Canada Election October 2019 and aftermath

Written by  //  December 26, 2019  //  Canada  //  Comments Off on Canada Election October 2019 and aftermath

Meet the class of 2019:
Notable rookies headed to Parliament Hill

Cohen: Here are the winners and losers in Canadian and world politics for 2019
(Postmedia) Trudeau follows his father into the purgatory of minority government; he will either see a way back to a majority in three years or resign. Yet his achievement this autumn should not go unheralded. In a country where the provinces have defeated one progressive government after another since 2015, in a western world turning conservative, the Liberals were re-elected.
Poor Scheer had so little sense of himself that he didn’t seem to know what job he held before politics, why he had U.S. citizenship and, most critically, how he felt on homosexuality. Had he had any self-knowledge, he could have addressed all of these points with a little honesty. Now’s he’s gone, a historical footnote, who will be seen as the party’s placeholder between Stephen Harper and Rona Ambrose.
Other politicians fared well. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy prime minister) becomes the Minister of Everything. François-Philippe Champagne (foreign affairs) becomes chief diplomat. Catherine McKenna (infrastructure) gets big money to build things that the country needs – and she will.
Mélanie Joly (economic development) returns from exile to a senior portfolio. Johnathan Wilkinson (environment) and Marco Mendicino (immigration) get a seat at the head table. Mona Fortier (minister of middle class prosperity) has no earthly reason to be in cabinet, which may explain why she was given an Orwellian portfolio, presumably named by a naïf in the Prime Minister’s Office who had just read 1984.
In the provinces, Doug Ford goes from weakness to weakness. His triumph was appointing (then firing the next day) Tyler Albrecht, a 20-something lacrosse player, as Ontario agent-general in New York City. It showed a premier who was all ignorance and impulse.
Ford’s soul mate, Jason Kenney, was a winner in Alberta until he turned whiner. Now he talks up western alienation to distract Albertans from draconian budget cuts in a province without a sales tax.

17 December
The Conservatives’ Radical Right Problem Goes Way Beyond Scheer
More than half of MPs are now anti-choice, says abortion campaign group.
By Marc Lafrance, an associate professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal.
(The Tyee) Andrew Scheer’s resignation as leader of the Conservatives came after months of speculation and mounting frustration inside and outside his party.
Scheer’s critics cite a variety of reasons for why he was unable to beat Justin Trudeau in the last election, such as his lack of transparency about his dual citizenship and his claims about working as an insurance broker.
But the reason critics cite most often is Scheer’s social conservatism which, as former Conservative cabinet minister Peter MacKay put it, hung around his neck like a “stinking albatross.”
A careful inspection of the current Conservative caucus reveals that the party’s radical right-wing values run deep.
For example, Campaign Life Coalition — Canada’s biggest anti-abortion group — says that 46 out of the 121-member Conservative caucus are pro-life, which amounts to almost 40 per cent of the party’s sitting MPs.
RightNow, another anti-abortion group, goes further. It contends that 68 members of the Conservative caucus are pro-life — more than half the MPs. RightNow’s post-election analysis was emphatic: “The House of Commons is now more pro-life than before, the Conservative Party of Canada caucus is more pro-life than before, and some of the staunchest pro-abortion Conservative female (MPs) have been replaced by younger, more diverse, pro-life Conservative female (MPs).”

27 November
Prominent Conservatives set up non-profit to campaign for Leader Andrew Scheer’s removal
Called Conservative Victory, the organization aims to mount a cross-country grassroots movement to put pressure on Mr. Scheer to step down as leader before the Conservative Party holds a mandatory leadership review vote in April.
The campaign is being led by Kory Teneycke, a Toronto lobbyist who ran Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s leadership and election campaigns; Jeff Ballingall, the founder of Ontario Proud and Canada Proud, two websites dedicated to defeating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that have amassed a significant online following; and John Reynolds, a former Conservative MP who co-chaired former prime minister Stephen Harper’s successful 2006 election campaign.
Mr. Teneycke and Mr. Reynolds were both involved in runner-up Maxime Bernier’s leadership campaign.

