Canada: Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau 2014

Written by  //  December 11, 2014  //  Canada  //  1 Comment

Bowser & Blue “Put Your Trust in justin” – 2014-09-24

Keith Beardsley: The Myth of Open Nomination Contests
(HuffPost) Nomination battles are fascinating to watch and if you are part of one it is an exhilarating experience. Everyone always hopes that each individual seeking nomination will be treated fairly and in the same manner as all other candidates. You want to know that if you won or lost it was done fairly. The hype of “open nominations” will continue as all parties try to prove to the media and public that there is a new way of doing business now. Let us see how long it takes before we start hearing complaints from potential challengers about how they were dealt with during this “open” process. I will suggest it will be sooner rather than later. (1 April 2014)

11 December
John Ivison: New crop of Liberal nominees long on talent but seem short on sense of principle
There are more than 50 female candidates; 30 or so are from visible minority backgrounds; there are a number of prominent aboriginal candidates and a sprinkling of high-profile former journalists.
… the majority are successful people, used to being at the top of their chosen profession. If there is a Liberal wave at the next election, they will be shoehorned into a caucus and many will languish, lonely and unloved, so far back on the benches they will be in danger of falling off. Team Trudeau will argue this is not a bad problem to have, but this explosion of rookie MPs will be far less pliable than the NDP’s young class of ’11.
The second observation follows from the first. I didn’t get a sense of mission, purpose or principle from many of the people I talked to. Rather, the impression was of people who would quite like to pad their resume with some parliamentary experience.
9 December
Trudeau’s ‘star’ candidate in Vancouver spurs Sikh walkout on Liberals
(CBC) In an embarrassing blow to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, a large group of Sikh Liberals in British Columbia is quitting the party, saying Trudeau is being “manipulated” by Sikhs under the banner of the World Sikh Organization.
“We think this Liberal Party’s been hijacked by the WSO,” said Rajinder Singh Bhela, a longtime Liberal and former general secretary of the Ross Street Temple, Vancouver’s largest Sikh temple.
“The Liberal Party, especially Justin, is in bed with extremist and fundamental groups. That’s why I decided to leave the Liberal Party,” said Kashmir Dhaliwal, ex-president of the powerful Khalsa Diwan Society, founded by Sikh pioneers in 1902.
The walkout was provoked by the party’s selection of a WSO-backed candidate, Harjit Singh Sajjan, over a prominent businessman, Barj Dhahan. Dhahan is a moderate ally of Ujjal Dosanjh, the previous Liberal MP.
1 December
Anthony Housefather Wins Liberal Nomination For Mount-Royal
It turned out to be a tight race, with Côte St-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather coming up against public relations man Jonathan Goldbloom. Turnout on Sunday was strong, with nearly 2,000 card-carrying Liberals coming out to vote.
Housefather will face stiff Conservative competition in the next federal election.
Robert Libman, former Côte St-Luc mayor and founder of the now-defunct Equality Party, and Suburban newspaper editor Beryl Wajsman are vying for the Conservative nomination.
17 November
Andy Radia: Liberal (sic) risk losing credibility over promise of open nominations
(Yahoo News) Few political observers actually believe that party leaders don’t play favourites in nomination races.
Still, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has made it a point to distance himself from his predecessors, stating frequently that he’s committed to holding “open nominations across the country.”
But now, more and more observers are calling B.S. on that claim.
The latest nomination race in question is in the riding of Ottawa-Orléans, where former leadership candidate David Bertschi has been told that he won’t be allowed to run. He was up against retired Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, a star Liberal nomination candidate and adviser to Trudeau. … Similar allegations of favouritism have been made in several ridings. In August, the Huffington Post chronicled internal party disputes in Don Valley North, Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Île-des-Soeurs and Vancouver-Granville. (17 November)
13 November
Bruce Anderson: Trudeau’s handling of protesters a sharp contrast with Harper
It’s the bane of the existence of political organizers. Protesters show up at an event you’ve planned in meticulous detail. They get in the way of the photo you’ve spent time composing. They interrupt your candidate’s flow. They change the conversation and the news coverage.
Earlier this week, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau found himself faced with this dilemma, and not for the first time, nor likely the last.
At a book launch event, protestors against a pipeline showed up and wanted to press their agenda.
Mr. Trudeau’s approach to dealing with these protestors was adept.
He asked them to take the floor for a minute to make their point, and then allow the meeting to return to its intended purpose.
It was a story about Mr. Trudeau’s personal instincts and attitude. About a willingness to put himself out there, in the mix, where the risk is.
7 November
Coyne: Trudeau must come clean on why two Liberal MPs were suspended
Perhaps we do not need to know who their accusers are; maybe we’re OK with elected MPs being taken out on the basis of anonymous accusations by political opponents. But we absolutely have a right to know what they are accused of. If they are to be kicked out of caucus and denied the right to run again as Liberals, if their constituents are to be deprived of the representation they voted for, they, and we, at least have the right to know why.
22 October
Lysiane Gagnon: He’s sweet, but is Trudeau a PM?

