Canada: Liberals 2016-17

Written by  //  March 8, 2016  //  Canada, Politics  //  No comments

Surprise winner Emmanuella Lambropoulos secures Liberal nomination for Saint-Laurent
School teacher beats former provincial immigration minister Yolande James to earn nomination
(CBC) Lambropoulos and her team couldn’t hold back their surprise at beating James, the woman considered to be the Liberal party favourite.
James was reportedly approached by the party to run and served as provincial immigration minister between 2007-2010 under former Quebec premier Jean Charest.
The Saint-Laurent riding has been Liberal for decades and is considered a safe seat for the party in the April 3 byelection
28 February
Alan DeSousa barred from running for federal Liberals, no reason given
Borough mayor decries ‘opaque’ selection process that rejected his candidacy for Saint-Laurent nomination
Alan DeSousa, Saint-Laurent’s long-serving borough mayor, won’t be allowed to seek the Liberal nomination in the upcoming federal byelection, and the party is refusing to tell him why.
DeSousa’s campaign for the nomination, launched earlier this month, came to an abrupt halt with a letter from the Liberal Party which informed him he was not considered a “Qualified Nomination Contestant.”
With DeSousa out of the nomination race, the clear front-runner is Yolande James, a former provincial Liberal cabinet minister who says she was courted to run by the Grits.
10 January
Trudeau Cabinet Shuffle: Chrystia Freeland Replaces Stéphane Dion At Foreign Affairs
(HuffPost) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shook up his cabinet Tuesday in a bid to adjust to the upheaval wrought by incoming American president Donald Trump to international affairs in general and Canada’s relationship with the United States in particular.
He entrusted to Chrystia Freeland — a former economics journalist with extensive contacts in the United States — the crucial responsibility of navigating the changing domestic and global dynamic as his Liberal government prepares to deal with an unpredictable and avowedly America-first Trump administration.
He named rookie Toronto MP Ahmed Hussen, a Somali refugee, to the immigration portfolio vacated by [John] McCallum, who oversaw the welcoming of 25,000 Syrian refugees.
McCallum will become Canada’s new ambassador to China, signalling just how serious Trudeau is about expanding relations with the world’s most populous country, including exploratory talks on a free trade deal.
Quebec MP Francois-Philippe Champagne, until now parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, replaces Freeland at international trade. Rookie Burlington MP Karina Gould is the third newcomer, taking Democratic Institutions from Maryam Monsef, who was demoted to Status of Women.
Trudeau’s 2017 cabinet: Read the full list of who’s in, who’s out and who keeps their job
The Prime Minister is shuffling his cabinet so Canada can put a new foot forward with the incoming Republican administration in Washington. Here’s a full guide to who’s doing what

2016

3 June
Summer can’t come soon enough for Trudeau’s Liberals: Chris Hall
The government experienced plenty of self-inflicted growing pains in May
Despite “elbowgate” and an abandoned attempt to seize near total control of Parliament’s agenda, Trudeau’s approval rating runs much higher than those of his opponents, according to the CBC’s new Leader Meter.Support for the Liberals, likewise, remains higher than it was back on Oct. 19 when the party won its majority.
But the thing about May is not that it ranks as a less-than-stellar month for the government. It’s that the pain was almost entirely self-inflicted.