12 November
‘Hostile situation’: Trudeau faces frustrated Conservative leaders as he preps for Dec. 5 return of Parliament
Scheer, western premiers urge Liberals to take immediate steps to boost oil economy
(CBC) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing growing pressure from conservative political leaders who are urging him to take swift steps to address economic uncertainty and alienation in the West.
Earlier today, Trudeau sat down with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to discuss possible areas of common ground between Liberals and Conservatives prior to the opening of the new session of Parliament on Dec. 5.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Scheer said dealing with frustration and fear in the West is a key priority.

7-8 November
Conservatives planning a sweeping three-part review of party’s 2019 campaign
MP says party wants expedited review ‘because we don’t know how long this Parliament will last’
Former cabinet minister John Baird’s external review of the Conservative Party of Canada’s election performance is just one part of what Conservatives are calling a sweeping effort to get at the reasons behind the party’s recent defeat.
Within hours of being named chair of the external review, Baird — who served as minister of foreign affairs in Stephen Harper’s cabinet — began conducting interviews, starting with senior campaign staff.
Conservative sources say Baird’s tone in these interviews has been forward-looking but serious, and his questions appear intended to get an honest assessment of what went wrong and help the party mount a more successful campaign next time.
John Ivison: Worried they can no longer win in Ontario, Conservatives put Scheer on notice
‘This could become an existential question for the party going forward,’ said one Ontario MP. ‘It could be distilled down to a western Reform rump’
It’s true that the caucus was unified behind the idea that the party’s membership, not its elected members, should hold the leader to account. But that was where consensus ended.
The meeting didn’t last seven hours because MPs were lauding the leader and his team.
There are very real concerns among MPs from Ontario in particular, that the party will be reduced to a rump in Canada’s largest province, if major changes are not introduced by Scheer – or possibly his successor. The loss of Milton, a riding formerly held by Lisa Raitt, is seen as a harbinger by MPs with commuter belt constituencies who have seen their vote share dip in successive elections since 2011.
Pressure mounts on Scheer — new poll shows 42 per cent of Tory voters feel he should step down
Many described Scheer’s inability to capitalize on a rocky year for the Justin Trudeau Liberals as a failure by the Conservative leader to form government

5 November
Re-election means never having to say you’re sorry
Paul Wells: The Trudeau Liberals return confirmed in their beliefs and comforted by big numbers in Central Canada. The introspection is over.
For a year I depicted the 2019 campaign as a referendum on carbon taxes. I had the enthusiastic cooperation of federal and provincial Conservative politicians and political staffers, who pointed out that Hamish Marshall had already won a literal referendum on taxes. Scheer and four provincial Conservative leaders, each in a different city, posed for a Maclean’s cover story as “The Resistance” to Trudeau carbon taxes. Colleague Jason Markusoff overheard Stephen Harper give a speech with a ringing applause line: “Let the other guys do a carbon tax, because we can all win the next federal and provincial elections on that issue alone.”
If, after all that, Trudeau’s Liberals had wound up with fewer seats than the Conservatives, Jason Kenney and Stephen Harper and Andrew Scheer would be calling it a ringing public condemnation of the Liberals’ environmental policy. Since the opposite happened, the anti-carbon tax coalition is in a bit of a retreat.
Perhaps the surest sign of the Trudeau circle’s confidence is the news that Katie Telford is staying on as his chief of staff. The news was delivered first to a TVA reporter who’d been told all sorts of things about a nasty work environment at the PMO, the sort of rumours that get leaked when a faction in internal disputes begins to realize it’s losing. Indeed, the “transition team” preparing a second Trudeau government is perhaps less remarkable for who’s on it—perennial Edmonton Liberal stalwart Anne McLellan and current Canadian ambassador to France Isabelle Hudon—than for who’s actually running it, Telford, along with Privy Council clerk Ian Shugart.
… there’s no part of the Trudeau agenda since 2015 that Telford hasn’t been closely involved with. Everyone grows, learns and adjusts. Course corrections are always possible. But if this were a chastened prime minister badly rattled by the election returns, he probably wouldn’t be keeping his (surviving, non-Gerry Butts) right hand in place.

