With Canada on the cusp of a federal election, the Liberal rhetoric – along with the out of control spending announcements has ramped up to gargantuan proportions, even by Liberal standards.
The big question is – will he or won’t he – that being, will Justin Trudeau show up for any of the debates, other than the ones sanctioned by the Trudeau-created “Debate Commission?”
Will he run on the Liberal record or spend his time bashing the opposition?
The two debates in question – the Munk Debate, which covers foreign policy and the CityTV/Macleans debate both are outside of Trudeau’s safe bubble of being asked softball questions by pliant debate moderators like the CBC’s Rosemary Barton, The Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt, Dawna Friesen from Global News, and Trudeau’s biggest fan – Lisa LaFlamme from CTV News.
It turns out that Trudeau will participate in the debate organized by the French language network TVA – Quebec’s largest network and “the only major television network in the country not participating in the two debates — one in each official language — organized by the Leaders’ Debate Commission.” TVA is run by Quebecor, which also manages the Journal de Montréal and the Journal de Québec, and is headed by Pierre-Karl Péladeau — who was briefly leader of the Parti Québécois and who attended a Bloc Québécois campaign-launch event last month.
Why has he decided to do this? Votes, pure and simple. He will do two debates in French and one in English in order to try and gain traction within Quebec.
According to the article, “The network is the most-watched in Quebec and its audience trends more on the nationalist side of the political spectrum in the province, with big numbers among middle-aged French-speaking Quebecers and those living in the suburbs around Montreal.This is a key demographic for the Liberals — as well as the Conservatives and the Bloc. It’s an audience that the prime minister can’t afford to shun.”
While Trudeau’s numbers are good in the Montreal area, outside of that elitist bubble, “Sunny Ways” isn’t as obvious.
“Polling results provided to CBC News by Abacus Data from its latest survey suggest the Liberals are ahead of the Conservatives by about 20 points in Greater Montreal, but trail by a wider margin in the Quebec City region. Outside of the two big cities, the Liberals stand at just 29 per cent against 22 per cent for the Bloc and 17 per cent apiece for the Conservatives and NDP.
Léger shows a tighter race in the “regions,” at 29 per cent for the Liberals, 26 per cent for the Conservatives and 22 per cent for the Bloc. Considering the larger margin for error of sub-regional samples in both polls, that is toss-up territory — a sharp contrast to the Liberals’ lead in Montreal and the Conservative strength in Quebec City.”
The question remains why Trudeau won’t appear in the non-sanctioned debates and the answer is obvious. He wants to play duck and cover on some of the more controversial events of his term in office.
How can he justify the 2018 Bollywood Bungle in India that saw Canada embarrassed on the world stage when the Trudeau family dressed up like Indian movie stars – that were even too “Bollywood” by Indian standards, then snubbed the Indian Prime Minister and had Jaspal Atwal who was convicted in a 1986 shooting, at an official function?
With relations with China at their lowest ebb ever, let’s see Trudeau defend his policies toward China outside of the safe bubble of the sanctioned debates.
And of course, the biggie that is Trudeau’s elephant in the room: LAVSCAM. With Trudeau being sanctioned by the Ethics Commissioner over his role in LAVSCAM – and Trudeau thinking he did nothing wrong, this is a biggie and it goes to Trudeau’s campaign promise in 2015 of “doing things differently” in governing Canada.
Here’s a list of other Trudeau policies that he would have to defend and answer hard questions to the non-sanctioned moderators.
- Gun control
- The 600 million dollar Liberal media bailout.
- The carbon tax and climate change policies such as the tanker ban which is a blow to the resource industry and threatens national unity.
- The economy – not as rosy as Trudeau lets on. Foreign investment is down, job numbers aren’t as rosy as the Trudeau government says they are and young people cannot afford to buy a house, while the average Canadian pays more in taxes than they do for household necessities.
- Immigration in particular, illegal immigration, all thanks to Trudeau’s infamous tweet welcoming the world to Canada. Regardless of what the government says, people are still coming to the illegal crossing at Roxham Road and illegally entering Canada. Shelters in Ontario and Quebec are full to bursting, leaving Canadians who need housing waiting in line for that. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen wants to see “higher immigration numbers” – while we can’t deal with the ones here now.
- National Unity – the East-West divide, a hallmark of Trudeau senior, has been revived and has ramped up thanks to Justin Trudeau’s Bill C-69 – which will all but stop new pipeline construction. Trudeau’s stopping the Energy East and Northern Gateway pipelines which would have gone a long way to give Canada energy independence, instead of Eastern Canada being dependent on foreign oil. Both projects were cancelled, owing to political considerations in Quebec and BC – in other words, to save votes and support.
These are just some of the possible topics for the non-sanctioned debates that Trudeau would have to face. Along with that, Canadians deserve to hear not just the other leaders vying to run Canada explain their positions, but the Prime Minister of Canada defend his policies and explain why they will benefit Canada and Canadians. So far, the Trudeau government’s policies on the economy, on immigration, on climate, resource development and the biggie – ethics – are suspect at best.
It’s no surprise then that Liberals want to set their own rules or, make up new rules to avoid being held accountable for their actions. That was more than evident during LAVSCAM when they shut down committees in order to avoid hard questions and to be held accountable and when the heat gets too hot, make up new rules to shield the leader. This is the case with the new rules surrounding debates.
“Sources within the Liberal party have basically admitted to the fact that they’re only interested in engaging with the other party leaders when they have the upper hand.
According to La Presse, the Liberals claim that “there is not much benefit for us to participate in all these debates.”
There is no “benefit” in taking part in the Maclean’s, Munk and TVA debates for the Liberals because presumably, the moderators will be independent of government influence and will not receive government dollars.
A Munk debate won’t be moderated by the likes of CBC’s Rosemary Barton who enjoys spouting Liberal talking points and taking selfies with the prime minister.
This strategy is just another prime example of the Liberals changing the rules to be in their favour.
It’s the same partisan politicking that was behind sliding deferred prosecution agreements into an omnibus bill so they could be the “saviours” of SNC-Lavalin.
It’s also no different than their decisions to change election laws to limit party spending while Liberal MPs and ministers fly around the company campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime.
When Canadians tune in to watch party leaders duke it out this October they shouldn’t expect a debate, they should expect a puppet show.”
If this is Justin Trudeau’s way of “doing things differently” as promised in 2015, then, things are not that much different from previous Liberal governments – again, it’s a case of “Different Liberals, same ethics.”
Choose wisely on October 21, 2019.