Canada Politics 2019 elections

Written by  //  July 14, 2019  //  Canada, Politics  //  No comments

Canada: government & governance 2019
Opinion polling for the 43rd Canadian federal election

Canada’s Trudeau is down in the polls. Can Conservatives take advantage?
(WaPo) Months of controversy have helped to reshape Canada’s political conversation, amplifying critics on the right, particularly those who challenge the prime minister’s positions on issues such as climate change and refugees. … The question is whether the Conservatives can capitalize on this turn of events and build momentum, particularly as polls show that the slide in Liberal support has bottomed out and the race is tightening.
… Analysts say that the Liberals could overplay their hand by hammering Scheer as intolerant but that Conservatives remain vulnerable, given how important the immigrant vote will be to their prospects in October. “The fine line they need to tread is to make sure they continue their mantra of protecting the border, while at the same time not looking xenophobic or opposed to immigration,” said Nik Nanos, an ­Ottawa-based pollster.

11 July
Premiers end summit saying Canadian unity is strong – with some exceptions
Between 50 and 60 per cent of Albertans support potential secession from the federation: Kenney
Canada’s premiers say national unity is strong across the country and that regional leaders are working together on a number of fronts to ensure that harmony becomes even stronger.
The provincial and territorial premiers made the comments at the closing press conference of the two-day Council of the Federation meeting hosted by Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe in Saskatoon.
The two outliers among the provincial leaders were the premiers of Saskatchewan and Alberta, who maintained that frustration over political factors hampering oil development and export have increased alienation in their provinces.
On Wednesday, the premiers asked the federal government to work with them to standardize professional certifications across the country, streamline immigration rules to ensure Canada gets the skilled workers it needs and press the United States for an exemption from “Buy American” legislation that they said disproportionately hurts Canadian workers.
In a somewhat unusual move, the premiers released copies of letters they sent to the federal party leaders asking them to outline their policies on job and skills training, immigration, healthcare, climate change, Arctic sovereignty, reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and their commitment to federalism.
Moe said that the responses to the premiers’ letters will be released publicly to help inform voters in advance of the coming federal election.

10 July
Trudeau asks former chief of staff, new adviser to join him on Liberal campaign bus
Liberal sources said that Mr. Trudeau has asked his former chief of staff, Cyrus Reporter, as well as his current senior adviser, Ben Chin, to join him on the plane and bus that will transport him across the country during the next election. … The Liberals’ large pre-election meeting in Ottawa this week will be attended by high-ranking party volunteers and staffers, campaign co-chairs, regional chairs and organizers.
A number of members of the Prime Minister’s Office will take a day off to participate, including chief of staff Katie Telford, director of communications Cameron Ahmad, senior adviser Mathieu Bouchard and executive director of communication and planning Kate Purchase.
According to the most recent poll by Nanos Research, the Liberal Party of Canada is back in the lead after a tough start to the year that was dominated by the fallout from the SNC-Lavalin affair. The Liberals are now at 34.6 per cent in the poll, followed by the Conservatives at 30.4 per cent, the NDP at 17.9 per cent and the Greens at 8.8 per cent.

20 June
Ontario cabinet shuffle: Fedeli, Thompson, MacLeod and Mulroney moved from embattled posts as Ford hits reset
The changes expand the cabinet table to 28 seats from 21, and make room for several newcomers. They follow complaints in PC circles that the government has had trouble communicating its message, as some recent polls suggest that under Mr. Ford, the party has suffered as much as a 10-per-cent decline in support from the 40.5 per cent it won in last June’s election. … Ontario…will be a key battleground for this fall’s federal election. Senior Liberals see Mr. Ford’s performance as a potential liability for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, and routinely link them in public statements. Senior Conservative MPs say they have heard concerns about the Premier from voters.
The man they call ‘Green Jesus’ joins Trudeau’s Liberals
Steven Guilbeault, a star Quebec environmentalist, is scheduled on Friday to announce his plans to seek the Liberal nomination in a Montreal riding, Laurier-Ste-Marie, that was once held by former Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe.
The move could boost Trudeau’s credentials in Quebec at a time when many environmentalists are disappointed in the government’s decision to spend billions of dollars of public money to assume responsibility for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the subsequent reapproval of the project, which would increase capacity by three times.