trudeau-liberal-convention

29 May
L. Ian MacDonald: Duelling conventions a study in contrasts
Liberals take a victory lap, Conservatives move past ‘stupid’ campaign
(iPolitics) It’s highly unusual in Canada for the two leading national political parties to hold policy conventions on the same weekend, as the Conservatives and Liberals have just done in Vancouver and Winnipeg.
The contrasting images on CPAC’s outstanding gavel-to-gavel coverage were reminders not only of the parties’ respective reversals of fortune, but of their having traded roles on rules for access by the news media.
Liberals ‘reconnected’ with Canadians, Trudeau says, as party adopts new constitution
‘We have grown into a confident, mature, open movement — united and focused on what matters to Canadians’
The new constitution, he said, would contribute to building “a modern, responsive, wide-open organization that anyone can join and shape and work to build.”
If the Liberal party is a ‘movement,’ what will Justin Trudeau do with it?
Liberals do away with memberships as Trudeau tries to recast the Liberal party
being part of a party is the rather dull stuff of riding association meetings and conventions. Being part of a movement, on the other hand, sounds like fun.
… however Justin Trudeau is reshaping the Liberal party, whatever the size or extent of the movement he leads, it is to wonder what he might do with it.
A few provinces to the west this weekend, Stephen Harper was marking the end of his time as leader of what has been called the conservative “movement” — a movement he shaped when he brought conservatives together again under a single party. He departs with a disputed legacy, but having seemingly established distinctly conservative ideas about taxation, the role of government and the country’s international disposition, and leaving behind a Conservative party that his successors can build on.
So what now will this Liberal movement amount to?
Both sides of pipeline debate play out at Liberal Party convention in Winnipeg
“Last time we spoke, Prime Minister Trudeau encouraged me to speak my mind and push hard whenever I felt we might collectively err,” said Steven Guilbeault, the environmental activist invited to address Liberal Party delegates first thing on Friday morning.
“Let’s talk pipelines then.”
Justin Trudeau’s leadership measured by the pipeline question
Liberal pipeline policy presents 3 key problems
“Prime Minister, large pipeline projects have failed to get social licence from all across the continent. From Lincoln, Nebraska, to Kitimat, B.C., to Montreal, Quebec — communities don’t want them,” he said.
24 May
A pretty fair-minded review of the whole controversy
How the press gallery misread the country’s reaction to elbowgate
If denizens of Canada’s Parliamentary Press Gallery used the Victoria Day weekend to visit with family and friends back home, they will have noticed a vast gulf between their impression of elbowgate and the views of citizens at large. …
Press gallery reporters have been chafing under the PM’s extended honeymoon. They don’t like Justin nearly as much as the public does, and some were overly eager to take him down a peg.
In any case, Trudeau responded with a string of increasingly abject apologies for his odd behaviour, which is what the public wants in such a circumstance, while tone deaf opposition MPs milked the episode with quavering voices and offensive attempts to conflate the events with the deadly serious issue of violence against women.
20 May
Margaret Wente: Justin has a temper tantrum
(Globe & Mail) Justin has disarmed people with his sunny ways and one-armed pushups. No one ever expected him to strong-arm them. His petulant breach of protocol and manners comes as a nasty surprise, because we’ve never seen that side of him before. Is it an aberration? Or is it a real flaw in his temperament? If so, it’s not trivial. His discipline and his emotional intelligence failed him in a very public place. And it was a very easy test.
19 May
Liberals withdraw controversial motion to limit Commons debate
Attempt to speed passage of priority bills had angered opposition
(CBC) Late Tuesday, LeBlanc filed notice of a motion that, if adopted, would let Trudeau’s cabinet extend sitting hours in the House until a minister or parliamentary secretary decides to adjourn proceedings, something that would be “deemed adopted without debate or amendment.”
In effect, this move, referred to as motion six, would allow Liberals to control Commons debate. The tactic followed days of acrimony as Trudeau’s government struggled to advance priority legislation.
Its medically-assisted dying and the RCMP union bills are both staring down court-imposed deadlines.
… the government is still committed to getting C-14 — the assisted dying bill — through Parliament before the June 6 deadline.
The House leader said that the Commons would have extended hours and let all MPs speak on the issue.
At Issue | Justin Trudeau’s Elbowing Incident
Justin Trudeau has apologized repeatedly for his behaviour in the House of Commons, but what does all this really mean for the Liberal Government?
Trudeau’s elbow neither the beginning nor the end of Liberal troubles: Chris Hall
Prime minister loses control of himself as his government loses control of agenda
Not so sunny ways: Scuffle just the latest in Liberal spectacle
By David McLaughlin, former Conservative chief of staff and deputy minister at the federal and provincial levels.