4 November
Robert Fife & Daniel Leblanc: Trudeau’s new cabinet to focus on green economy and climate change, sources say
(Globe & Mail) Liberal and government insiders who have knowledge of the discussions say Mr. Trudeau will also strengthen the Intergovernmental Affairs department in a bid to address Western grievances and the divide between rural and urban Canada.
…they said seven portfolios will play key roles in helping Canada adapt to the rapidly expanding global green economy and create jobs in clean energy: Finance; Global Affairs; Innovation, Science and Economic Development; Environment; Natural Resources; Intergovernmental Affairs; and Justice.
Liberal insiders say they expect Finance Minister Bill Morneau to stay in the top economic post. They say he has the confidence of Bay Street and understands the importance of the green economy.
Innovation is the second-most important economic cabinet post. It is now held by Toronto-area MP Navdeep Bains, but Mr. Trudeau’s inner circle believes it should go to a Quebecker, insiders say. The province currently does not have a minister in a substantial economic portfolio. Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne is said by the insiders to be in line for Innovation. He is an international trade lawyer with overseas business experience.
Liberal insiders say Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland could move to Intergovernmental Affairs, as the federal government deals with regional tensions after the Oct. 21 federal election. Ms. Freeland was born and raised in Alberta and has been a strong performer in Mr. Trudeau’s cabinet.
Sources said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, an international lawyer, would be a good fit at Foreign Affairs, or in Justice, which has to handle environmental legal cases such as provincial challenges to the federal carbon tax. Insiders say Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson of Vancouver is a likely candidate for Environment.

2 November
Ralph Goodale on Wexit, his unfinished business and losing a seat again, 40 years later
(Toronto Star) As the outgoing minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Goodale was responsible for one of the largest and most complex portfolios in Trudeau’s cabinet, covering everything from the prison system to Canada’s spy agency, CSIS.
The Star spoke with Goodale by phone from Regina about Western alienation and Wexit, his political future and the unfinished business he’s handing the next Public Safety minister (see to-do list below) — from First Nations policing to the rise of far-right extremism, from battling gun crime to what to do with Canadian terrorists detained in Syria.

1 November
Vote recounts taking place in Quebec, B.C. could affect most major parties
Overturning any of the results wouldn’t change the overall outcome from the election, where the Liberals won a plurality of seats in the House of Commons, but failed to earn a majority. Nor would the Conservatives be bumped from their spot as official Opposition.

31 October
Scheer’s leadership at centre of tensions brewing within Conservative party
Signs are pointing to a civil war breaking out within the Conservative party, but breaking down along different lines than past internal battles that divided the party ideologically.
At its heart a single question: is Andrew Scheer personally and solely to blame for the failure of the party to capture a majority in last week’s vote?
The Conservatives will soon announce who they’ve hired to conduct their campaign post-mortem to officially answer that question, but analysis is well underway — some of it very publicly.
Peter MacKay denies he’s aiming for Tory leadership after critiquing Scheer

23 October
Trudeau rules out coalition, promises gender equity in new cabinet
PM says he will do more to address western ‘frustration,’ regrets ‘divisiveness’ of campaign messaging
(CBC) In the coming weeks, Trudeau said, he plans to sit down with each of the party leaders to discuss their priorities and how they can work together.
“I can tell you it is not in our plans at all to form any sort of … formal or informal coalition,” he said.
He also said his government will continue with plans to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline, which he said is “in Canada’s best interests.” The NDP opposes the pipeline expansion project.
The Liberals did not elect any MPs in Alberta or Saskatchewan Monday, presenting Trudeau with a pressing problem of regional representation. Trudeau said today he has spoken already with the premiers of both provinces and will work to see the concerns of Western Canadians are addressed by his government.
Appointing a western senator to cabinet would be ‘counterproductive’, independent senator warns
Sen. Yuen Pau Woo says it would run counter to the Trudeau government’s pursuit of a non-partisan Red Chamber

