When Justin Trudeau entered his first conference with Canada’s provincial premiers as the nation’s Prime Minister it would have been a reassuring encounter. Fresh off his October 2015 federal election victory Trudeau was greeted by politicians who viewed the world through a shared prism. Domestically and internationally Justin Trudeau was a walking selfie promotion.
Share a smart phone screen with a Hollywood superstar. Sure, unless Canada’s political darling was available.
Rolling Stone magazine underscored that point as Trudeau, the new and brightest star of the international political firmament, shoved aside all other guitar cranking pretenders and graced an RS cover accompanied by the blaring query “Is he the free world’s best hope?”
Nope! Not then and most definitely not now.
Closing in on the October 21, 2019 national election Justin Trudeau finds himself the subject of insistent national and indeed international investigation. Convicted of parliamentary ethics violations in multiples, Trudeau has stumbled terribly. He is the architect of domestic and international misadventures of major proportion, all of which will haunt the Liberal leader this autumn and if current polling captures the mood of Canadians accurately, may see “the free world’s best hope” (in 2015) tossed from national office.
Examples of Trudeaupian misfires are numerous, including the brutally mishandled week in India during which a prominent Indian journalist told me on air the Modi government didn’t want Trudeau in India at all. The Jody Wilson-Raybould, Justin Trudeau confrontation exposed a Prime Minister appearing shifty and fearful. Fearful of what his former federal attorney general would reveal about her boss and his senior staff interfering with federal prosecutors and shifty in the manner PM-subservient LPC MPs and members of the parliamentary justice committee used their majority voting numbers to mute full and public testimony by Wilson-Raybould.
Were Justin Trudeau and his clearly skittish ministers to enter a 2019 meeting with Canada’s provincial premiers the reception would be decidedly different to his first such encounter.
Gone are many of the Liberals, replaced by conservative premiers. Today Trudeau would face Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick, Doug Ford of Ontario, Brian Pallister of Manitoba, Scott Moe of Saskatchewan and Jason Kenney of Alberta. Perhaps by the time you read these words a conservative government will have been sworn in in Prince Edward Island after winning more seats than the Green Party and dispatching the PEI Liberals to an ignominious third place ranking after 12 years of majority government rule. Even the Liberal PEI Premier lost his own riding.
On May 16, voters in Newfoundland and Labrador will go to the polls and depending on how they decide, Prime Minister Trudeau may face a firewall of six provincial conservative premiers. Perhaps seven, given Quebecers dispatched their Liberal government in favour of the conservative-leaning CAQ party of Francois Legault.
National polling suggests Canadians may well not have finished dispatching Liberal governments to opposition benches.