(Globe & Mail) It is the mastery of the House, however, that is the underlying issue here. The Liberal government has proven itself an uneven, even callous, manager of House business and affairs since being elected. The Trudeau incident is actually the third acute manifestation in one week of their inability to shepherd the House to pass government business.
Globe editorial: What was Justin Trudeau thinking? He wasn’t
John Ibbitson: Why Trudeau’s tussle will likely lead to a crackdown on cabinet
(Globe & Mail) … the root of this situation involves a coterie of politically inexperienced ministers making one mistake after another. In the past, this has led to greater control from the Centre; cynics predict that same will happen with the Trudeau government. And the cynics are probably right.
Let’s not forget how all this began. The Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting physician-assisted death was unconstitutional, and set a June 6 deadline for Parliament to respond with legislation appropriate to that decision. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould appointed a committee, co-chaired by Liberal MP Rob Oliphant, to study the issue, but then chose to ignore the committee’s recommendation that people with both terminal and non-terminal illnesses, including mental illnesses, could request such a death.
Instead, Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s legislation, Bill C-14, permits physician-assisted death to end suffering only when a natural death is “reasonably foreseeable.”
5 May
Susan Delacourt: Trudeau’s post-partisan plan to unmake the Liberal establishment
(iPolitics) It should be obvious by now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has no special fondness for the Liberal party — at least the old version of it.
You might even say that if this Liberal leader was forced to choose, he’d take new friends over old friends of the party. That, in fact, is precisely the calculation Trudeau is making with his proposed overhaul of the Liberal party constitution, which would do away entirely with the idea of party membership.
Trudeau, we’ll remember, wasn’t welcomed with open arms when he first decided to plunge into electoral politics before the 2008 election. The party establishment made him fight for it — an experience he described after the fact as a valuable learning experience. But it probably also left him with something less than a high opinion of the old establishment. There were also a lot of raised eyebrows in the old guard when Trudeau surrounded himself with people who had limited experience in the national party.
Few members of that inner circle have any deep connection to the Liberal Ottawa of the past. In recruiting staff, they’ve shown a definite inclination toward people who earned their experience, as many of them did, at Queen’s Park in Toronto. Some will argue the party needed new blood in the capital; others will describe it as merely exchanging one tribe of loyalists for another one.
At any rate, whether his motivation is professional or personal, Trudeau is building a Liberal party that won’t look anything like the old one — deliberately.
3 April
Trudeau promotes wide-open Liberal party, no more membership privileges
(Canadian Press) Justin Trudeau is pushing a proposed new constitution for the Liberal Party of Canada aimed at transforming the federal party from an exclusive club into a wide-open political movement.
The proposal, adopted Saturday by the party’s national board during a three-hour meeting with the prime minister in Halifax, would do away entirely with the long-held principle that only dues-paying, card-carrying members are entitled to take part in party activities.
Indeed, there would no longer be any party members. Instead, anyone willing to register with the party — for free — would be eligible to participate in policy development, nomination of candidates, party conventions and the selection of future leaders.
The proposal builds on a change adopted by Liberals four years ago, when they agreed to let anyone willing to sign up for free as a party supporter vote in leadership contests.
Trudeau was the first leader elected under the new process, which saw some 300,000 people sign up as supporters.
“We’ve tried the supporter system and it was a huge success,” party president Anna Gainey said in an interview.
“I believe that as we continue to open up and modernize and have more of a movement than a traditional political party, that this is a natural progression of that.”
Liberals will be asked to approve the proposed new constitution at the party’s national convention in May.
19 February
Why is Bob Rae on the outside looking in at the new government? Tim Harper
The man who did the heavy lifting before Justin Trudeau has been offered nothing by the new government.
Rae, a political survivor with the stitches to prove it, would likely be the first to tell you there are no obligatory rewards for those who ply his trade, but what makes this case rare is that the former interim party leader and Ontario premier has let it be known through associates he would have welcomed the chance to represent this government in Washington or at the United Nations.
Liberal sources say Rae offered to make any contribution the new government might find helpful. …
Previous interim leaders Bill Graham (who stepped down to allow Rae to run) and Herb Gray had better fates after holding the fort, but Rae is 67 and this government is focused on generational renewal.
Rae did Trudeau and his team the biggest of favours by getting out of the way, bowing to the inevitable and realizing it was time for the younger, flashier Trudeau.

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