Canada Federal Liberals 17 April 2024-

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Québec Bill 96/Canada C-13

Comment from iPolitics
Does Globe report herald the end of Freeland’s tenure as finance minister?
Some Liberal insiders say it’s clear that Freeland’s job is in jeopardy but others doubt that Trudeau would actually remove her, owing to her loyalty to the PM and doubts that Mark Carney would want to swoop into replace her as doing so would tie him to an unpopular government heading to the polls in just over a year.
A Liberal strategist, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, said it has become more evident that the Globe story was prompted by leaks from the PMO. When asked today, the prime minister and his office insisted he has full confidence in Freeland, but didn’t explicitly commit to keeping her in the finance portfolio.
Trudeau says he’s trying to recruit Carney, but did not say if it’s to replace Freeland as finance minister
Tension rises between Freeland, PMO over economic messaging, low approval ratings
Robert Fife
Senior officials in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office are concerned that Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has not been effective in delivering an upbeat economic message as the Liberal government struggles to reconnect with Canadians amid low approval ratings, sources say.
The relationship between Ms. Freeland, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister’s Office has become tense. She has been the most powerful minister in the government since Mr. Trudeau promoted her to the finance portfolio in August, 2020, after the resignation of Bill Morneau.
Under Mr. Trudeau, the PMO has centralized decision-making and holds a tight grip on government messaging from ministers, bureaucrats and Liberal MPs.

5 July
Montreal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather named to new role as antisemitism adviser
(G&M) Liberal MP Anthony Housefather says he is “looking forward to making a real difference” as the government’s new special adviser on Jewish community relations and antisemitism.
The Prime Minister’s Office announced his appointment to the role on Friday, saying Mr. Housefather will advise the Prime Minister and cabinet and work with the Jewish community.
Mr. Housefather, who is Jewish, has been outspoken about the rise in antisemitism in Canada since the current conflict between Israel and Hamas began in October.
The appointment comes four months after Mr. Housefather said he considered leaving the Liberal caucus, following an NDP motion on the Israel-Gaza war left him feeling intense anger and isolated within his party.

27 June-4 July
Two former Liberal ministers say Trudeau should resign following Toronto by-election loss
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing calls from two Chrétien-era Liberal cabinet ministers to step down as party leader, with the former MPs pointing to this week’s midtown Toronto by-election defeat as further evidence of a strong desire for change among Canadian voters.
Wayne Easter said in an interview Wednesday that Mr. Trudeau and his team of senior advisers in the Prime Minister’s Office need to make some hard decisions in light of the party’s surprise loss to the Conservatives in the former Liberal stronghold of Toronto-St. Paul’s.
Nik Nanos, chief data scientist of Nanos Research, said Mr. Trudeau’s brand is an “integral part” of the Liberal Party and that, “it’s hard to see knives coming out for him” for that reason.
“What’s clear, at least from the by-election in Toronto-St. Paul’s, is that the country is in a mood for change. We know that in the polling numbers nationally and it’s been shown in the by-election in St. Paul’s.”
Mr. Nanos noted the Liberals put a lot of capital in to trying to win the riding and that “it wasn’t enough to hold on.”
2 July
Trudeau no longer going to Calgary Stampede, as some Liberal MPs call for his resignation
Mr. Trudeau usually makes an appearance in the Conservative Party’s heartland for the Stampede; and for the past two years the Prime Minister has attended his only Calgary MP’s Stampede breakfast. But George Chahal is among the Liberal MPs who signed a letter demanding a national in-person caucus meeting in the wake of the by-election loss – a request Mr. Trudeau’s office has declined to comment on.
1 July
Trudeau says he is ‘committed’ to staying as PM after byelection loss
(CBC) Justin Trudeau says Monday he is “committed” to staying on as prime minister after the Liberals’ shocking Toronto-St. Paul’s byelection loss exactly one week ago.
“There’s always going to be lots of reflection after a tough loss, but there’s also so much to do,” Trudeau told CBC’s Heather Hiscox, answering questions about his future for the first time since the upset.
28 June
Former Trudeau minister Catherine McKenna says Liberals need a new leader
McKenna is the first person who served in Trudeau’s cabinet to call on him to quit
“The Liberal Party isn’t about one person. It’s about the values it stands for and it’s about improving the lives of Canadians,” McKenna said in a media statement.
“The prime minister has a legacy to be proud of, but it’s time for new ideas, new energy and a new leader. There’s too much at stake in this election, especially on the economy and the climate.”

