Does Trudeau form the next government?

With the federal election scheduled for this fall and growing controversy surrounding Trudeau, will he form the next government and if so, will it be a majority or minority government?

With the growing SNC-Lavalin issues that surround this government, he needs to shift the conversation if he can, to his preferred campaign battleground and address issues such as climate change, the legalization of marijuana and other Liberal issues.

The Liberal position is that there was too much at stake here with 9000 Canadian jobs that were in play of being lost. Perhaps the company ultimately would not have relocated its Quebec headquarters, but it’s a sure bet that employees and investors in the company would suffer under such a stoppage. Job creation and retention are gold to governing politicians. They regularly contort themselves and offer no end of subsidies and tax concessions to lure even a few dozen jobs. Look at the goodies bidding cities across North America recently offered Amazon in an attempt to coax them into setting up shop in their cities.

At the moment, Canada’s economy is experiencing significant challenges, despite its low jobless rate. It makes sense for the Prime Minister to want SNC-Lavalin to have the best shot at surviving and thriving, despite past misdeeds. Moreover, as Prime Minister, the buck stops at his desk and it is not unusual that he would forcefully advise a cabinet minister if a departmental decision was unacceptable to him.

Canada’s Attorney General is a position meant to be independent and off limits to political interference, making the former ministers concerned about being cajoled justifiable. This is probably a good time to consider making Justice and the Attorney-General roles separate.

In light of some political fumbles by Trudeau and the Liberals, can they still form the next government in Canada?

The Prime Minister’s political advice on long-term planning has not been good. After the last election, Trudeau got rid of many good, sound, political experience and replaced it with Mr. Butts and a lot of young and inexperienced advisers. However, at this time, Mr. Butts needed to be the fall guy to take the blame for the SNC-Lavalin crisis. Mr. Butt’s departure certainly serves as a short-term political goal, allowing Trudeau to signal that he is regrouping for the election ahead, but we are likely only at the beginning of this scandal. It is not clear if Trudeau will be better off without Butt’s. His capable and trusted right-hand man was a very smart and strategic political adviser.

Until the news broke about the SNC-Lavalin crisis, it looked like Trudeau was headed for a fairly easy re-election campaign. With the NDP going nowhere, and Andrew Scheer distracted by Mr. Bernier, things looked good for Trudeau. That is much less certain today, after the resignation of Butt’s. Everyone knows that Butt’s was a key part of the recent landslide election victory for the Liberals. Mr. Butt’s was involved in major planning and strategizing about the upcoming federal election. Now he is gone and he will leave a huge hole.

This week, Jane Philpott shockingly resigned from the cabinet. The Prime Minister has yet another decision to make with a cabinet shuffle to replace one of his top performers or wait to see if anybody else decides to quit.

Will there be more ministers resigning?

Every Liberal cabinet minister and MP now has his or her own decision to make, where they stick with Trudeau or leave caucus. These are tough times for Trudeau and the Liberals.
The Prime Minister needs to hold an emergency meeting with his fellow Liberal MP’s and ask them if they are still with him. Trudeau has to move quickly to shore up his cabinet support with a new Treasury Board minister while holding his caucus together.

If more ministers leave caucus, this may be a house of falling cards. If Trudeau can rally the balance of the base and put forward a clear election platform, he may be able to salvage the upcoming federal election scheduled for October. This will be much more difficult to do if more of caucus leave, but l feel he can weather this storm and form the next government.

Vince Black

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