16 June
Canadians view ethics in government as paramount issue in fall election, poll shows
Ethics in government is shaping up as the biggest issue for voters in the approaching federal vote, outdistancing the economy, the environment and trade with the United States, according to a new poll conducted for The Globe and Mail.
A solid majority of 73 per cent of Canadians polled by Nanos Research say that ethics in government will influence their vote in the fall election, slated to take place on Oct. 21.
This comes after extensive coverage of the SNC-Lavalin controversy, in which the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put pressure on then-attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould to stop the criminal prosecution of the Montreal-based engineering company.
There were also months of attention on charges against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman for allegedly leaking information on a naval supply vessel program. During the trial, which was ultimately aborted, the Liberals faced accusations in the House of Commons that the Prime Minister “interfered in the judicial process” by withholding documents from the defence and by denying Vice-Adm. Norman access to his own documents.
“What this speaks to is Canadians want to hear from politicians about ethics, transparency and how our government should run as a top issue,“ pollster Nik Nanos said in an interview.
NDP eyes sweeping healthcare coverage and universal pharmacare for 2019 federal election
Money from taxes on the wealthy and closing tax loopholes will pay for commitments to health care, housing and climate change
(National Post) Signalling its determination not to be outflanked on the left this time around, the federal NDP has unveiled its platform months ahead of the fall election, including commitments to dramatically expand health care and to impose a wealth tax on the super-rich and a plan to run deficits for the foreseeable future.
The party released a 109-page platform during an Ontario NDP policy convention in Hamilton on Sunday, titled “A New Deal for People” (note the acronym), bucking the standard practice of federal parties releasing their platforms only once the writ has dropped.

31 May
Trudeau singles out Ford, warning Canada is ‘election away’ from return to Tory austerity
(iPolitics) The Liberal leader told the annual conference of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities the country is “an election away from more cuts to municipalities, more cuts to the services people need, more cuts to the programs that are making our communities better places to call home.”
“We’ve seen Conservative politicians do this before, so we can’t act surprised when they do it again.”
Trudeau did not mention by name his chief adversary, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, but he did single out Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who backed off this week on planned funding cuts this year to Ontario municipalities for paramedics, public health and child care. … Offering the mayors a sample of his own election stump speech, Trudeau said: “We can’t forget how far Conservative politicians will go to fill their smaller government ideology, how quickly they will make cuts to public health, cuts to public education, cuts to child care and other essential services, just to add a line to their stump speech.”
And if the Conservative premiers do not want to work with the federal government on joint projects, Trudeau is prepared to work around the provinces, dealing directly with municipalities “to get shovels in the ground and to do things Canadians ask us all to do.”
While the audience reaction to Trudeau’s speech was mixed, the reception was much more enthusiastic later when Scheer addressed the conference later in the afternoon.

27 May
Wilson-Raybould, Philpott to seek re-election as Independent MPs
Green Party Elizabeth May disappointed they won’t be running under her party’s banner
Former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott will seek re-election as Independent candidates in the fall election campaign, having rejected an offer to join the Green Party after weeks of talks with leader Elizabeth May.
The MPs made their announcements at separate, back-to-back news conferences in their ridings, nearly two months after being expelled from the Liberal caucus.
In her Vancouver-Granville riding this morning, Wilson-Raybould said a non-partisan approach is the best way to change the way politics is done in Canada.

