Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Gatineau MP Steven MacKinnon has inherited the role of Liberal parliamentary leader, replacing his colleague Karina Gould for the duration of the latter's maternity leave.
Émilie Bergeron – The Canadian Press and Michel Saba – The Canadian Press in Ottawa
Justin Trudeau's Liberals, in the minority in Parliament, will reach out to the Conservatives this winter “in order to seek common ground on a number of issues”, said Steven MacKinnon, newly sworn in as leader, on Monday parliamentary.
The Gatineau MP inherited this role, replacing his colleague Karina Gould for the duration of the latter's maternity leave.
“We are reaching out and I, as leader, am reaching out to them,” Mr. MacKinnon said of the Conservatives. He spoke to journalists in front of the Governor General's official residence, Rideau Hall, where he took part in the traditional swearing-in ceremony.
If he assured to be willing to “make compromises”, including on “fundamental decisions”, to have an “open door policy” and to be “open to everything”, the leader in Chamber did not mince its words in throwing arrows at Pierre Poilievre's conservatives.
The official opposition had forced, just before the parliamentary holiday break, the holding of a marathon of votes lasting around thirty consecutive hours, thus preventing elected officials from sleeping.
“Those who have covered the House of Commons see what is happening. There is nothing that the Conservatives seem to be able to support, even the most trivial things,” believes the Gatineau elected official.
The Conservatives had not responded to a request for comment from The Canadian Press at the time of publishing this text.
Questioned about a possible change in strategy to circumvent any possible obstruction, Mr. MacKinnon presented the approach already taken as one that works and will continue.
“I think we have demonstrated, both in committee and in the House, that we are listening. We are always here to improve our proposals. »
The man who until recently held the role of Liberal whip accused Mr. Poilievre’s troops of engaging in “obstruction without alternative.”
As for the decorum that is struggling to be maintained in the House of Commons, Mr. MacKinnon said that the Liberals show “a lot of respect” and “restraint”. In the same breath he acknowledged with lip service that “we can do better” and that “it’s a question of will”.
The new minister, however, avoided two subsequent questions about what his team will change in terms of tone, saying instead that the Liberals “will always follow all the rules.”
Steven MacKinnon, MP for Gatineau since 2015, has been government whip since the last general election, in 2021.
But the day of January 8, 2024 is, according to him, “historic” for Gatineau. “The riding, which is about a kilometer from here, that way, has never been represented by a minister in the Parliament of Canada, which is a pretty incredible fact,” he said.
Mr. MacKinnon indicated Monday that Brampton North MP Ruby Sahota will temporarily replace him in his usual duties as whip.
Previously, the Gatineau elected official was parliamentary secretary for several ministers who were responsible for Public Services and Procurement.