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Despite a partial setback, Liberal ministers rally behind Trudeau

Photo: Graham Hughes The Canadian Press Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a public outing on the occasion of Quebec's National Day, in Trois-Rivières, Monday

Stephanie Taylor – The Canadian Press and Michel Saba – The Canadian Press in Ottawa

Published yesterday at 4:57 p.m. Updated yesterday at 7:52 p.m.

  • Canada

After the party's defeat in the Toronto by-election, in a riding that was until now considered a Liberal stronghold, several Trudeau cabinet ministers reiterate that they are listening to dissatisfied voters .

As the summer barbecue circuit approaches, members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet fanned out across the country to inform Canadians about the job that they accomplished on their files.

But each minister who approached the microphone and journalists was instead bombarded with questions about the deterioration of his government's political prospects after the by-election defeat to the Conservatives.

Voters have sent the Liberals a message they cannot ignore, Immigration Minister Marc Miller said at a news conference Wednesday in Montreal, adding that the party must listen to the people and “get back on the horse.”

“We need to listen to the people who voted the way they voted, put our heads on our shoulders and move on. “, he said.

Also read

  • Editorial | A by-election does not make spring ?
  • Trudeau stays, but says he heard the “concerns”
  • Conservatives win Toronto—St. Paul’s

The best against Poilievre

Mr. Miller said Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is “weaponizing” Canadians' frustrations with the Liberals – concerns that have nothing to do with what they think of the official opposition.

“He reminds me of a wrestling manager from the 80s, just shouting slogans […] and everyone likes to boo or clap. I don't know why this has become the state of Canadian politics, but that's my perception of things, Mr. Miller said. This is not a WWF match, this is reality. Canadians are suffering and we must fight for them. »

Ministers who spoke Wednesday said Justin Trudeau was the best person to lead the Liberals into the next election against Pierre Poilievre, despite the prime minister's weak personal poll numbers.

“He has all my confidence and appreciation regarding his leadership role within the party and the government,” Minister of Supply Jean-Yves Duclos declared Wednesday in Quebec.

He went so far as to say that Mr. Trudeau will lead the Liberals to another electoral victory in 2025.

For his part, Minister and co-chair of the Liberal campaign Soraya Martinez Ferrada indicated in an interview with The Canadian Press that Justin Trudeau is “the best campaigner” she knows.

The elected official also believes that the Prime Minister can still surprise during the next electoral campaign, which should begin in the fall of 2025.

“We still have a year and a half. So we have time to take the lessons of St. Paul’s, then roll up our sleeves, then organize ourselves to be present for the next campaign. Then I think Justin can do that. »

According to Ms. Martinez Ferrada, there are no concerns in the caucus about Justin Trudeau's leadership. “The question is more how do we organize ourselves better, and then how do we do things differently to be ready for the next campaign,” she said. Now is not the time to launch a leadership race. We're not there. »

Too late to listen ?

While the ministers appeared willing to listen to Canadians turned off by the Liberals and their leader, none could say exactly how their team plans to address these concerns.

Speaking to CBC News on Tuesday, MP Karina Gould, on parental leave from her position as government House leader, said the by-election was a “wake-up call” for her party, but added that the caucus needed time to think before detailing what changes might be necessary.

“What is clear from yesterday's outcome is that we We'll have to do things differently,” said Ms. Gould, who is also co-chair of the Liberal campaign in Ontario.

“We have to start by listening and being present in the communities “, declared Minister of Mental Health and Expenditure Ya'ra Saks, who was in Cape Breton to announce funding to fight drug addiction.

These comments mirror those of the Prime Minister, who said Tuesday that he had heard the concerns and frustrations of voters and that he clearly still had work to do to achieve tangible results for Canadians.

This message shows that the Liberals have not understood what Canadians want to tell them, said Andrew Perez, Liberal strategist at Perez Strategies. “It’s a little late to listen at this point,” he says.

“The results of the astonishing political turnaround in Toronto—St. Paul’s are further proof of the government’s inability to truly listen to what Canadians are saying and adapt. »

Conservatives have accused liberals of blaming others for their own failures.

“The Trudeau Liberals are learning nothing,” said Pierre Poilievre’s spokesperson, Sebastian Skamski, in a press release.

“Justin Trudeau’s response “been to redouble our efforts on the failed policies that brought him to this point,” he added.

Guilbeault optimistic

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault took a different approach than his colleagues and suggested the party should talk more rather than listen .

“We must continue to show Canadians that we are here for them,” he said.

< p>“Right now, it's clear that some of them don't believe it, or don't see it, and I think we need to do a better job of communicating what we're doing to help them. »

The next election should take place by October 2025, and things could change for Canadians by then, says Mr. Guilbeault.

“In the months to come, for many of them, the situation will improve, in part because of the things we are doing,” he said.

“More Canadians will see the benefits of what we do, what we work on for them and how we work for them, the more the situation may change. »

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116