Andrew Scheer has an Ontario problem – and it could be Doug Ford

21 May
Andrew Scheer’s economic vision for Canada is right out of 1993
Kevin Carmichael: The words ‘competitiveness,’ ‘innovation,’ ‘productivity,’ and ‘intellectual property’ didn’t appear in Scheer’s recent economic policy speech
(Financial Post) The Conservative leader’s vision of the Canadian economy is stale and nakedly partisan. His prepared remarks consisted of almost 5,000 words: “Trudeau” is mentioned 23 times, “deficit” 10 times, and “oil” nine times; “competitiveness,” “innovation,” “productivity,” and “intellectual property” don’t appear at all.
Scheer mentions in passing the need for “smarter investments in areas like basic research and infrastructure.” And he says that the Canada must become a country of “yes” to investments in technology and infrastructure projects that shorten commutes. (He didn’t elaborate on what that means.) Scheer’s only significant policy ideas related to oil: he said he would create a pan-Canadian “corridor” that would make it easier to build pipelines and string power lines, and he said he would stop oil imports by 2030

16 May
Liberals to hold minority government in N.L., PCs not conceding defeat
‘They will have to struggle for the next months and years to hang on to power,’ top Tory says
Dwight Ball and his Liberal Party will form a minority government in Newfoundland and Labrador, but the Progressive Conservative leader is already mounting an attack against him.
Ches Crosbie said he will be calling on three elected members of the NDP and two Independents to form a coalition to counter the Liberals.
The Liberals have won a projected 20 out of the 40 seats in the House of Assembly.
“I am not conceding victory to the Liberals,” Crosbie told a room full of supporters and media after all votes were tallied.
With a projected win of 20 of the 40 seats in the House of Assembly, any chance at a majority government now relies on two former Liberal members — Eddie Joyce and Paul Lane — who were elected as Independents on Thursday night.
If either return to the Liberals, the party could form a majority
Éric Grenier: Voters are opting for change at a rapid clip — and that’s bad news for Justin Trudeau
Not since the Great Depression disrupted sitting governments across the country has any prime minister presided over a period of such sweeping political turnover as Justin Trudeau has ahead of October’s federal election.
Another government could be added to the tally if Dwight Ball’s Liberals fail to secure re-election in today’s vote in Newfoundland and Labrador — a defeat that would make Trudeau’s term in office the bloodiest for an incumbent government in Canadian history.
Only the Saskatchewan Party in 2016 and Stephen McNeil’s Nova Scotia Liberals in 2017 have managed to win re-election over the last four years

7 May
Green Party win in Nanaimo by-election suggests trouble for Liberals, NDP, pollster Nik Nanos says
Voters in Nanaimo-Ladysmith may have wondered if a by-election so near to this fall’s federal vote was worth the trip to the ballot box. But their decision to send a Green MP to Parliament – the second seat for the party – is being taken seriously by political parties, commentators and citizens as an indication of the Greens’ rise to mainstream politics.
On Monday, Paul Manly won 37.3 per cent of the vote, ahead of second-place John Hirst of the Conservative Party with 24.8 per cent. Despite holding the riding since 2011, the NDP fell to third place, with 21.1 per cent. The Liberals’ Michelle Corfield trailed with 11 per cent of the vote.
But if the Greens want to carry their recent success forward to the general election, they will have to be ready for a higher level of scrutiny on their platform and their vision for Canada, Mr. Nanos said.
They will also need to use their momentum to attract solid local candidates, he added, which is especially important in campaigns when people are disappointed by the mainstream parties.

6 May
Andrew Scheer has a problem
The Conservative leader has left himself open to charges of intolerance in his party. It could be the biggest, ugliest issue in the coming election.
(Maclean’s) It should be possible to critique immigration policy without being accused of racism. But there’s no denying—in the age of Donald Trump and of anti-migrant populism across Europe—that racism is a powerful undercurrent whenever immigration is debated. And in Canada, polling data shows it’s far more pronounced on the right of the political spectrum.
Arguably this year’s most widely discussed Canadian public-opinion finding came out early this spring from veteran pollster Frank Graves, the head of Ekos Research. Graves found that the segment of Canadians who think there are too many non-white newcomers is holding steady at around 40 per cent in recent years. What’s changed, however, is the partisan dimension in that data. In 2013, about 47 per cent of Conservative supporters and 34 per cent of Liberals told Ekos that too many immigrants were visible minorities. By this year, that gap had widened dramatically, to 69 per cent of Conservatives and just 15 per cent of Liberals.

