Mitch Joel WARNING... LONG RANT! It takes a lot for me to both get angry and publish about it. Canada’s…
Canada Federal Liberals 2023
Walk away, Justin Trudeau. Canada’s love affair with you is over
From climate change to foreign affairs, Trudeau has betrayed promises. The sad part? His alternative could be worse.
Andrew Mitrovica, columnist
(Al Jazeera) One way or another, all love affairs end – often badly. At least in politics.
In 2015, when he became prime minister with a robust majority at age 43, Justin Trudeau was feted as the reincarnation of former United States President John F Kennedy – young, vibrant and charismatic.
Lots of Canadians were smitten too. Trudeau was the “progressive” antidote to a spent Conservative administration that seemed to revel in its callousness – led for nearly a decade by the definition of the dour bureaucrat, Stephen Harper.
But Trudeau is discovering, like every other prime minister, that, given the inexorable cycle of politics, governments – Liberal or Conservative – have a natural life expectancy.
Enthusiasm has waned. Fractures have emerged. Scandal – real or manufactured – has begun to dominate the public discourse. Familiarity has bred hubris and contempt. Fatigue has become synonymous with the “brand”. Popularity has turned to animus. Change now seems almost inevitable.
In reply, Trudeau has dipped into the same, futile gambits meant to arrest his steep slide in the once reassuring polls and persuade Canadians that there is life and fight in him and his restive colleagues yet.
So Trudeau shuffled his bulging cabinet, expelling the corrosive underachievers and promoting ambitious and, no doubt, grateful backbenchers primed to prove to the wounded prime minister that they have the right mettle.
Allison Hanes: Anthony Housefather pays the price for defending Quebec anglos
Justin Trudeau had no qualms about throwing English-speaking Quebecers under the bus in his government’s update of the Official Languages Act. Now he’s doing the same to his MP for Mount Royal.
Housefather was quietly stripped of his parliamentary secretary duties when a new roster of appointees was announced on Saturday. [The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a new team of parliamentary secretaries.]
Shannon Proudfoot: Katie Telford, long-serving chief of staff, is the last woman standing in Justin Trudeau’s inner circle (paywall)
The Prime Minister’s chief of staff is his closest adviser, but the partnership might not be serving them now that the Liberals face grim political fortunes
(Globe & Mail)…this incarnation of the party has functioned as a cult of personality wrapped around one man and his control centre: Justin & Katie & Co. That sort of thing creates its own convenient gravitational pull – until suddenly, one day, it doesn’t.
Stifled resentment and thwarted autonomy have just started to bubble to the surface in earnest, with a raft of recent reports of internal discontent as the House of Commons is about to return.
It’s not hard to conjure a near future in which Mr. Trudeau’s popularity remains tanked, the party’s chances for re-election dim and still he insists he’s not going anywhere, and neither is his chief of staff. They would be doing that surrounded by a Greek chorus of the Liberal old guard who have spent the last decade feeling ignored while watching the new guys step on rakes lying right out there in the open, and a current generation that feels like it’s been parked on the back benches with duct tape over its mouths.
Then it will really be only Justin and Katie. And if you want to find out if anyone else still has your back, you sure will when there are a lot of sharp objects aimed at you both.
Trudeau announces new measures to deal with housing, grocery prices
New initiatives come as Liberals conclude caucus meeting in London, Ont
Under pressure to respond to widespread concerns about the cost of living and faced with questions about his leadership, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new measures Thursday aimed at rising housing and grocery prices.
Trudeau’s announcement came at the conclusion of a Liberal caucus meeting in London, Ont. that included what one minister called a “robust” discussion of the government’s challenges and sagging political fortunes.
Flanked by the entire Liberal caucus, Trudeau said the federal government would remove the GST from the construction of new rental apartments to spur new development. The Liberals also will now require municipalities to repeal or amend exclusionary zoning policies in order to access the government’s housing accelerator fund.