26 June
Liberals need to give their ‘heads a shake,’ minister says after byelection loss
Marc Miller, a personal friend of Trudeau, says PM should ‘absolutely stay on’ as leader
(CBC) Immigration Minister Marc Miller, a close personal friend of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said this week’s stunning Liberal byelection loss in Toronto-St. Paul’s should prompt some soul-searching within the party — but he maintains Trudeau is the one best placed to take on the Conservatives in the next election.
Kelly McParland: Trudeau refuses to listen to Canadians clamouring for him to leave
For her part, Freeland’s weary responses to questions reflected a politician who’d just been shocked by the glaringly obvious

24-25 June
Conservatives take Toronto-St. Paul’s riding in major upset for Liberals
(Globe & Mail) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were hit with a stunning upset in a Monday night by-election, losing a midtown Toronto riding the party had held for three decades and raising even more questions about the minority government’s prospects in next year’s general election.
Trudeau says he won’t quit after stunning byelection loss; says voters are ‘frustrated’
(National Post) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he is taking his party’s unexpected loss in a Toronto byelection Monday as a clear sign of voters’ frustrations, but insisted he won’t be leaving the party leadership.
Byelection shocker: Is this the end of the road for Justin Trudeau’s political career?
Sam Routley, PhD Candidate, Political Science, Western University
(The Conversation) The byelection’s results can be effectively interpreted as a referendum on Trudeau’s leadership and the effectiveness of the Liberal administration he manages.
The byelection’s results can be effectively interpreted as a referendum on Trudeau’s leadership and the effectiveness of the Liberal administration he manages.
… The reality is the Liberals have struggled to inspire public confidence when it comes to a range of economic and social problems that affect the day-to-day lives of Canadians, including those in cities: stagnating economic growth, unaffordable homes, inflation, a difficult cost-of-living environment, growing unemployment, open drug use and an increase in violent crime.
Trudeau’s unpopularity pertains not only to the government’s actual management of these issues, but the fact that the Liberals have been unable to articulate convincing reasons about why they should stay in power for the foreseeable future.
… All indicators suggest the Liberals are headed towards a generational seismic defeat, repeating their performances of 1958, 1984 and 2011. Canadian political history indicates that this isn’t the end of the line for the Liberal party itself but, rather, the low point of a cycle.
John Ibbitson: Regardless of leader, the Liberals are at risk of a worse fate after Toronto-St. Paul’s by-election
The shocking result in the Toronto-St. Paul’s by-election leaves the Liberals with only one question: should they lose the next election with Justin Trudeau as leader, or should they lose it led by someone else?
After an excruciatingly slow vote count over Monday night and into Tuesday morning, Conservative candidate Don Stewart snatched from the Liberals what used to be one of their safest seats
Polls open in Toronto byelection that’s considered a crucial test for Trudeau
Even a marginal Liberal win could be troublesome for the prime minister: analysts
Voters go to the polls on Monday in the federal riding of Toronto-St. Paul’s in a byelection some perceive as a referendum on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government.
Former Liberal staffer Leslie Church is running to replace former Liberal MP and cabinet minister Carolyn Bennett, who retired from politics after representing the riding for 26 years.
Church is up against Conservative candidate Don Stewart, a former Bay Street worker whose first foray into politics could be both dramatic and memorable if he flips the riding blue.
Must Trudeau go? Amid chatter of his ouster, potential Liberal replacements offer little room for party to recover
Potential Liberal voters say lack of progress on key issues holding them back more than Trudeau himself
(Angus Reid) As the ballots are counted from the byelection in Toronto-St. Paul’s – a contest that many believe is pivotal for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s future at the helm of the Liberal party, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds jettisoning the unpopular prime minister may not do much to improve the party’s electoral fortunes.