28 April
A Green-NDP merger? It could be a big hit.
Philippe J. Fournier: A new 338Canada analysis shows the ‘Green Democrats’ would hold the balance of power in a minority government after the next election
What if the NDP and Green Party decided that they have more in common than they have differences? With the recent success of the PC and Wildrose merger in Alberta, would it be so unreasonable to imagine what a Green Party-NDP merger could look like?
Let’s call them the Green Democrats.
I entered the numbers in the 338 electoral model and made the following hypotheses:
– Most of the current NDP and Green support would remain with the Green Democrats
– The Green Democrats would have a higher appeal among younger, urban and educated demographics (which is, statistically at least, already the case for the GPC and NDP)
– Neither Elizabeth May nor Jagmeet Singh would lead the new party.
According to current data and with the hypotheses formulated above, the hypothetical Green Democrats would get an average support just under 27 per cent (roughly the combined support of the GPC and NDP). The confidence intervals range from roughly 23 per cent to 31 per cent of support.
The Green Democrats would still likely fall in third place behind the Conservatives and Liberals, but the race at the top would become far more competitive.

10 April
Chantal Hébert: No easy solution for Justin Trudeau’s pipeline woes
Justin Trudeau’s government already has a pre-election war on its hands with Ontario and a number of other provinces over its recently imposed carbon tax. Next week’s Alberta election could raise the climate change policy stakes to a new high just in time for the upcoming federal campaign.
The result of that provincial vote could force the prime minister to choose between salvaging a minimum of credibility for his climate change policy or living up to his oft-repeated assessment that the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is in the national interest.

9 April
Trudeau’s personal brand continues to tarnish, new poll suggests
(Reuters) The ruling Liberals have lost 6 percentage points since the start of the year, ceding the lead to the rival Conservatives, according to a Nanos Research poll published on Tuesday.
If an election were held now, the Conservatives would win 34.9 percent of the vote, the Liberals 32.8 percent and the left-leaning New Democratic Party 16.6 percent. The poll suggests the result would be deadlock or a fragile minority government.
“The Liberals have taken a hit, but they’re still competitive,” said pollster Nik Nanos. “The most significant effect has been the negative impact on the prime minister’s personal brand.”
Nanos: Qualities of a Good Political Leader–Few[er] than half of Canadians (43.3%) believe Trudeau has the qualities of a good political leader while 39.7 per cent believe Scheer has the qualities of a good political leader. Three in ten (29.8%) say JagmeetSingh has the qualities of a good political leader, while 35.4 per cent believe the same about May. One in six (17.6%) believe Bernier has the qualities of a good political leader 27.1 percent said Blanchet has the qualities of a good political leader (QC only).

26 March
Trudeau losing ground in B.C. ahead of federal election, poll suggests
(TorStar) Though British Columbia should be fertile ground for the Liberals to grow support ahead of October’s general election, the party’s biggest asset in 2015 is now its biggest liability: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
That’s according to Martyn Brown, a former BC Liberal — a provincial party that has no ties to the federal one and is often aligned with small “c” conservative values — who was chief of staff for the province’s premier during the 2000s.

5 March
Conservatives take slight lead over Liberals in latest Nanos tracking poll
(CTV) The weekly tracking data, which ended March 1 and was released on Tuesday, shows the Conservatives at 34.7 per cent, followed by the Liberals at 34.2 per cent.
The NDP is at 15.5 per cent and the Green Party at 9.1 per cent. The Bloc Quebecois got 3.6 per cent of the vote, while the People’s Party of Canada got 0.7 per cent.
The latest Nanos survey data also show that 52.2 of respondents think Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the qualities of a good leader, while 39.1 per cent think the same of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. Just over 27 per cent think NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has the qualities of a good leader.

26 February
Liberal Rachel Bendayan wins Outremont in byelection
Liberal Rachel Bendayan has won the federal riding of Outremont in Quebec after taking 40 per cent of the vote with 95 per cent of polls reporting.
“I will honour your vote by working very hard,” she said Monday night at Liberal party headquarters in Montreal’s Outremont.
She stressed that the Liberals would continue to fight climate change and promote a national housing strategy.
Mélanie Joly, the minister of official languages and La Francophonie, said that despite losing to the NDP in 2015, Bendayan was always a strong candidate who continued working in the riding in the years since.