Federal election 2019: Now that Trudeau has a minority government, the focus shifts to how he will manage it
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing key decisions about cabinet representation and how to win confidence votes in Parliament after Canadians reduced the Liberal party to a minority and elected no Liberal MPs from Alberta and Saskatchewan.
(Globe & Mail) The Liberal Party finished 13 seats short of the 170 required to form a majority in the House of Commons. That leaves the re-elected Liberal government with two options: governing on an issue-by issue basis or reaching some kind of arrangement with a smaller party for support on confidence votes.
Tim Murphy, who was chief of staff to former prime minister Paul Martin during the last Liberal minority government from 2004 to 2006, said Mr. Trudeau will likely want to meet with the other parties to hear what they have in mind.
“Job one is opening up the lines of communication and just having the conversations,” he said. “I’d probably walk into those conversations saying, ‘Look, our bias is toward governing issue-by-issue, but happy to have a discussion.’”
Mr. Murphy said a key difference between this minority and the Martin minority is that the Liberals can now win confidence votes with the NDP, whereas the two parties didn’t have enough combined votes during the Martin government.
One clear challenge for the Liberal government is how it will repair relations with Alberta and Saskatchewan while relying on support from parties, such as the NDP, that oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline.
There is some speculation the Liberal government may need to appoint senators from Alberta and Saskatchewan to sit in cabinet. Mr. Murphy said that will be a challenge for the Trudeau government given its policy of appointing senators who sit as independents.

Western premiers warn of ‘frustration and alienation’ after election result sharpens regional divisions
Monday’s result marked the lowest share of the overall vote ever won by a winning party, and stoked new fears that Ottawa was losing touch with prairie provinces and Quebec
(National Post) Trudeau’s election win comes amid a growing sense of Western alienation in Alberta over frustrations in the provinces battered oil and gas sector. Years of regulatory and legal wrangling has snarled major pipeline projects like the Trans Mountain expansion, forcing many producers to sell their oil at steep discounts and bleeding hundreds of billions in lost revenues.
Following the establishment of a minority Liberal government propped up by the NDP, many in Calgary’s corporate towers are already anxious over whether the Trans Mountain expansion could become a political football this winter.
As of Tuesday evening, well over 150,000 Albertans had signed an online petition that called for the province to separate from the country.
[Alberta premier Jason] Kenney, for his part, roundly rejected the idea of Alberta separatism, saying it would only serve to bar the province from building new infrastructure.

Bramham: No miraculous resurgence for NDP, but Singh wins influence
Jagmeet Singh provided rare glimpses of joy, humanity and grace in a brutish campaign to become one of the most influential people in Ottawa.
…Had New Democrats gone too far by choosing a leader whose Sikh faith is made tangible with his turban and kirpan?
Many long-serving MPs retired with no rush of people wanting to take their places. Two-thirds of Canadians had a negative opinion of him. And, there were problems raising money.
Today, Singh is the most popular of the federal leaders. More importantly, New Democrats are positioned to heavily influence national policy over the coming months and possibly years.

33 blue and 1 orange: Heather McPherson holds Edmonton Strathcona for NDP

Trudeau’s to-do list: calm rising regional tensions, heal rifts with premiers
The Liberal minority government will require wheeling and dealing with federal, provincial leaders
By Kathleen Harris
(CBC) The minority means Trudeau must adopt a give-and-take approach to survive in the House of Commons, and must also find a way to fill a regional representation gap in the West.
In his victory speech in Montreal Monday night, Trudeau said he understood the growing frustration in the Prairie provinces, and promised to support them and govern for everyone across the country.
Today, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe issued an open letter via Twitter pointing out the Liberal minority did not win the popular vote and does not have a “clear mandate,” as Trudeau had claimed.
Moe called for a “new deal” for Canada and said he’s ready to meet with Trudeau at any time to discuss his demands: elimination of the federal carbon tax, a new equalization formula for Saskatchewan and Alberta, and a plan to build pipelines to get oil exports to international markets.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has said he will work with the Liberals to push policy priorities that improve the lives of Canadians. …”what I can tell you is that our priorities are very clear. We’ve laid those out throughout the campaign, how we want to see investments in health care, we want to see housing more affordable, we want to help out students, we want real action on climate justice.”
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said his party is prepared to use the “strong leverage” of its 32 seats in the House of Commons, but the burden is on the Liberals to make Parliament work.