In his new autobiography, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau takes pain to distance himself from his father. He really didn’t have to do this, though – it’s always been obvious that he is everything Trudeau Père was not.

Mr. Trudeau is warm and nice and fuzzy. He doesn’t have an intellectual bone in his body. He’s somewhere between flower power and New Age. He’s often at a loss for words.He’s sweet, but is Trudeau a PM? …

True to form, Mr. Trudeau was altogether charming and evasive when he was interviewed last Sunday on Tout le monde en parle, Quebec’s most popular television talk show. He couldn’t say anything remotely substantial on international affairs. He could hardly answer questions about the Harper government’s role on the world scene or the demands of national security in the context of the rise of the Islamic State. Mr. Trudeau seems chronically blind to the notion that the world out there might be a tough place.
19 October
Michael Den Tandt: Justin Trudeau’s strengths and flaws on full display in memoir a very even-handed review
13 October
Celine Cooper: Justin Trudeau’s foreign-policy comments might hurt Liberal Party of Canada
Until now, Justin Trudeau has been the Liberal Party’s biggest asset. But as the complexities of ISIL, global geo-politics and foreign policy continue to shape the landscape for the upcoming federal election campaign, it’s safe to wonder whether Trudeau is also its biggest liability.
11 October
Justin Trudeau is Canada’s first war casualty: Chantal Hébert
By almost any standard, Justin Trudeau is the immediate political casualty of the war of words that attended the debate over Canada’s role in the coalition against the Islamic State.
9 October
Globe editorial — Justin Trudeau’s lousy week
Key Liberals – Roméo Dallaire, Lloyd Axworthy and Bob Rae – support a combat mission. Mr. Trudeau, though, dismisses combat as macho posturing and Canada’s military capabilities as “a few aging warplanes.” If he were prime minister, is this what he would tell Canada’s allies?
6 October
Justin Trudeau’s failure to launch
(National Post) Bob Rae must wish he’d waited a few days before publishing his views on the threat of ISIS, and Canada’s role in dealing with it. If he had, he might not have to figure out how he can make his views sound like they mesh with those of Justin Trudeau, the man who succeeded him as Liberal leader.
But he didn’t. Instead he wrote that “Canada’s role should be more than just military, and its diplomacy and its dollars need to match its rhetoric.” (emphasis added.)
Notice Mr. Rae did not suggest Canada should withhold military assistance. He took for granted that Canada would need to contribute to such an obvious cause. He simply felt it should go farther than just a military role. And he explained his view in some detail.
4 October
Rex Murphy: Trudeau’s joke about Canadian jets bombing ISIS reveals an unserious mind
Justin Trudeau, would-be Prime Minister of Canada, has unwittingly opened a window on how he views Canada’s possible role in joining the effort against the terrorist fanatics ISIS. In his Thursday morning address to the Canada 2020 conference, he declared himself ardently for “humanitarian” intervention — but scorned any air support for a military effort as just, you know, the Harper boys “trying to whip out [their] CF-18s and show how big they are.”
Believe it or not, this off-the-cuff gem was in front of a serious audience. He was being interviewed by the Obi-Wan Kenobi of parliamentary reporters, the venerable Don Newman.
2 October
Matthew Fisher: Canadians must wake up quickly to Middle East nightmare
Scores of young women forced into sex slavery, hundreds of mass executions and thousands of other gross human rights violations of every imaginable kind, especially against Shia Muslims, Christians and Iraqi minority groups such as the Yazidis …
For Canadians such as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau who are still in a quandary over whether Canada should join the international coalition trying to stop the ghastly march of Islamic State, a report issued Thursday by the United Nations Human Rights Office provided an abundance of stark evidence. Still, Trudeau remains unswayed. A staunch member of the Kumbaya choir, no matter who the foe or what outrages they have perpetrated, Trudeau wondered Thursday: “Why aren’t we talking more about humanitarian aid?”
1 October
Bob Rae gets it right – oh, how we miss him!
Bob Rae: Canada’s role against IS must be more than just military
(Globe & Mail) Canada’s role should be more than just military, and its diplomacy and its dollars need to match its rhetoric. This is not about positioning or posturing. This is about understanding the long term, enduring interest of our country in peace, order, and good government, for ourselves and for the world as well.
9 September
Liberal nomination complaints lead to more resignations
Brantford-Brant riding association members say party not following Justin Trudeau promise of open nominations
In the case of Brantford-Brant, members of the riding association allege the Liberal Party favoured the only officially registered candidate, Danielle Takacs, by abruptly called a nomination vote. There were at least three other candidates preparing to contest Takacs, Kerman said. However they never got the opportunity, because an e-mail was sent out on Aug. 5 saying the deadline for applications was just two hours away.
18 August
Althia Raj: Justin Trudeau’s Open Nominations Vow Called A ‘Farce’
17 August
The Interview: Justin Trudeau’s game plan
Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau on the case for pipelines, why the middle class is in trouble and his plan for governing Canada (Maclean’s 17 August)
6 August
Jonathan Kay: Sun News’ cynical attacks on Justin Trudeau have crossed the line into anti-Muslim hysteria Ridiculous and counter-productive.
For a while now, Sun News has been doing its best to portray Justin Trudeau as a sort of Islamist fifth columnist. This week, one Sun host told viewers that Trudeau is in thrall on Mideast issues to a “Saudi-born Muslim extremist” who “supports” terrorists. The same host warns darkly that there are three times as many Muslim voters in Canada as Jews.
This is not surprising, since some of the network’s journalists seem to regard themselves as semi-official members of Stephen Harper’s opposition-research team. And since many Sun viewers already suspect that Trudeau was born in Kenya along with Barack Obama, its Muslim Menace programming presumably plays well to the network’s base.
30 July
Top B.C. aboriginal leader to run for Justin Trudeau Liberals in Vancouver Granville