The federal government is also calling on major grocers to come up with plans to stabilize grocery prices in the “near-term.”
Behind closed doors, Liberal MPs have ‘robust’ discussion about government’s challenges
With polls showing sagging support, Liberals meet to discuss path forward
There was no revolt, nor any demands for the prime minister’s resignation, on the second day of the retreat. But one of Trudeau’s cabinet ministers acknowledged that Trudeau might not have enjoyed hearing everything that was said.
“I’m very proud of the caucus. We’re a family,” Immigration Minister Marc Miller said after MPs met for several hours behind closed doors.
“The prime minister has said time and time again that he needs to hear. He doesn’t necessarily like all the things that he needs to hear, but he has to hear. So I’m quite proud of the level of openness that occurred, as in any caucus.”
Spooked by polls, Liberal MPs hope Trudeau hears their concerns as caucus gathers
Some Liberal members of Parliament heading into a national caucus retreat this week say they’re facing blowback from voters at the doorsteps — and they hope the prime minister and his inner circle listen to their concerns before it’s too late.
The Liberals are holding three days of meetings starting Tuesday in London, Ont.,…as their party faces its worst polling numbers since forming government in 2015.
The talks are set to focus on making housing more affordable and increasing supply, improving health care and fighting climate change, according to a senior government source.
Ahead of the gathering, several MPs told CBC News they don’t feel the prime minister listens to their views or solicits their advice.
CBC News spoke to more than a dozen MPs and granted some confidentiality so that they could speak freely. They said they plan to use the next few days to urge the prime minister, his office and cabinet to offer a fresh plan to Canadians on the top issues of the day — because many don’t believe the government’s current communication strategy is working.
Trudeau finally heading home from G20 summit in India after being delayed by plane troubles
The Liberal caucus is holding a three-day retreat in London, Ont., with smaller groups of MPs beginning to meet later Tuesday.
The wider national caucus is scheduled to meet beginning Wednesday and Trudeau is expected to attend.
Justin Trudeau’s luck appears to be running out
Pierre Poilievre kicked off the weekend Friday night being hailed as a future prime minister by the Conservative faithful at the party’s convention in Quebec City and Justin Trudeau ended it stranded in New Delhi by a broken-down plane.
It was a September capper to a woeful summer for the Prime Minister. At this moment, it feels like Mr. Trudeau’s luck has run out. Except for the bad luck.
Aircraft maintenance isn’t the Prime Minister’s personal responsibility, of course. … Still, it follows a summer in which the prevailing narrative about Mr. Trudeau and his Liberal government is that the bottom has fallen out. And that everything goes off the rails these days.
Paul Wells: Grounded
The PM’s plane is transformed into a metaphor
…Justin Trudeau’s airplane had malfunctioned, stranding him, one hopes only briefly. It’s always a drag when a politician’s vehicle turns into a metaphor so obvious it begs to go right into the headline. As for the cause of the breakdown, I’m no mechanic, but I’m gonna bet $20 on “The gods decided to smite Trudeau for hubris.”
… For the Liberals, the challenge has been obvious since 2019: Does Justin Trudeau learn? In 2015 he ran as a disruptor, a guy who had noticed large, obvious things — interest rates were low! Small deficits were more manageable than they had been in years ! — and was willing to be cheeky in ignoring the other parties’ orthodoxies. Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair were reduced to sputtering outrage that the new kid was making so many cheeky promises on fighter procurement (whoops), electoral reform (never mind), admitting Syrian refugees, legalizing cannabis, and more.
Since about 2017, inevitably, the Trudeau government has undergone a transition that’s common when disruptors become incumbents. He is increasingly forced to defend the state of things, rather than announcing he’s come to change it.
… He’s already been in the job for longer than Pearson and Diefenbaker were. His indispensable right hand has been chief of staff longer than anyone who ever held the job. They have, for years, already been noticeably eager to administer lessons to others. Would they view a Liberal election defeat as their failure — or ours?