5 things to know about the results of Canada’s 43rd general election
(Canadian Press/Global) Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau broke the campaign deadlock with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and prevailed in Canada’s 43rd general election on Monday. The Liberals won the most seats but fell short of a second majority government.
As the campaign unfolded, the NDP under Jagmeet Singh made significant polling gains, raising his party’s standing across the country. But that didn’t translate into actual seats. It was a big night for Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, who revived his party’s fortunes and made it a force to be reckoned with after its decline in the 2011 and 2015 elections.

The WaPo editorial board goes a bit over the top
Canada’s election results are a victory for the planet
E.J. Dionne’s view is more accurate:
Canadian voters brilliantly delivered their message
They wanted to give Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a comeuppance but did not want a Conservative government.
Monday’s election achieved this outcome with near perfection. Trudeau will stay in office, but with a minority in the Parliament. His Liberal Party lost 20 seats and was narrowly defeated in the popular vote by Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party, 34.4 percent to 33.1 percent . Severe scolding administered.
At the same time, voters elected enough members of Parliament from the left-leaning New Democratic Party and the Greens to create a center-left parliamentary majority. Collectively, Liberals, New Democrats and Greens won more than 55 percent of the vote.
This sent a message to the Conservatives: Pumping up anger in the base can win big majorities for the center-right in their strongholds but leave them stranded in metropolitan areas.
Canada elections: Trudeau wins narrow victory to form minority government
Liberals secure four more years in power despite lingering criticism over handling of corruption inquiry and blackface scandal
(The Guardian) Trudeau lost key cabinet members, including veteran lawmaker and public safety minister Ralph Goodale, 70, who was the only Liberal MP in Saskatchewan, where the local energy industry is increasingly at odds with federal environmental policies. In Alberta, Amarjeet Sohi, the natural resource minister, and Randy Boissonnault lost their seats, a result that means the neither Alberta nor Saskatchewan will have representation in Trudeau’s federal government, at a time of growing frustration in the economically strapped western provinces.
Monday’s result marked a clear defeat for Scheer, whose campaign pledges to quash carbon pricing legislation and cut taxes failed to resonate with voters. The Conservative party also took a heavy loss, with deputy party leader Lisa Raitt losing her race to former Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden.
Monday’s result marks a significant erosion of support for the charismatic prime minister, but the narrow victory will be enough to ensure Trudeau’s marquee policies – including the national carbon tax – are likely to remain in place.
But without his majority, Trudeau will have to reach out to other parties with a “confidence-and-supply” deal in which junior partners will support the government on individual pieces of legislation, as opposed to joining in a fully-fledged coalition.
Such a deal will leave the leftwing NDP and the Bloc Québécois holding the balance of power a minority government. The most likely ally for Trudeau is Singh, who has made a commitment to fighting climate change and funding healthcare key requires for co-operation from the NDP.

Federal election 2019: Voter turnout dips to 66 per cent compared with enthusiasm that brought Trudeau to power four years ago

At least 50 members of Parliament who were elected in 2015 didn’t run again this year. There are notable and long-standing names within the three main party caucuses who moved on. Liberals are losing about 20 MPs in total, including Scott Brison, Celina Caesar-Chavannes and Rodger Cuzner, who was famed for his annual House Christmas poem (he’s taking part in our television special tonight). Of course, there’s also former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, kicked out of caucus following the SNC-Lavalin affair and now running as Independents. The Conservatives are losing about 15 sitting MPs in total. The party will no longer have Rob Nicholson, David Tilson or Kellie Leitch, who ran an unsuccessful campaign to be party leader. The losses also include Tony Clement, who was kicked out of caucus in November 2018 after a sexting scandal. For the NDP, it’s a huge blow ⁠— 15 MPs, or more than one-third, of their caucus isn’t running, including Romeo Saganash, one-time leadership contender Nathan Cullen and the NDP’s lone Alberta MP, Linda Duncan.

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