(Vancouver Sun) On Thursday, Wilson-Raybould, the B.C. regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations and daughter of aboriginal leader Bill Wilson, is expected to be acclaimed as one of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s so-called “star” candidates in the new riding of Vancouver Granville.

The riding, created in the recent seat redistribution that gave B.C. six new federal seats, is considered one of a small handful of urban B.C. ridings the Liberals have a chance of taking in the 2015 election.

Several longtime Liberals expressed interest in contesting the nomination, but the party used “moral suasion” — according to one party member — to persuade them to not challenge Trudeau’s choice.

1 July

Kelly McParland: If the Liberal byelection victories don’t worry Stephen Harper, he isn’t paying attention — Stephen Harper’s strategy against Justin Trudeau obviously isn’t working (

25 June

Trudeau encourage ses candidats à être très visibles

(La Presse) … Rachel Bendayan, avocate en litige chez Norton Rose Fulbright Canada, est candidate libérale dans Outremont. Elle affrontera donc le chef du NPD, Thomas Mulcair. Consciente de la rude bataille à venir, même si Outremont a déjà été un bastion libéral, elle prend le pouls des électeurs depuis environ un an et a serré plus de 2000 mains.

«Quand j’ai commencé à faire du porte-à-porte, les gens me disaient: «On n’est pas en campagne électorale». Mais il faut bâtir une relation entre les représentants à Ottawa et les gens de la circonscription. Et ce n’est pas en 30 jours de campagne que l’on réussit à faire cela», affirme-t-elle.

11 June

Most Canadians say Trudeau wrong to exclude anti-abortion candidates: poll

(CTV News) Seven in 10 Canadians believe Justin Trudeau is wrong to exclude candidates from running for the Liberals based on their abortion views, but the party appears to be suffering minimal fallout over the issue, according to a new poll.

6 June

Despite the light tone, this is a pretty good analysis

Please Advise! Trudeau’s ‘Choice’ Dilemma

Our spinmaster-in-residence weighs in on the latest ‘bozo eruption’ in Parliament.