Would a prime minister who views a G-20 summit as a learning opportunity for every country except Canada view an election defeat as anything but further proof that Canada never really deserved him anyway?
Marriage breakup might be OK for Trudeau’s political image: analysts
While Trudeau’s family unit may have been a key part of his image in the early days of his administration, experts say both time and fatigue over the Trudeau Liberals make it less of a factor now.
Robert Libman: Is Justin Trudeau rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?
A cabinet shuffle buys time and distracts, a manoeuvre to subtly pin blame for recent failures on those weak links who are now gone, thus hoping Canadians forgive and forget.
Gone is Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino, who either lied or couldn’t run an office properly where his staff didn’t think to inform him of an issue as explosive as the Paul Bernardo transfer.
Also gone is Justice Minister David Lametti. Albeit following Trudeau’s cue, Lametti shamefully abandoned the role his title confers by not forcefully upholding the constitution of the country when challenged by Quebec. He acquiesced to Bill 96’s unilateral insertion in the constitution that Quebec is a French-speaking nation. He sat idly by, if not under his desk, when Quebec’s nationalist government passed legislation that runs roughshod on charter rights by pre-emptively using the notwithstanding clause. He did offer that they would eventually refer the matter to the Supreme Court when they deal with Quebec’s religious symbols law, but who knows? This, in stark contrast to his predecessor Jody Wilson-Raybould who refused to compromise her integrity and judicial responsibility for partisan purposes in the SNC-Lavalin controversy.
Critical for minority communities in Quebec is how Lametti’s successor, Ontario MP and lawyer Arif Virani, will handle these issues. Although not from Quebec, he has a political science and history degree from McGill University. The Quebec Community Groups Network is probably already working on organizing a meeting.
Omar Alghabra, who struggled as transport minister while airports were in chaos, was also jettisoned from cabinet. He also was preceded by a strong minister in Marc Garneau, who left the Trudeau administration on principle earlier this year.
Mendicino, Lametti, Karina Gould, who was the minister responsible during the passport fiasco, and particularly Alghabra, often appeared like a deer in headlights. One of the most important traits of a cabinet minister is gravitas, communication skills and appearing reassuring, like they know what they are talking about — as opposed to being coached or having been fed talking points.
Trudeau himself doesn’t exude this depth or sound particularly convincing when explaining issues. He is popular internationally and has rockstar qualities, which can take you far in politics, but it doesn’t help in effectively running a government.
Emergency Dispatch: The Blair Switch Project
Yeah, terrible headline, we know. But you try coming up with something original.
See in particular the seventh point and its conclusion
(The Line) Trudeau’s overhaul of his cabinet today won’t do much to dispel the suspicion that he has his eyes firmly focused on the francophone vote, and that he believes the path to success there is paved with contempt for Quebec anglophones.
At the very least, this suggests that Trudeau believes he can take the support of Quebec anglos for granted. But when you combine this courting of Quebec francophones in a cabinet that also offers a clear raised middle finger to Alberta, and it’s pretty clear what Trudeau has in mind for the next election. And as people who care about national unity, and worry about how reckless and cavalier Trudeau has been on this front, we don’t like it one bit.
Andrew MacDougall: Advice to Trudeau’s new cabinet? Say ‘No’ to the PMO
You don’t have to worry about your jobs. Having just appointed you as the answer to the country’s problems, the prime minister is hardly in any position to then yank you if you decide to actually get things done
None of Trudeau’s Stepford Cabinet members are allowed to so much as squeeze out a timid hello without the say-so of the Prime Minister’s Office, and everyone knows it.
So here’s my advice to the new crop of puppets being paraded out by the PMO: learn to say “no.”
I know, I know. You’ve probably only gotten the jobs because you promised to never say the word “no” to the PMO, but “no” you must, and “no” you shall. At least, if you want to get something done.
