudeau’s expulsion catches Liberal senators by surprise
(Globe & Mail) Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has expelled all Liberal senators from his caucus and says he will advocate for a non-partisan process for appointing members to the Senate going forward.
The surprise announcement Wednesday morning caught senators by surprise and appeared to create significant confusion for 32 members of the Red Chamber.
It also prompted Conservatives and New Democrats to suggest Mr. Trudeau was making a pre-emptive move to avoid the fallout of a sweeping audit of senators’ expenses that could be made public shortly. But Mr. Trudeau said he was releasing his Liberal senators to sit as independents because it was the right thing to do. (HuffPost) Justin Trudeau’s Senate Proposal Sparks Discussion, Debate
Liberals rally team aiming to win back party strongholds in Montreal
Liberal nomination races are heating up in Montreal as candidates are hoping to reclaim party strongholds or inherit the storied riding of Mount Royal that is widely expected to be left vacant by MP Irwin Cotler in the 2015 election.
The Liberal Party of Canada will hold its biennial convention in Montreal in February, where would-be candidates will be able to promote themselves for the open nomination meetings that will be held in all ridings later in 2014 or in 2015. A major push will come from Liberal supporters who will seek to run in a number of traditional Liberal strongholds in Montreal that were overtaken by the NDP during the 2011 “Orange Wave.”
Poll Suggests Trudeau Liberals’ Lead Over Tories Is The Real Deal
The first national poll of 2014 shows Liberals are enjoying a six-point lead over the governing Conservatives.
The survey, conducted online by Abacus Data between Jan. 14-18 and interviewing 1,996 Canadians, has Liberals in front with 34 per cent support among decided voters, a gain of two points since the last Abacus poll of Oct. 18-22.
Investiture au PLC dans Ville-Marie: Chrétien appuie un candidat
L’ancien chef libéral Jean Chrétien semble sceptique quant à la décision de Justin Trudeau de ne pas réserver de circonscriptions pour certains candidats, mais il prend bien soin de ne pas critiquer directement son successeur, disant vouloir éviter de jouer à la «belle-mère».
Chose rare, M. Chrétien a prononcé hier un discours d’appui lors du lancement de la campagne à l’investiture d’un militant de son parti. Bernard Amyot, collègue de M. Chrétien dans le cabinet Heenan Blaikie et ancien président de l’Association du Barreau canadien, souhaite être le candidat du Parti libéral du Canada (PLC) dans la nouvelle circonscription de Ville-Marie lors de la prochaine campagne fédérale.
À deux ans des élections, cette candidature libérale au coeur du centre-ville de Montréal (à l’ouest du boulevard Saint-Laurent) est déjà âprement convoitée. Trois personnes font activement campagne pour le poste, dont un ami de longue date de Justin Trudeau, Marc Miller, un autre avocat de Montréal.
Opting to be a snarker in this case.
Chrystia Freeland:How I Gave Up on Snark to Become a Canadian Politician
A fluff piece unworthy of an MP –
Kelly McParland: Liberals have some good ideas. Why won’t Justin Trudeau adopt them?
… More compelling, however, is the question of why the fifth-place finisher in the leadership contest is posting such thoughtful ideas on her web site while the victor continues to insist there’s no big rush to develop a policy platform he can share with voters.
Mr. Trudeau says some firm Liberal ideas will be ready for the election due in 2015, while preparing for a party convention in Montreal next month and pledging “meaningful consultations [with Canadians] … to build a policy platform that reflects their priorities, concerns and solutions.”
The Liberals have been listening for quite some time now. Five leaders and a couple of interims in 10 years. One of these days it has to quit consulting and make some decisions. Perhaps Ms. Coyne is willing to help.
Les candidats se bousculent aux portes du PLC
(La Presse) Chose rare: dans la seule région de Montréal, on compte une demi-douzaine de sites web qui ont déjà été mis en ligne par des gens qui font campagne, dans l’espoir de voir leur nom sur le bulletin de vote en 2015.
Dans la nouvelle circonscription de Ville-Marie, au centre-ville de Montréal, trois candidats ont annoncé leur intention de briguer l’investiture: Bernard Amyot, un avocat associé chez Heenan Blaikie et ancien président du Barreau canadien, Marc Miller, avocat chez Stikeman Elliott et ami de longue date de Justin Trudeau, et Désirée McGraw, présidente de la Fondation Jeanne-Sauvé à Montréal.
L’ancien député et militant de longue date Pablo Rodriguez est le premier surpris. M. Rodriguez est coprésident de la campagne et organisateur en chef au Québec, en plus de vouloir se présenter dans la circonscription d’Honoré-Mercier.