(The Tyee) To begin with, you have offered the Conservatives a golden sound bite by standing in front of TV cameras and saying, “This is about choice,” while telling potential Liberal candidates they don’t have one. Why not add, “War is peace, freedom is slavery” for good measure?

Worse, you have managed a feat few would have thought possible — you’ve made Prime Minister Stephen Harper into a champion of freedom. Conservative MPs and candidates are free to express whatever view they want on the abortion issue. After years of Harper bullying and strong-arm tactics you have outflanked him in one fell swoop, positioning yourself as Captain Trudeau of the Thought Police.

27 May

Martha Hall Findlay: Forcing Liberals to Vote Pro-Choice Is a Step Too Far, Justin

(HuffPost) … aside from the right or wrong of this issue, practically speaking such a requirement of potential candidates could prevent a large number of very capable, thoughtful people from contributing to the LPC and the country. That would be a shame.

24 May

Martin Patriquin: Why Justin Trudeau risks alienating Quebec

In his quest to conquer Ontario, the federal Liberal leader risks losing fellow Quebecers

Yet while he may be a Quebecer at heart, many Quebec Liberals say the party has become decidedly less Québécois under Trudeau. His arrival has hastened a centralization of the party’s power in Ontario, they say, largely at the expense of its traditional base in Trudeau’s home province. These Liberals believe Trudeau has taken Quebec for granted, concentrating instead on seat-rich Ontario and assuming that Trudeau’s swagger is enough to prompt a Jack Layton-style wave in Quebec.

They point out how Trudeau has lost four key Quebecers from his inner circle since becoming leader, including executive assistant Louis-Alexandre Lanthier, who long served as Trudeau’s eyes and ears in Quebec. The party has also eliminated several key positions in Quebec as part of its streamlining effort, with duties being shifted to Liberal headquarters in Ottawa. Its national director, Jeremy Broadhurst, can barely speak French. The result: “The party is being run by English Canada,” complains Yves Lemire, a former director-general of the party’s Quebec wing and chief of staff to former federal cabinet minister Lucienne Robillard.

22 May

Case closed on Marc Miller’s Liberal nomination

Martin Patriquin with more on questionable practices in candidate nominations

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about how several people who voted for Marc Miller in the Liberal nomination riding of Ville-Marie hadn’t paid for their membership cards. While not strictly against Elections Canada rules, paying for someone else’s membership card is a violation of Liberal Party of Canada’s own rules. A number of people, Miller included, suggested I was doing the bidding of his opponent, Bernard Amyot. Nothing could be further from the truth. Amyot himself wouldn’t talk to me, and he has been conspicuously silent since the piece came out.

17 May

Lee Berthiaume —Observer: Meet Justin Trudeau’s most trusted adviser

Most Canadians have never heard of Gerald Butts. Most wouldn’t recognize him if they saw him. Bearded, bespectacled, sometimes even a little scruffy, he melts away from the spotlight. Yet the 42-year-old Cape Bretoner has been on the other end of the phone or at the back of the room for all of the big moments in Justin Trudeau’s political life.

Many leaders have close confidants they met before politics, whose advice and political instincts count more than anyone else’s. Stephen Harper had John Weissenberger. Chretien had Jean Pelletier. Brian Mulroney had Bernard Roy. And almost from the moment they met more than 20 years ago, two university students from very different backgrounds, Gerald Butts has played a central role in Justin Trudeau’s political career.

16 May

On abortion, Justin Trudeau imposes ethical lobotomy on Liberals

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has haughtiness of his father and vanity of his mother. Not a pleasant combination

(Toronto Star) On Wednesday, Cardinal Thomas Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto, urged Trudeau to reconsider his position, pointing out that under the new screening process for prospective candidates, Pope Francis — an individual of far more evolved ethical sensibilities than the Liberal leader, beloved by the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics — would not pass the political sniff test for public service within Trudeau’s party as gerrymandered by Justin.

That’s absurd and stunningly rigid: the politics of exclusion. Most Catholics may not practise their faith according to the articles as expounded by their pope — conscientious objection to the canons of divorce and contraception, most particularly — but they will certainly grasp the intolerance of Trudeau’s fiat. And it’s hardly just Catholics because all of the mainstream religions object to unfettered abortion.