Paul Wells: The army you have
Exciting new combinations of Liberals and syllables
I guess this shuffle is designed to address the Poilievre threat? Kind of? Listlessly? A year ago Trudeau was already getting advice to make sharp, noticeable changes in his team, message and style. Today he put Sean Fraser in charge of Housing and Marc Miller in charge of Immigration. Those might be the two most encouraging moves among dozens, both for Liberals who hope “good communicators” won’t turn out to be a sad joke, and for citizens who hope strong administrators might, even if only occasionally, be put in charge of challenging files.
Michelle Rempel Garner: Clipping Anand’s wings sends the wrong message to Canada’s military allies.
It also sends the wrong message to Canadian women, that is, don’t be ambitious.
The move that got the most attention in today’s massive federal cabinet shuffle was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to move highly-regarded defence Minister Anita Anand to the head of Canada’s Treasury Board, and replace her with the decidedly less-well-regarded Bill Blair.
There is no way to view this move other than a demotion for Anand. So the question on the minds of many politicos is, what did she do to deserve it?
‘It’s a surprise’: David Lametti says he wasn’t expecting to be dropped from cabinet
Sources tell CBC News he delivered the same message to other Liberal MPs — that he was surprised by his ouster on Wednesday because he felt he had delivered on his files and there were no problems within his ministry.
Lametti had held the key portfolio for the Trudeau government since 2019.
In another statement, issued Wednesday, Lametti said he’s proud of what his ministry accomplished, citing a ban on so-called conversion therapy, the elimination of some mandatory minimum penalties and a new process for implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Seven rookies promoted, most ministers on the move in major Trudeau cabinet shuffle
In a ceremony presided over by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, Trudeau is orchestrating one of, if not the most consequential reconfigurations to his cabinet since 2015
Anita Anand becomes Treasury Board president
Bill Blair becomes defence minister
Dominic LeBlanc becomes public safety, democratic institutions, and intergovernmental affairs minister
Sean Fraser becomes minister of housing, infrastructure and communities
Pablo Rodriguez becomes transport minister and maintains the Quebec lieutenant role
Pascale St-Onge becomes heritage minister
Jean-Yves Duclos becomes minister of public services and procurement
Mark Holland becomes minister of health
Jonathan Wilkinson becomes minister of energy and maintains natural resources
Harjit Sajjan becomes King’s Privy Council president
Carla Qualtrough becomes minister of sport and physical activity
Marc Miller becomes minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship
Ahmed Hussen becomes minister of international development
Seamus O’Regan maintains minister of labour role, but adds in responsibility for seniors
Kamal Khera becomes minister of diversity, inclusion, and persons with disabilities
Randy Boissonnault becomes minister of employment, workforce development, and official languages
Karina Gould becomes leader of the government in the House of Commons
The seven rookie MPs who have clinched cabinet posts are:
Scarborough-Rouge Park, Ont. MP Gary Anandasangaree, first elected in 2015 becomes minister of Crown-Indigenous relations
Parkdale-High Park, Ont. MP Arif Virani, first elected in 2015 becomes minister of justice and attorney general
Burnaby North-Seymour, B.C. MP Terry Beech, first elected in 2015 becomes minister of citizens services, a new title Ravi Bansal Beech
Hochelaga, Que. MP Soraya Martinez Ferrada, first elected in 2019 becomes minister of tourism and is responsible for the Quebec economic development agency
York Centre, Ont. MP Ya’ara Saks, first elected in a 2020 byelection becomes minister of mental health and addictions
Kanata-Carleton, Ont. MP Jenna Sudds, first elected in 2021 becomes minister of families, children and social development
Mississauga-Streetsville, Ont. MP Rechie Valdez, first elected in 2021 becomes minister of small business
Trudeau unveils significant cabinet shuffle with several new ministers brought on board
(Globe & Mail) Mr. Trudeau on Wednesday shuffled his 38-member cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, most of whom are now either new ministers or in different roles, in a bid to retool the government’s focus on economic issues and in particular, housing.
