Political Pulse panel: Cabinet ministers set to regroup ahead of Parliament’s return


The Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers will be making their way to Montreal this weekend Justin Trudeau will chair the cabinet Retreat starting Sunday it’s yet another chance for liberals to hash out their playbook for 2024 and refocus after a challenging year with a cost of living crisis and

Conflict overseas testing Trudeau’s own caucus so could this be the political reset the Liberals need before Parliament returns time to check the political pulse and joined by Greg mcran former liberal ministerial staffer in nowan strategies Melanie reishe the former director of communic for the new Democratic party and now a senior

Consultant with ER Cliff strategies and Fred delori former conservative campaign manager and partner at Northstar public affairs happy Friday gang good to see you Greg let’s talk about what’s going to kind of start late on Sunday and roll into Tuesday I mean how meaningful how important is this cabinet Retreat for

The government it’s important in terms of the interior of the room your media panel had a little bit of an issue with this nothing came out of charlott town I was there and there was no expectation for that because what they should be doing in that room is building on what

They want to be talking about when people are probably paying more attention um outside of January when Parliament returns um what I’m hoping that they’re hearing and what I was kind of hoping to see at the end of the year in the in end of the your interviews was

Some acknowledgement uh a better way of showing Canadians that they’re listening that they’re hearing the pain the old Bill Clinton I feel your pain um and you know there’s been some conversations about how when you tell somebody from the federal government that times are bad they will respond with a talking

Point about reducing child poverty which is huge which is great but you need to acknowledge what you just heard right and there are a lot of liberal MPS that do that job week in week out tell you know their colleagues tell the Prime Minister tell cabinet ministers acknowledge that they’re doing their job

For example so that’s what I’m hoping they’re hearing in that room yeah yeah your earlier point it was either Paul Wells or Susan delort who said that you know not a lot of announcements came out of Charlotte tomell but a direction was set and then you saw a bunch of activity

On the housing file uh what are you watching for coming out of Montreal right the same kind of thing we’re looking for more than just a a narrative a message coming out of it but also an acknowledgement that hey we hear you times are tough um unfortunately I think

We haven’t really seen that uh we were expecting to see it you know go excuse me going into the holidays and coming out and the stories that we’ve seen kind of come out of the liberal benches so far haven’t been that um I think of the story that we saw about Toronto liberal

MPS um you know being upset with with mayor chow and that to me signals that you’re still complaining instead of doing something about it so it’ll be interesting to see what we see coming out of this cabinet Retreat um but I think if the Liberals want to change

Their fortunes they need to start not just pivoting to you know well here’s the things that we’re doing recognize that what they’re doing isn’t being heard by people hearing that frustration and then uh setting a narrative and sticking to it yeah Fred bet better Communications though doesn’t solve the

Change the reality on the ground for ordinary Canadians right like I’m sure they people might feel better if they believe the government is hearing them and paying attention to them but then they got to deliver and uh that has been the challenge for the past little while

That’s it this this cabinet meeting is what’s going to come out of it it’s not the announc bles that are at that specifically is do they have a purpose coming out of it do they have a plan why are they in government do any of us know

Why they’re in government I’m sure Greg could say why know anything a lot of Canadians are questioning what this uh government is trying to actually do right now we don’t know there’s a lot of stuff going on with inflation housing crisis and they you know they’re doing these little peacemeal things but what

Is the overall AR overarching narrative that they’re going to push out so I think this cabinet uh Retreat should be an opportunity and it’s not like all these cabinet ministers are going to sit there and come up with the plan the plan should be delivered to them from the

Prime Minister and his team they need to say this is the narrative this is your marching orders this is what we’re going to be talking about for the next year this is what we’re going to be pounding on and if they do that they might have a

Chance in the next election Greg you think that’s what we’re going to see is that your assessment of where it may go or uh what your sense because I know the argument right now on why Justin Trudeau is going to stay and run for a fourth

