News and Commentary

Canada’s Trudeau Is Plunging In Polls, Conservatives Ahead

Another new poll has found Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, 47, the head of the Liberal Party, in serious trouble: The Nanos Research poll, released Tuesday, found that if elections were held now, the Liberal Party would lose control of the government and Trudeau would be out, the first prime minister to do so holding a single majority mandate in almost 100 years.

The Nanos Research poll showed Conservatives garnering 34.9% of respondents; Liberals 32.8%, and the New Democratic Party 16.6%. In March, an Ipsos poll found Conservatives with 40% and Liberals with 30%. Since the start of 2019, the Liberals have plunged six percentage points, according to Reuters.

Pollster Nik Nanos stated, “The Liberals have taken a hit, but they’re still competitive. The most significant effect has been the negative impact on the prime minister’s personal brand.”

Trudeau has had to answer allegations charging that members of his team pressured Canada’s former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, to drop a criminal case against the engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., which was accused of bribing Libyan officials. In mid-February, Wilson-Raybould resigned from the cabinet, writing, “I am aware that many Canadians wish for me to speak on matters that have been in the media over the last week. I am in the process of obtaining advice on the topics that I am legally permitted to discuss in this matter and as such, have retained the Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell, CC as counsel.”

Last week Wilson-Raybould and Treasury Board President Jane Philpott, who had supported Wilson-Raybould, were expelled from the Liberal Party. Trudeau told reporters, “We’ve taken every effort to address their concerns, and ultimately, if they can’t honestly say that they have confidence in this team … then they cannot be part of this team … The trust that previously existed between these two individuals and our team has been broken. It’s become clear that Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Dr. Philpott can no longer be part of our Liberal team.”

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer blasted the two women’s ouster, asserting, “Canadians will view the removal of Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould from the Liberal caucus for exactly what it is: A betrayal of justice. Elected officials are supposed to protect individuals who blow the whistle on government misconduct and corruption, not punish them. However, in expelling Ms. Philpott and Ms. Wilson-Raybould from their caucus, they have done exactly that.”

Trudeau has targeted Scheer: on Monday, The Washington Post reported, “On Sunday, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer held a news conference to announce that he had received a letter from Trudeau’s lawyer threatening to sue him for comments he made about the controversy. In the letter, dated March 31, attorney Julian Porter said criticisms in a Scheer news release two days earlier had gone ‘beyond the pale of fair debate and is libellous’ and warned of possible action under Ontario’s Libel and Slander Act, according to Canadian media.”

Ipsos pollster Darrell Bricker commented, “Justin Trudeau was standing on thin ice at the end of last year, and then somebody handed him an anvil and crash, the ice broke. There’s a credibility problem driven by a bunch of things, one of which is promises made and not kept.”