Mr. Trudeau kept eight ministers in place: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland; Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne; Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu, Women and Gender Equality Minister Marci Ien, Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, and Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal.
Another four ministers keep their roles, but with changes. Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson keeps his portfolio but will also take on the energy file. International Trade and Export Development Minister Mary Ng is also keeping her role but loses the small business file. Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan also receives the seniors’ file. Minister of Rural Economic Development Gudie Hutchings also becomes the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Trudeau Liberals in trouble across much of the country, poll suggests
The only part of the country where the Liberals are comfortably ahead of the Tories is Quebec, where they sit at 30 per cent, 10 points ahead of the Conservatives but two points behind the Bloc Québécois.
(Montreal Gazette) Wednesday’s federal cabinet shuffle coincides with the publication of a new survey suggesting the Liberals are seeing their popularity drop across most of the country while public dissatisfaction with the Trudeau government hits a two-year high.
WHITEBOARDS TO RIDEAU HALL — Prime Minister Trudeau’s Cabinet shuffle will be revealed today, installing power, in the form of new calendars and to-do lists, to a fresh cohort of ministers.
(Politico – Ottawa Playbook) Housing is expected to get more prominence. It will be untethered from AHMED HUSSEN’s diversity and inclusion ministry and attached to a higher profile portfolio.
Expect the Trudeau government to pay more attention to the Treasury Board, procurement, social development and employment in the lead up to the next election. …
Yesterday, Playbook considered how shuffles impact staffers. Today, Compass Rose’s KATHLEEN WALSH shares insight on how front bench switcheroos affect another realm of the bubble: lobbyists and consultants.
Paul Wells: Election interference: eye on the ball, please
People living in Canada are having their democratic rights undermined. Fixing that should be everyone’s goal.
… Where does this leave us? First, with a process terribly compromised by lousy design. Justin Trudeau sought to outsource his credibility by subcontracting his judgment. The credibility transfusion was supposed to flow from Johnston to Trudeau. Instead it has gone the other way. The PMO hoped they’d found somebody whose credibility nobody would challenge, because he comes from the sort of precincts that impress them. Now they’re stuck insisting that challenging Johnston’s fitness or his conclusions is uncouth. The number of Canadians who decline to take etiquette tips from the PMO continues to surprise the PMO.
After 8 years, Trudeau’s approval rate falls short of Chrétien but beats out his father and Harper
Canadians are split in their opinions on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to a new national poll, with two in five Canadians saying they approve of the prime minister, while slightly more than half answered that they disapprove.
A study run by Angus Reid sought to create a picture of the long-term trends of approval rates to see how Trudeau compares to his predecessors in their eighth year in office — and the results are largely favourable, despite a large percentage disapproving.
At 40 per cent approval, Trudeau has a higher approval rate than three past prime ministers at similar stages in their careers, with only Jean Chrétien surpassing him.
Ottawa’s Day of Shame
For the first time Anglophones in Quebec know they have no federal champion. All this fuelled by a cowering thirst to protect or add Quebec seats. It is pandering to ethno-centric Quebec nationalism.
The Commons vote passing the Trudeau government’s notorious Bill C13 was a day of shame that will not be forgotten. That Bill, superficially an updating of Canada’s Official Languages Act, recognizes by reference the supremacy of Quebec’s Bills 101 and 96 even in areas of federal jurisdiction and makes impotent Ottawa’s responsibility to protect Constitutionally guaranteed English language rights. No Canadian government has ever ceded jurisdiction. Bill C-13 would have Quebec’s language laws apply to such federal businesses as banks, airports, Canada Post and others. For the first time Anglophones in Quebec know they have no federal champion. All this fuelled by a cowering thirst to protect or add Quebec seats. It is pandering to ethno-centric Quebec nationalism.