15 May

Margaret Wente: Spare me the abortion absolutism

The man who promised he would never dictate party policy or keep Liberal MPs on a leash has come out as an abortion absolutist. He is pro-choice, no exceptions, period, and anyone who disagrees won’t be welcome in the party. “It is not for any government to legislate what a woman chooses to do with her body,” he declared last week.

And here I thought the Liberals were the tolerant and diverse ones.

11 May

Michael Den Tandt: Trudeau’s abortion move guarantees renewed debate within Conservative party — and grief for Harper

This, by the way, is the most important immediate consequence of Trudeau’s move: It guarantees the debate within the Conservative party on abortion will be renewed, which can’t help but cause Prime Minister Stephen Harper grief.

Amid all this, and given an entire generation of women and men in Canada have come of age since 1988, with no obvious disastrous effects, it’s somehow appalling for Trudeau to say aloud that he and his party are now “resolutely pro-choice?” Well, no. Not really. It was an obvious move and one that will benefit the Liberals, down the road.

12 May

Margaret Somerville: Even pro-choice Canadians should worry about Liberal edict

The Supreme Court of Canada made clear in the Morgentaler case that the Charter does not prohibit legislating on abortion. It just requires that the legislation comply with the Charter.

The edict was not wise, even politically, and does not reflect well on Trudeau’s judgment. … What will the party do about that? They might want to keep in mind the edict makes everyone, not just MPs, who continues in the Liberal party, and indeed those who vote for it, complicit in approving of completely unrestricted abortion. Many Canadians will reject such complicity. …

The pro-choice activists take an “us” and “them” approach, whereas most Canadians are struggling with where they stand on a continuum from having no law at all to prohibiting all abortions. For countless Canadians, abortion law is not a black and white issue. Just over a quarter, 28 per cent, would legally protect human life only at birth, the current legal situation in Canada that Trudeau is demanding be maintained, according to Environics. Three in five believe that unborn children deserve some legal protection of their lives, at the latest at viability. Is that also hors de discussion? Do these people pass the “green light” test?

9 May

Andrew Coyne: Justin Trudeau’s pro-choice edict leaves little room for decency or conscience

Let no one think some great matter of principle was at stake in Justin Trudeau’s sudden decree forbidding dissenters from Liberal orthodoxy on abortion from running as candidates for the party. Nothing necessitated it. There is no imminent likelihood of a vote on abortion, and even less chance of one passing. The Liberal party would still be a pro-choice party, and seen as such, even with a few pro-lifers sprinkled in the mix. It just couldn’t be as hysterical about it.

The status quo in Canada — no legal restriction on abortion of any kind, at any point in a pregnancy — was the result neither of any court (the Supreme Court, in striking down the old law, explicitly invited Parliament to draft another) nor of any democratic legislature (the bill that eventually emerged, having passed on a free vote of the House of Commons, died on a tie vote in the Senate). It is unsupported by large numbers, perhaps even a majority, of the public. And it is unique in the democratic world. Perfectly civilized places like the Netherlands and Sweden place some limits on abortion, usually in the third trimester. We are not the norm, we are the outlier.

That doesn’t make the status quo wrong, necessarily. It only makes it debatable. It is a shame Trudeau pretends otherwise.

8 May

Why is he doing this NOW – and why is he doing it at all? One more nail in the coffin of open nomination process

Future Liberal MPs must be ‘pro-choice,’ Trudeau says

New Liberal MPs will be expected to vote against any new restrictions on abortion access, Justin Trudeau says, a de facto warning shot to anti-abortion candidates considering a run for a party that has long included them.

Mr. Trudeau is pro-choice and the party has passed a resolution opposing any new restrictions on abortion access. On Wednesday, however, the Liberal Leader went further, saying that, despite his pledge for open nomination races, anti-abortion candidates will no longer be welcomed into the Liberal fold.  Trudeau’s decree for future pro-choice MPs gets mixed reaction from Liberals

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s announcement that he’ll seek only pro-choice candidates is drawing mixed reviews from some in his party – with a former MP calling the move “totally unnecessary,” but a current MP saying he’ll agree to toe the party line despite his personal views.

Mr. Trudeau expects future Liberal MPs to vote “pro-choice” on any bills before Parliament. He made the announcement Wednesday, a day before an annual anti-abortion rally drew thousands of protesters to Parliament Hill.

