As the federal election campaign officially kicked off on Wednesday morning, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer took the opportunity to once again call out Justin Trudeau for his involvement in the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
Liberal strategists say Trudeau intends to spend much of the first week of the campaign on the offence, hitting ridings now held by other parties but that Liberals believe they have a chance of picking up.
"We will see adamant opposition to it from the NDP and Greens, adamant support from the Conservatives, and rather a more delicate game by Prime Minister Trudeau", Johnston says.
The Liberals have maintained that the decision to keep some SNC-related cabinet discussions secret was made by the non-partisan public service, specifically the Clerk of the Privy Council, on the basis of cabinet confidence, a privilege afforded under the law to sitting governments. Yet, as the Globe and Mail story points out, it wasn't enough for the ethics commissioner, who noted in his report into the affair some witnesses couldn't provide their full testimony.
Trudeau kicks off his campaign with a rally in the Vancouver-Kingsway riding on September 11.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks outside Rideau Hall in Ottawa on September 11, 2019.
Trudeau extolled his government's record of investing in people and communities, boasting that his policies have helped spur economic growth, create jobs and lift 900,000 Canadians out of poverty. Trudeau spent the majority of his speech following his meeting with the Governor General outlining where he saw his government's progress after four years. "May their memories be a blessing to us all", he said.
Although rivals may dismiss Mr Trudeau's achievements, diplomats in allied countries say his focus on feminism, the environment and the need for multilateral organisations is important at a time when populism is on the rise and the United States seems intent on shrinking its global ambitions.
Trudeau's warning of conservative cuts and austerity measures are likely aimed at voters in Ontario, who elected a now unpopular conservative populist in 2018 as government premier.
"He has lost the moral authority to govern". The two leaders were tied on the question as recently as May. "He will say anything to cover up his scandals and he'll say anything to get re-elected, and Canadians can not believe the things he says".
Trudeau is to continue campaigning in British Columbia this morning, where there is a four-way fight among the major parties.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Trudeau's absence from the debate poses a challenge, given his opponents all want to argue about the fact it is Liberal policies that have failed the country.
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