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Attacking Conservatives via Doug Ford

Posted in View Point

Published on August 09, 2019 with No Comments

With the federal election less than three months away, federal leaders who are known for addressing cause that affect Canadians all across the country are now focusing on attacking the leaders at the provincial government. And it is a universal truth that the party that does better than the other party in Ontario has a much better chance to form the government at Ottawa. With a new poll showing that the Conservative party gaining ground and running neck and neck with the Liberals in a province that was key to Trudeau’s win in 2015, it is natural for him to work towards getting those voters back, even if it means attacking the provincial government and Premier Doug Ford.

During his first three years as Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau did little wrong in his supporters’ even though his visit to India was marked by a series of controversy and the visit was labeled as a disaster on foreign affairs. In the fourth, his popularity has dropped mainly due to SNC Lavalin affair leading to resignations from key trusted aides, and bringing down the trust level in Liberal party to a down that his party may lose its majority in October elections.

At a rallying speech to Liberal candidates in Ottawa Prime Minister set the tone for the coming election campaign. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau preferred to attack Ontario Premier Doug Ford and that too for a reason.  Despite pledging to rise above partisan attacks and “the politics of fear and division,” Trudeau spent a large part of his speech criticizing Conservative politicians and warning that a Conservative government would mean only cuts and austerity. He brought back former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and drew a comparison with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and said that Andrew Scheer has never seemed to mind being referred to as “Harper with a smile.” But it was Ford, neither Harper not Scheer, who seemed to be top of mind of Prime Minister and many of the Liberals in attendance. The Ontario premier’s popularity has suffered in recent months, following a scandal that led to the resignation of his chief of staff, Dean French. Ford has also been criticized for cuts to health care, education, research and legal aid. Polls suggest his performance could hurt the federal Conservatives this fall, and Prime Minister used that as a platform to go against the Conservatives.

His attack on Doug Ford and hence on the Conservatives, were sharp. He said, “In October, Canadians will have a clear choice to make: cuts and austerity or investing in Canadians,” while addressing Liberal candidates assembled in Ottawa. “The middle class can’t afford another Doug Ford and it’s up to every single person in this room to make that case by sharing our positive, ambitious vision for the future.”

Prime Minister Trudeau’s speech prompted other members of his caucus to open flood gates against Premier, and perhaps under a well defined strategy. Speaking to reporters Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said, “When you look at the decisions that Ford has taken, especially on the environment, Canadians are very preoccupied,” His saying “So having two levels of Doug Ford would be hurting Canada significantly,” may go well done with the voters.

Doug Ford’s mantra of being “for the people” to “cutting down” would be a focus area. Liberals are going to take on the Conservatives via Doug Ford. Will it deliver the results for the Liberals?

 

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