17 June
The Agenda with Steve Paikin
Can Canada’s Unpopular Prime Minister Win Again?
(TVO) The biggest question in Ottawa these days is will Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stay on to lead the Liberals into the next election, or is he simply too unpopular to win a fourth term? Author and journalist Paul Wells considers that and Trudeau’s nine years in power in his new book, “Justin Trudeau on the Ropes: Governing in Troubled Times.”

24 May
About those Mark Carney rumours…
A change of hood ornament isn’t enough to fix the Liberal Party’s broken engine.
Michelle Rempel Garner
Mr. Carney – a former central banker – is well-networked within Canada’s elite class. He has long let his name [be] floated as a potential successor to Mr. Trudeau. Over the last few years, the seriousness of his pursuit has waned and waxed with almost lunar regularity; one moment, he’s coyly in, and the next, he is firmly out. But this week, gossip about Carney’s potential elevation seems to have hit a new “I’m in” high tide, with multiple opinion pieces speculating about the gospel-like narrative many senior Liberals who view Mr. Carney as a saviour have been privately spreading for years.
However, the question that everyone should be asking is not whether Mr. Trudeau will quit or if Mr. Carney will take his place. Rather, does either of those things matter?

17 April
Dominic LeBlanc wants his close friend Justin Trudeau’s job
Lawrence Martin
…a problem Mr. LeBlanc would have: the shrapnel he’s been hit with for being so tightly associated with the Prime Minister and his policies. The cabinet minister advised him to prepare his own vision for the country and give party members a clear idea of why he wants to become prime minister.
Mr. LeBlanc is one of Mr. Trudeau’s most experienced and competent ministers. He’s witty, doesn’t take himself too seriously, and has a kitchen-table touch. The Maritimes are hardly a big political base, but as a francophone, he would have appeal in Quebec.
While there are many potential contenders, there is no front-runner in a possible race to replace the Prime Minister. Besides Mr. LeBlanc, other possible entrants are former central banker Mark Carney, Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly, Housing Minister Sean Fraser, Treasury Board boss Anita Anand and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
Each has strengths, but none are without handicaps. Mr. Champagne and Ms. Joly hail from Quebec; four of the last five party leaders – Mr. Trudeau, Stéphane Dion, Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien – have been from Quebec or, as in Mr. Martin’s case, represented Quebec ridings. Does the party want yet another Quebec leader?
Many Liberals feel the party has to turn the page from the Trudeau era and its wokeish leftish tilt. Mark Carney, a business Liberal, a man of international stature, is the one who fits that bill. But he has turned down opportunities to run for the party. No one has become Liberal Leader without ever having held elected political office.
It is high time that the Liberal Party had a woman as leader. Ms. Freeland’s barrier is that being Deputy PM, she’d be seen to offer little change. Ms. Anand, who is not a strong retail politician, has an independent mind and intellectual depth. But in 21st-century politics, being the smartest person in the room can be more of a hindrance than a help.
Housing Minister Sean Fraser, meanwhile, is young, telegenic, oratorically persuasive and is quickly learning French. He has that rare political gift of gravitational pull. But he’d be on the defensive for his time spent in the immigration portfolio, where he presided over a big increase of newcomers that has exacerbated the housing crisis he is now trying to rectify.
The lack of an heir apparent to Mr. Trudeau enhances Mr. LeBlanc’s chances in what promises to be – if Mr. Trudeau makes way for one – a rousing leadership race.

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