Win, lose or draw? Byelection results suggest struggles ahead for major parties
there’s something in these byelection results for just about everyone to be happy about. There’s plenty of things there for them to worry about, too — and less than eight months left to worry about them
By Éric Grenier
With 40.4 per cent of the vote, Rachel Bendayan put up the best result for the Liberals in Outremont since 2004. If the party can repeat these gains in other parts of Quebec, the New Democrats will be hard-pressed to hold any of the 16 seats they won in the province in 2015.
But the Liberals will struggle to hold or win suburban seats in the rest of Canada if they repeat the kind of losses they suffered in Burnaby South (a drop of 7.9 points from the previous vote) and York–Simcoe (a drop of 8.8 points).
Mixed results for Bernier, new high for Greens
People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier might be pleased with Laura-Lynn Thompson’s 10.6 per cent result in Burnaby South, but Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is likely relieved that the PPC captured just two per cent of the vote in Outremont and York–Simcoe.
The Greens managing 12.5 per cent of the vote in Outremont — the party’s best result in any federal election in any riding in Quebec — is notable, as the environment has emerged as a more pressing issue for voters in Quebec than in other parts of the country.
It makes for a crowded field in the province — the Bloc Québécois’ new leader, Yves-François Blanchet, is a former environment minister and Singh has used the Liberal government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline as a wedge issue in Quebec. There might not be room for three parties in Quebec going hard on the environmental file.

24 February
How Monday’s byelections preview the key themes of this fall’s federal election
By Éric Grenier
(CBC) There’s always something to learn from byelections. For starters, Jagmeet Singh will find out whether he has a future as the leader of the NDP tomorrow.
But the results of all three of tomorrow’s byelection contests also will shine a spotlight on some of the key dynamics that could decide the 2019 federal election.
Local factors always play a significant role in byelections, making it hazardous to draw overly broad conclusions from the results. But they’re still instructive.
We know, for example, that how a party performs in byelections offers clues to how they might fare in subsequent general elections, that prime ministers with better byelection records have a higher chance of staying in office and that these seemingly minor affairs can have enormous historical significance.
Singh is staking his leadership on the voters of Burnaby South, a riding in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. If he doesn’t get it, his days as leader of the NDP are likely to be numbered.
The results in York–Simcoe will be a good gauge of just how much of a complication [Maxime Bernier’s]  People’s Party will prove to be for Scheer in October.

23 February
The Orange Wave’s last stand? Outremont byelection a critical test for NDP in Quebec
By Jonathan Montpetit
Strong second place ‘would already be a win for the party,’ says ex-adviser
(CBC) In 2007, Tom Mulcair — then in self-imposed exile from Quebec politics — pulled off an unlikely win in a federal byelection, taking the Liberal stronghold of Outremont for the NDP.
It was only the second time the NDP had won a seat in Quebec. But from this narrow beachhead, Mulcair and then leader Jack Layton dramatically grew their support in the province.
Their effort, of course, culminated in the Orange Wave, when the party won 59 of Quebec’s 75 seats in the 2011 general election and stormed into Opposition.
Julia Sanchez, a former international development executive who lived in Ottawa for many years before recently moving back to Outremont, is now carrying the NDP banner. Montreal MPs Hélène Laverdière and Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet — two Orange Wavers who won’t run in the next election — have been stumping for her. So too has Charles Taylor, the 87-year-old philosopher who has run for the party several times.
The Liberal candidate, Rachel Bendayan, ran against Mulcair in the last election, finishing second by more than 10 points. This time, she said, she benefits not only from a bit of name recognition, but also the record of the Trudeau government, pointing to investments in public transit, social housing and the Canada Child Benefit.
The Liberals, though, are heading into Monday’s three byelections weighed down by the controversy surrounding the government’s alleged interference in the prosecution of Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, which is accused of bribing Libyan officials. Several recent polls suggest Liberal support has suffered in the wake of the scandal, and they are now in a dead heat nationally with the Conservatives.
Bendayan, though, doesn’t believe the scandal is registering with voters in Outremont. “I haven’t heard much about it at the doors,” she said.

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