Anna Gainey remporte la course à trois de l’investiture libérale dans NDG-Westmount
(Le Devoir) Proche du cercle de Justin Trudeau, la candidate Anna Gainey a remporté lundi soir la course à trois que représentait l’investiture libérale dans la circonscription de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce–Westmount, laissée vacante par l’ancien ministre Marc Garneau. Au coeur des préoccupations des militants venus voter se trouvait celle de « préserver les droits » des anglophones.
Abolish the free press, and other fringe policies just adopted by the Liberals
(National Post) Abolishing the free press, closing ‘major’ Canadian streets to cars and Toronto-izing the prairies, to name a few
One of the most notable items to emerge from last weekend’s Liberal Party convention was that party members voted to effectively abolish the existence of a free press.
A resolution – passed without debate – said the party should “explore options to hold online information services accountable for the veracity of material published on their platforms.”
Party resolutions are non-binding and they’re typically more extreme than the platforms that parties will ultimately sell to voters come election time. In 2021, for instance, delegates to a Conservative Party convention voted down a proposal to add the phrase “climate change is real” to their official policy declarations.
However, it’s notable that the Liberals are now entertaining far more extreme positions than they used to.
4-6 May, Ottawa
2023 Liberal National Convention focuses on moving Canada forward
Over 4,000 Canadians participated in the 2023 National Convention, bringing together Liberals from coast-to-coast-to-coast to engage in important policy discussions, participate in campaign trainings, and hear from keynote speakers, including Jean Chrétien and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Liberal delegates also elected Sachit Mehra as their new President of the Liberal Party of Canada, alongside the other members of the National Board.
“Over 45% of all participants attended their first-ever Liberal convention and more than 4,000 Canadians participated in our policy process, submitting more than 300 policies,” said Azam Ishmael, National Director of the Liberal Party of Canada. “That’s a real testament to the Liberal Party’s commitment to growing the most open and inclusive movement in Canadian politics, and we still have so much more to do,” said Mr. Ishmael.
Trudeau tries to rally base amid questions of foreign interference
Trudeau tried to energize the Liberal faithful gathered in Ottawa by touting his record, mentioning the renegotiation of NAFTA and the Canada child benefit.
“More than ever, in this consequential moment in the world, your energy is needed,” he said. “It’s because of your hard work that we can continue to deliver for Canadians.”
The Liberal party has struggled in recent national polls as the Liberal government is hounded by allegations it is mishandling foreign interference and failing to truly understand the struggles of average Canadians amid high inflation.
The most recent numbers also show the Liberals lagging behind the Conservatives in fundraising. The Tories raised $8,306,535 in the first quarter of 2023 — more than double the amount the Liberals collected, according to Elections Canada data.
Canada’s Trudeau vows to run in next election at Liberal party convention
(Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday promised to run in the next election at what is likely the last Liberal party convention before a vote and attacked his Conservative rival’s characterization of the country as broken.
Speaking in front of some 3,500 party members at the first in-person gathering in five years, Trudeau delivered what sounded like a campaign speech even though one is not due for another two years.
Paul Wells: He shall have dominion
Maybe the Trudeau era is just beginning?
If, say just hypothetically, you find yourself getting tired of Justin Trudeau, I should warn you it’s going to be a rough week.
It’s going to be all Trudeau. All week. Indeed, the universe is calling in a fresh supply from the rarely-used Emergency Trudeau Reserve. Alexandre Trudeau will testify to a commons committee Wednesday about goings-on at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, following testimony from former Trudeau Foundation CEO Morris Rosenberg. This follows last week’s genuinely disturbing testimony by former Trudeau Foundation CEO Pascale Fournier. …
In short it will be the kind of week in which both the Liberal Party’s highest hopes and its biggest headaches are direct products of the fact that its leader is Justin Trudeau. There are many such weeks. He brackets his party.
The chief of staff in the hot seat (audio)
(The House) After weeks of debate and filibuster, the prime minister’s chief of staff Katie Telford testified Friday before a parliamentary committee looking into allegations around Chinese election interference in Canada. Journalists Aaron Wherry and Jen Gerson break down what her testimony revealed.