Term is wants to stop the rolling back of the things that they’ve implemented that’s an argument for why he wants to stay the argument needs to be to Canadians as to why they they should believe he wants to stay right does does this all start the week to your question

About you know will we see it mhm um you know there are some things that we’re probably going to talk about on this panel where there are still some issues around communication but if you do go back to there was the cabinet retreat in charl toown in August then they did a

Caucus Retreat there will be a caucus Retreat uh later in the week um from that caucus Retreat that’s where you started seeing the housing announcements start and they kept with that they kept first one was in London Ontario and Fred you know frequently makes a good point

About having a narrative and stick to it and on that one they’ve done well there’s a little thing that’s happened in the last month and I like when I’m going to talk about polls I want apples to apples so if I look at Nanos from the

End of November till now there has been a slow uptick so that big wide spread that we saw at the end of November is now 10 or 11 points yeah why is that I would hope that when if I was a member of cabinet I’d be tell being here I’d be

Told why we are closing the Gap what did we do right okay let let’s get some of the issues and let’s talk a little bit about uh because this is related to housing you’ve picked this for what you consider to be a bad play this week and

That’s what pi po have is with Quebec mayor so what’s your assessment of that so the leader of the conservatives picked a fight with uh it started off with the mayor of Montreal and the mayor of Quebec mayor of Montreal okay conservatives don’t have great chances

There mayor of Quebec it’s it’s a heck of a lot different um the issue is what Pier pver picked on he is wrong you know if if Canada is broken so are your facts he is accusing the mayors of getting money directly from the federal government that doesn’t happen in Quebec

There is pres provincial legislation that prevents that and as a result we and the rest of Canada don’t have no idea what’s gone on the last 24 hours in in Quebec but this has been a massive issue the mayor of Montreal hit back and said you know Common Sense starts with

Understanding how you know Financial Arrangements between governments work and he’s got this wrong and uh Pablo Rodriguez the Quebec left tenant for the Liberals has is in lepress today and uh and if a Quebec conservative MP one of the nine has spoken since we came to air

I’m not aware of it but Rodriguez has made that point that they are lurking in the shadows and they’re not responding to the conservative leaders uh attack he’s picking fights and I don’t see the political win on this one especially in Quebec City so so Mel he he he’s uh gone

After the mayor of Quebec City seen as more Progressive than people who vote for the conservatives likewise in Montreal praise to rier you know praise sagon praise Victorville the smaller more rural areas that they do play in is is that a strategy or what is that totally I totally thought he was picking

A fight and he was trying to divide you know smaller regions in Quebec versus the bigger regions in Quebec and that to me seemed super divisive um as for how it relates to what’s his play there I don’t think that’s a punch to the Liberals I don’t think that’s a punch to

The NDP I think that’s a a punch to the BL I think they are um trying to see if the block is going to you know join them in that fight or join them in what he’s trying to say especially as it relates to those regions that you’ve mentioned

Um so I thought that was interesting and what I’m going to be looking forward is how um you and other you know block MPS respond to what PV says if he you know says you have no idea how it works here but out or if they find um that that

Message is resonating in in much of the regions that they represent right Fred the the headlines have been more about him calling people people incompetent than about the point he’s making about housing right and and you tried to break through in in Quebec for Aron last time round and and it’s tough for

Conservatives how does this does this help does this hurt I I what’s your sense well it comes down Quebec is a regional Province where they have many different regions and going against the mayor of Montreal where conservatives cannot win and can never even compete isn’t a bad thing now Quebec City is a

Is a different uh is a different area where we do well in that area uh at the end of the day uh we are seeing po communicate in a very aggressive tone in Quebec something that a conservative leader no conserva leader has done in quite some time maybe Brian Maroney was

The last which was the last time we had a major breakthrough in that Province we’re seeing right now PV is leading in every single province in this country except for Quebec and I think with his tone and what he’s doing if you look in these regions and the messaging he’s

Hitting he’s not you know yeah he may slag on the Mayors but he’s talking about a housing issue that resonates with people Peter McCay predicted that the last convention that we may win 58 seats in Quebec I wouldn’t uh I wouldn’t dismiss that as a laugh where he’s built

