… John Ibbitson’s analysis, in the Globe and Mail, of what’s at stake today for Justin Trudeau.
Mr Ibbitson gives Justin Trudeau far more credit than he deserves for handling the COVID-19 pandemic. I continue to believe that Justin Trudeau’s bungling, in the early days, cost Canada thousands of lives. Australia, a country to which we are often compared, acted swiftly and decisively in early 2020 and ended up with just over 100 dead. Justin Trudeau fumbled and humbled, looking for just the right the progressive tone ~ he actually warned us that racism was a bigger threat than unchecked travel from China ~ and allowed the virus to get a foothold a spread so that thousands of Canadians have died. There are less than 200 dead in Australia and nearly 9,000 dead in Canada. That’s more than an order of magnitude difference. Canadians should be howling with outrage, demanding that Justin Trudeau resign in disgrace and be exiled to Kazahkstan, instead we think he’s done a pretty good job. It boggles the mind.
But, John Ibbitson says, Justin Trudeau has squandered the good-will he has managed to accumulate. The We Charity fiasco shows him and his government for what they are: more corrupt than the Chrétien Liberals at the height of the sponsorship scandal. This Trudeau government is, literally, beyond redemption.
Mr Ibbitson says that “Polls show Liberal hopes for a majority government evaporating. The latest poll by Leger has them badly trailing the Bloc Québécois in Quebec. The Liberal base is now Atlantic Canada, Montreal, Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver. That is where they were when Stephen Harper first defeated them in 2006. And in less than a month, the Conservative Party will have a new leader … [and] … Now, Mr. Trudeau faces grilling by opposition MPs on a parliamentary committee. There are two possible outcomes:
- He could offer the kind of poised, confident, reassuring performance that earned him so much political capital at his daily briefings outside Rideau Cottage in March and April. Such a performance could reverse the downward trend and put the government back on track; or
- He could offer the kind of rambling, patronizing, entitled performance that the Kielburger brothers delivered to the committee on Tuesday, in which case things will go from bad to worse. Either way, judgment will be swift.