7 May

Martin Patriquin: Questions raised about votes in Marc Miller’s Liberal nomination

While Trudeau promised ‘politics done differently,’ the Liberals are facing new accusations of favouritism

1 May

Lee Berthiaume: Trudeau faces fresh charges of favouritism from within his own party

(Ottawa Citizen) Justin Trudeau’s credibility has again come under fire from a member of his own party, with new allegations the Liberal leader is stacking the deck to help star candidates win local nomination battles.

Ryan Davey announced Wednesday night that he is pulling the plug on his hopes to represent the party in the upcoming byelection to replace former NDP MP Olivia Chow in the Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina.

… Davey accused the party of changing the rules to give Vaughan access to membership lists so that he could start contacting local Liberals before he had even been approved as a candidate” – critical information that all candidates had waited weeks to receive.”

… There have also been grumbles within the party about Trudeau highlighting star candidates such as Chrystia Freeland, retired lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie and Manitoba businessman Jim Carr before they have won nominations.

Trudeau’s team says the Liberal leader’s promise to hold open nominations does not prevent him from recruiting and promoting star candidates, as it still falls to local Liberals to vote on who represents them.

Den Tandt: Is Justin Trudeau’s honeymoon over?

Can this admittedly talented politician develop the skill of speaking frankly, without stumbling over his own feet? He has very little time, now, to figure this out — assuming victory in 2015 is still the objective. Never mind blaming the Tories and NDP for their negativity; surely it’s fair to expect thoughtful speech, virtually without fail, of a potential national leader? It’s an expectation Trudeau invited when he set himself up as different, and implicitly better, than either of his rivals.

28 April

Long-time MP Karygiannis: ‘This is not the same Liberal Party we knew’

“When he became leader I had a white paper, a vision, the way forward to 2030. I spoke about it in caucus. I wanted to send it to him. Never got a response,” Mr. Karygiannis said. “Ethnic politics is not about the food and the dance and ‘It’s great to be Greek.’ It’s about making sure that people from a community have a voice at the cabinet table and engaging the second generation.”

Mr. Karygiannis expresses no hostility toward Mr. Trudeau, just a feeling that the lessons of the past are being ignored. Referring to the ugly nomination battle in Trinity-Spadina, in which one candidate was barred despite a promise to hold open contests, Mr. Karygiannis said “This is not the same Liberal Party we knew. The party has changed.”

Politics in Canada in many cases is about communities, he said. You have to build relationships with those communities if you expect to win. He runs phone banks in 15 languages, prints brochures in 18 languages. He keeps a database that includes a category for ethnicity on everybody in his riding and a record of every interaction they’ve had with his office and every statement of voting intention during canvassing over 25 years. He has a database of 217 ethnic community celebrations, anniversaries and holidays on which to release statements.

14 April

Trudeau, Ontario campaign co-chair sued over blocked Innes candidacy

(Globe & Mail) Justin Trudeau and his Ontario campaign co-chair are facing a $1.5-million libel suit from a would-be candidate who was barred from running for the Liberal party.

Marc Garneau's investiture 6 April 2014

6 April

Marc Garneau was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate in the new riding of NDG-Westmount at a very congenial, Liberal family affair on a sunny, almost Spring-like day.

5 April

How Trudeau’s high-school friend plans to win back a Liberal stronghold

(Globe & Mail) In the old days, winning the Liberal nomination in downtown Montreal was a ticket to a life-long job in the House of Commons.

That all changed with the 2011 Orange Wave, as one Liberal fortress after another fell to the NDP in Quebec’s biggest city. In the next election, the task of painting downtown Montreal red again will fall to Marc Miller, a lawyer at Stikeman Elliott who went to high school in the 1980s with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

27 March

Not exactly a clear defense of some of the actions we have witnessed in recent nomination processes.

Liberal open-nomination policy brings much-needed change

What Justin Trudeau’s new nominations policy does (and does not) mean — and why it was necessary.

By Katie Telford and Dan Gagnier

(Toronto Star) Trudeau ended the past practice of leader appointments for nominations and a commitment was made that we would operate under new, positive rules of engagement that move us away from the nasty, excluding and divisive battles of our past. As open nominations take place across the country, it will mean that local Liberals decide who will be our candidates. It does not mean that party rules can be broken or that prospective candidates and their teams can behave in whatever manner they choose during nomination contests.