Trudeau’s cross-country town halls are back with a new format — and new skeptics
By Mickey Djuric
(Canadian Press via City News) Every town hall begins the same way: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in a blue or white shirt with rolled-up sleeves, takes the microphone, waxes poetic about the state of the world and acknowledges the challenging years Canadians have recently faced.
The people in the crowd who will have the chance to ask unvetted questions of the prime minister are no stranger to those struggles. At the 14 hour-long town halls Trudeau has attended in the past 11 weeks, the prime minister has put himself in a position to hear their concerns during the question-and-answer sessions that follow his speeches.
But though some attendees who participated in the events said they were encouraged by Trudeau’s efforts, others found themselves cynical about whether he and his government were actually listening.
For Trudeau, it’s a familiar format — and one that some pundits say could serve the party well, even if its utility to the broader public is in question.
Trudeau Foundation asks Auditor-General to investigate donation from Chinese benefactors
A foundation official said the chair of the foundation, Ted Johnson, wrote to Auditor-General Karen Hogan on Friday to request a formal audit of the non-profit organization.
Andrew Coyne: ‘These stories are based on unnamed sources,’ and other Liberal deflections
Let us suppose for the moment that the stories are true. It is plainly in the public interest to know by what means China attempted to tilt our elections, for what reasons, with what success, and with what assistance – witting or unwitting, by commission or omission – from domestic sources.
The strange death and rebirth of the Liberal Party under Trudeau
One way to read the events of the past 10 years is to conclude that the post-2011 theories of realignment turned out to be broadly correct — that the party system did polarize, with the Liberals shifting to become the dominant party of the left.
There may be something to that, at least in the short term. But it’s also possible to overstate how much the Liberals have moved leftward. The Liberals remain far less inclined than New Democrats to talk about class or heap scorn upon the rich and powerful.
Despite major new social investments, the Liberals still seem reluctant to create new federally run programs. Dental care is only happening because the NDP demanded it, while Liberal interest in pharmacare has waned. Even when you consider trends in federal spending, the Liberals’ leftward lurch seems more like a nudge. As a share of GDP, federal program spending in 2023-24 is projected to be merely on par with what it was in the late 1980s, when Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative government was in office.
In electoral terms, it’s also possible to conclude that Trudeau’s election victories have merely dressed up what is actually a long-term decline in the Liberal Party’s standing.
François-Philippe Champagne is building his case to replace Justin Trudeau
François-Philippe Champagne suddenly seems everywhere all at once.
When he is not cheerleading for Canada’s participation in NASA’s Artemis II mission to the moon, as he did in Houston on Monday, the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry is ordering the country’s wireless providers to cut cellphone rates or face his wrath, as he did last week in approving Quebecor’s purchase of Freedom Mobile.
Data Dive with Nik Nanos: Have the Liberals passed their expiration date?
Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals passed their expiration date? Right now, all the major indicators are trending in that direction.
That said, the resilience of the Liberals should not be underestimated. After winning a resounding majority in 2015, the Trudeau Liberals have effectively weathered a number of storms.
… First, the Liberals are trailing the Conservatives outside of the margin of error by about five or six percentage points. The Liberals are on the defensive in major key battlegrounds. In Ontario, they trail the Conservatives. In Quebec, the Bloc Québécois is on the rise and, in British Columbia, the Liberal-Conservative-NDP-Green vote splits could be bad news for Mr. Trudeau.
For a party that was propelled into power largely on “Sunny Ways” and younger voters, the fact that the Liberals are trailing both the Conservatives and the NDP among voters under 35 years of age is bad news.
… Second, the leadership advantage held by most incumbent governments is weakening. Usually, the prime minister of the day enjoys about a five-point baked-in advantage just by occupying the PM’s chair. Not so much for Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Poilievre is very competitive when it comes to who voters would prefer as prime minister – in fact, he’s the first challenger since 2015 to be competitive outside of an election cycle.