Up a lot in the rest of Canada maybe Quebec’s the last Fortress to trying to break through does that kind of aggressive messaging do you think that would play in Quebec do you think that resonates with people in a way that the more I don’t know the more accommodating

And sof you look like a strong leader and you’re communicating very well in their language he speaks very good french uh his wife is a is a quebecer uh he knows the issues and if he’s speaking on that he could have a breakthrough there okay well we’ll see if the pier Peter

McKay decision this because right there’s 58 exactly we’ll see all right Mel your issue you wanted to highlight was was the deadline that flew by yesterday for the repayment of the ca loans what what’s your take there yeah so um you know the only uh party pushing loan forgiveness or extending the loan

Forgiveness for small businesses in Canada I was the NDP this week the conservatives were silent on this and the Liberals really stuck to no we’re not doing anything uh to help you and I think when you have the NDP who’s not you know traditionally um the folks who

Are standing with small businesses I think that that shows that they’ve been abandoned a little bit by the conservatives so I thought that that was a good move to see them standing with I think it’s you know there’s 250,000 small businesses across Canada that could have to close their shops if um

The loan forgiveness isn’t isn’t extended and I thought that that was a good issue for them to pick up on to show that um they’re on the ground in their communities they’re talking to people and they’re seeing really the impact that Co continues to have on the

Mom and pop shops that people rely on yeah Greg they didn’t extend the deadline for the Forgiveness of up to a third of the loan uh depending but you know you have three years a 5% rate you can lock in at if you couldn’t do something but the Prime Minister made it

Very clear it’s time to move on from the pandemic and the pandemic programs I I mean is there a cost to doing this though we we talked a couple weeks ago about the Liberals being in the center and you know the government was there to help people during the pandemic but

These were loans and there has been been a couple of extensions and if you don’t pay it off right now you still have some you know it’s a pretty good interest rate I feel bad for the businesses that are in this situation but to play the Fred delore drinking gra of fall

Economic statement if we go back to the fall economic statement there was a lot of criticism about you know you’ve got to reduce the post-pandemic spending and coming from the the conservatives um there were also a lot of businesses that paid this off so what do you tell them

Who worked really really hard to do this um the people that pushed the deadline I think that’s a bit of the uh issue Last Summer the village that I’m from in Nova Scotia uh there was a business that knew this was coming and they started reaching out to people to see if they

Wanted to support my brother and I now own shares in that and you’re going to be shocked to hear they make beer oh but that’s a very off brand yes uh but last summer this business was worried about their deadline and was addressing it there was another business I I saw in

Sydney where they did a siba sale to try to hit this so again like if you’ve borrowed this money you knew this these conditions were there Fred is is there a political cost for the Liberals and saying No this is it we got to move on

Uh or or do you think this is where do you think this goes well it’s funny they it’s not like they’re strong uh Financial managers to begin with but to give them credit here this is tens of billions of dollars in loans of taxpayer money to businesses and the you know

They were given V very favorable rates there onethird will be paid off if you met the deadline and it’s already been extended uh twice right so I I think at the end of the day this is a uh a common sense approach it has to be it has to be

Cut off at this a at this St I like how you got common sense in there okay uh we’re going to go to your your pick of the week uh I’m going to give a trigger warning to the Liberals watching at home Fred wants to talk about the prime

Minister’s vacation to Jamaica so fair warning right why why is this your play of the week it’s not that I want to talk about it it’s that it dominated the week though in terms of news because the conservatives it’s my play of the week cuz the conservatives did a really good

Job of making it the news story of the week by bringing it to committee to bring it to the Ethics Committee and to get the prime minister to comment on it where he looked so out of touch when he said that he uh you know throughout the

Christmas break lots of people got to stay at their friends places I don’t have a lot of friends that own Villas in the in the tropics that charged $9 $10,000 a night and the Prime Minister looked very out of touch on this I think his Communications has made the issue so