20 March

Justin Trudeau under fire from Trinity-Spadina Liberals

This is contrary to everything the Liberal Party … is supposed to stand for’

(CBC)  On Thursday, the Federal Trinity-Spadina Liberal Association announced, via press release, that the local executive has “voted to condemn both the process and the decision made by the Liberal Party to block its only known nominee in an imminent by-election.”

19 March

Justin Trudeau says he’s committed to open nominations — despite banning a candidate over bullying claims

Trudeau denied the move to block Innes was aimed at protecting Freeland or clearing old guard Liberals out of the way for a new team with fresh blood.

Rather, he maintained it was strictly designed to send the message that infighting among Liberals will no longer be tolerated.

17 March

Former candidate denies Liberals’ bullying allegations; Zach Paikin drops bid

(Globe & Mail) A Toronto lawyer who was barred by the Liberal party from seeking its nomination in the riding of Trinity-Spadina has lashed back at Liberal brass saying they fabricated the evidence used to discredit her a way that was both “intimidating and harmful.”

Christine Innes, the two-time federal Liberal candidate in the Toronto constituency, wrote members of the riding executive on Sunday to give her side of a story which has exposed infighting within a party trying to break free from an era of internecine warfare. … On Monday, Zach Paikin, the son of television host Steve Paikin, who previously announced that he would seek the Liberal nomination in the new riding of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, said he was bowing out as a result of the party’s treatment of Ms. Innes. Liberal star Zach Paikin quits Hamilton nomination race ‘as a sign of protest’ against Trudeaunot quite sure that young Zach qualifies as a ‘star’.

13 March

Hugo de Grandpré: Des militants mécontents des nominations libérales fédérales

(La Presse) L’influence exercée par les hautes instances du Parti libéral du Canada dans le processus de nominations de candidats en vue des prochaines élections fait des mécontents au sein de la base militante.

Au cours des derniers jours, par exemple, plusieurs libéraux ont contacté La Presse pour dénoncer ce qu’ils jugent être une manipulation des règles pour favoriser un candidat dans la circonscription de Ville-Marie, Marc Miller, un ami de longue date de M. Trudeau.

Ces militants mécontents affirment entre autres que la date du vote pour choisir le candidat libéral dans la circonscription, le 3 avril, a été fixée beaucoup trop tôt compte tenu de l’intérêt suscité par la course, de manière à nuire aux adversaires de M. Miller.

Brigitte Legault, une militante de longue date et ancienne candidate du PLC, a d’ailleurs renoncé à s’y présenter en raison de la date jugée trop hâtive, selon plusieurs sources.

L’autre candidat, Bernard Amyot, qui a reçu l’appui de l’ancien premier ministre Jean Chrétien, aurait lui aussi été désavantagé par cette assemblée hâtive, notamment en raison de la fermeture de son bureau d’avocat, Heenan Blaikie, il y a quelques semaines.

Trudeau bloque une candidate car son mari aurait intimidé des membres

(Radio Canada) L’équipe du chef libéral a écarté de toute course à l’investiture, jeudi, la libérale Christine Innes, candidate malheureuse en 2008 et 2011 dans la circonscription de Trinity-Spadina, laissée vacante mercredi par la députée Olivia Chow, qui brigue la mairie de Toronto. … l’entourage de Justin Trudeau a précisé que le chef a quand même le droit de favoriser une candidature, tant que la course demeure équitable. We are not quite sure how the playing fied remains even if the Leader has indicated a preference for one candidate. It sounds as though he is trying to be a little bit pregnant and we sense more trouble ahead.

12 March

Liberal rules may clear path for star candidate Andrew Leslie

Leadership contenders who went over $100,000 debt limit may not get OK to run in 2015 election

(CBC) The warning seems to be directed at David Bertschi and George Takach, who owed $155,025 and $136,000 as of last November’s reports to Elections Canada. It could serve to smooth the road for Andrew Leslie, the former head of the Canadian army, to win a nomination.

9 March

Rachel Bendayan ElectionOutremontRachel Bendayan représentera les Libéraux à Outremont aux fédérales 2015

Le Parti libéral du Canada a investi Rachel Bendayan pour briguer les suffrages à l’élection fédérale 2015 dans le comté d’Outremont.