Tom Mulcair: When the Liberals fall out of favour, they fall hard
(CTV) There’s a Trudeau “credibility gap” that is widening.
At the flagship English-language Montreal radio station (iHeartRadio’s CJAD 800) where I also work, I was gobsmacked by the generalized bad sentiment towards the Trudeau Liberals during recent call-ins. Something I’d never heard before.
It’s cyclical but over the long haul, English-speaking Quebecers are some of the most faithful Liberal voters in Canada. Trudeau’s recent budget performance seems to have broken that close bond.
Failure to lift a little finger to defend that community from Francois Legault’s outrageously unconstitutional Bill 96, that attacks equality of English and French before the courts, could cost the Liberals big time at the polls in some of their safest ridings.
Ottawa hangover: After triumph of Biden visit, reality bites back at Trudeau
Come Monday, Canada’s prime minister must grapple again with a Chinese influence scandal, economic troubles and a resurgent opposition.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) recommendations
Is this a ‘Liberal problem or a Trudeau problem’?: David Frum on the potential political fallout from the election interference story
This is the twenty-eighth episode of The Hub’s bi-weekly series featuring Sean Speer in conversation with leading author, journalist, and thinker David Frum. The two discuss the growing allegations of Chinese interference in recent Canadian elections, the Trudeau government’s handling of the issue, and the potential political fallout.
Data Dive with Nik Nanos: Canadians feel the country is on the wrong path
(Globe & Mail) Young people are dour about the future. Confidence in institutions is on the decline and a significant number believe Canada is on the wrong economic track.
For the past three years, Nanos has tracked satisfaction with Canada and confidence in institutions. In 2021, Canada scored a satisfaction rating of 7.2 out of 10. In 2022, this dropped to 6.8. Now, it is at a dismal 6.6.
Parliament returns with Liberals facing pointed questions about ethics, health care
Parliament is back after a six-week break and the Liberal government is facing aggressive questions from the opposition bench about a number of ethical missteps and the sorry state of Canada’s health-care system — two issues that are poised to dominate this spring sitting.
On the ethics front, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre called on the Liberal government to report the amount of money it has funnelled to McKinsey, a consulting firm that has received tens of millions of dollars in government contracts over the past seven years.
Tom Mulcair: Signs another federal election is coming
Bill C-13, the ill-considered rewriting of the Official Languages Act, could move anglo votes away from the Liberals.
A lengthy visit to Quebec from Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apparently reaching an entente on health care with Premier François Legault; bits and pieces of bureaucratic and legislative debris being swept off the runway. As the year gets underway, it really does appear 2023 could bring us our third federal election in four years.
Trudeau’s polling numbers remain steady and he’s a superior campaigner. But messy situations like the $100 million in contracts to U.S. consulting firm McKinsey could quickly spin out of control as the Liberals’ tendency to hide information makes the saga drag on. Trudeau saying he’d look into it was laughable. He’d had occasion to look at it as the contracts crossed desks in his own department, the Privy Council Office.
… he’s going to have to do something to convince Canadians he actually knows how to run the government. Watch for a cabinet shuffle, starting with Transportation, with Citizenship and Immigration not far behind.
The value of one consulting firm’s federal contracts has skyrocketed under the Trudeau government
The consulting firm McKinsey & Company has seen the amount of money it earns from federal contracts explode since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to power — to the point where some suggest it may have a central role in shaping Canada’s immigration policies.
A Radio-Canada investigation also learned the private consulting firm’s influence is raising concerns within the federal public service.
Paul Wells: Shine a brighter light on contract government
Ottawa’s becoming addicted to consulting firms. Other countries have rung the alarm. It’s time for the same to happen here.
This is only the latest evidence of a massive trend in Canada’s federal government, in many provinces, and abroad: the contracting-out of complex problems to private firms that charge a premium; are never around when problems arise later; often produce work of questionable quality; and are too often exempt from even the minimal transparency and accountability that’s expected of work done in-house by the regular public service.