Selon un communiqué, plus de 200 membres de l’association libérale fédérale locale se sont réunis pour élire Mme Bendayan à l’école Vincent D’Indy le [9] mars dernier.

Membre du Barreau du Québec depuis 2007, Mme Bendayan est associée chez Norton Rose Fulbright Canada. Elle se spécialise en litige commercial et arbitrage international. Elle enseigne à la faculté de Droit à l’Université de Montréal et siège également au conseil d’administration national du PLC.

28 February

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 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. …

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.

25 February

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.

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.

23 February

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.

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.

Liberal election strategy6 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. …. Read text

Five most important moments of Trudeau’s Montreal speech

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

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.

21 February

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

“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

… Only seven of the 32 Senate Liberals are expected to show up in Montreal. … Senator Roméo 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 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.

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.

18 February

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 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. ( recapped these experiences on Oct. 26, 2012: Who is Zach Paikin and why are they saying those terrible things about him?)

17 February

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.

16 February

Friends, 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. 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

15 February

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.

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.

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.

8 February

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.

5 February

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)

4 February

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.

1 February

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

31 January

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

30 January

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.

29 January

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

24 January

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.

17 January

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.
14 January
A fluff piece unworthy of an MP
Chrystia Freeland:How I Gave Up on Snark to Become a Canadian Politician
11 January
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.

One Comment on "Canada: Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau 2014"

  1. Diana Thebaud Nicholson October 31, 2014 at 3:25 pm ·

    The following was published in the Toronto Sun and Ottawa Sun on 2 October. I hope that you enjoy it. DTJ
    Trudeau’s Not Reagan, He’s More Like JFK
    David Jones, Guest Columnist
    Every so often, in groping for a national analogy with U.S. politics, Canadians miss the mark.
    Recently, one columnist asked, “Is Justin Trudeau a Ronald Reagan for Canadian liberals?”
    David Moscrop, writing in the National Post, struggled to stretch Trudeau into the Procrustean bed of Reagan’s accomplishments. …
    Trudeau has nothing in his resume to equate with Reagan’s two-term governorship of California — a state matching Canada’s population and economy.
    He was also president of the Screen Actors Guild for eight years ¬— not a collegiate experience.
    Simply put, Trudeau is not Reagan.
    Better to drop back another generation and argue Trudeau is John F. Kennedy, a much better fit.
    Both qualify as “young” in political terms.
    JFK was 43 when elected president. Trudeau will be 43 in the 2015 federal election;
    Both are at least nominal Roman Catholics and athletically vigorous;
    Both can be accorded the certified stamp of “liberal.”
    (Although JFK’s designation as a liberal is a bit of a stretch, he was ahead of his times in his social/economic views, particularly for African-American civil rights.)
    Both were graced with lovely young wives and photogenic young children.
    Both came from wealthy, politically active families.
    Both were children of privilege, educated in their country’s finest universities;
    Both endured family tragedies. JFK’s brother was killed piloting a bomber in World War II; Trudeau’s brother drowned in a skiing/avalanche accident.
    And both have slim professional credentials when compared with their prospective opponents.
    Trudeau was first elected as an MP in October, 2008 and became Liberal leader in April, 2013.
    JFK had greater political experience: Congressman from 1947-53; senator from 1953-60.
    In his first national political campaign, JFK, 43, ran against Richard Nixon, who, at 47, seemed a generation older than Kennedy.
    Next year, Trudeau, who will be 43, will run against Stephen Harper, who will be 56 and in his ninth year as prime minister.
    Both JFK and Trudeau benefit by having opponents with charisma challenges.
    Nixon was overmatched by JFK in the classic 1960 television debates. Although the U.S. was at peace with a good economy in 1960, Nixon was forced to defend status quo policies against Kennedy’s “it’s time for a change” rhetoric.
    Harper himself has joked he became an economist because he didn’t have the charisma to be an accountant.
    His strengths are obvious: experienced leadership; a revived economy that will generate tax reductions and targeted expenditures; international stature; personal integrity.
    Bland should work for Harper, but even his strengths morph into weaknesses.
    For example, the recovering economy may convince voters Trudeau’s inexperience isn’t as risky as it would be in a recession.
    Harper must hope Canadian voters are risk adverse.
    Jones is a retired diplomat who was Political Minister Counsellor at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa

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