Much worse and it goes back to how we we started talking tonight about how their Communications and their messaging is so bad and it feels like they’ve they’ve just I don’t know if they’ve given up they’re not looking at these issues ahead of time and seeing what these

Problems are uh but again credit to the conservatives for for bringing this forward and and pushing hard on I don’t think this is you know this is an Ethics complaint to me it’s a judgment complaint this is poor judgment by the Prime Minister Mel what’s your take on

This one yeah you know uh when we saw the news about his trip to the Bahamas years ago I think everybody was like oh I don’t know that that was the right call um and then I remember when he took a trip I think it was the week of uh the

First Truth and Reconciliation day and I remember you know I was I was on the hill at the time when we were talking our team and we were like good God that nobody on his team say maybe this isn’t a bad maybe this isn’t a good idea um

And I remember my co-worker at the time said I think he just doesn’t care because we’ve seen this and we’ve seen it over and over again and this this recent vacation to me that’s that I just heard her voice again saying I think he just doesn’t care uh you know we were

Talking earlier about how um the Liberals go right well here’s what we’re doing without spending some time with I hear that you’re having a hard time I know that you’re going through it I hear you I feel you I’m sorry that this is happening this to me is just it’s just

Another slap in the face it is just so disconnected from what real people are going through that you’re able to go on this vacation and again it just feels like you just don’t care that um that’s something that people are just like how how is this possible so I think that um

To your point credit that you know this was in the news all week but I also think you know it was it made sense that it was because people just um at least the people in my University who were very sympathetic to the Prime Minister were just like are you kidding again um

So I think that that was a loss for sure Greg how do you see this one well I’d really like to thank Melanie for doing the Litany of all the vacations but that shows that this is not a new issue and as you know as you know we all kind of

Our are um you know representatives of our parties we get to kind of pick and choose what we want to talk about I don’t want to talk about this anymore but obviously they know that this is coming because it’s happened as M very kindly pointed out um that this has

Happened before and you know because it’s happened before why were the communication lines not better now why was it a big issue this week because it’s January there’s not a lot of other things going on I think that is probably helpful to the conservatives I think

They want to kind of keep people angry that that poll tick tick tick that I back up perhaps this helps and you know the great philosopher Homer Simpson once said um 7-Day waiting period but I’m mad now so you want to keep people mad but I

Don’t think um there’s a lot of new ground if you were already ticked off at Justin Trudeau for taking vacations um you know this wasn’t the the straw that brought the camels back for you no I I I would agree with that it’s like if he takes one more vacation I’m

Never voting liberal again I I know but but Fred to your point this filled a lot of news time because the government wasn’t filling that news time right we’re in the leadup to a cabinet Retreat you know they’re going to have a caucus Retreat and and you know maybe they’re slow playing things

Uh but it seems like if you don’t want this to dominate you might want to start building a narrative story before you go into your your your your big visit to Montreal yeah you strategically leak some stuff what you’re going to talk about or push different things out we

Talked before about how uh the end of December the Liberals seem to be catching their feet they kept seem to be pushing out some messages and doing some stuff they’ve disappeared since then they’ve gone awall um paev is still out there doing stuff he’s put out a lot of

Different videos on different issues and getting lots of attention he hasn’t stopped now maybe they you know maybe recorded stuff in one day and push it out over just like jug me has done we’ve seen lots of videos coming out and messaging they’re pushing the Liberals they’re in government they’re in power

And they’re the quietest party right now okay have 10 seconds real quick I think you’re right that you know if people weren’t voting for him this isn’t going to change a thing but it just paints a narrative uh it’s another thing another reason that he’s just disconnected from

What they’re going through and I think that um sticks with people okay Craig I do your favor we’re going to end it because we’re that on the show leave it there you don’t have to talk about anyway I want to thank you all gang Mel re red delori and Greg mcer

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers head to Montreal on Sunday for a three-day cabinet retreat. The Political Pulse panel discusses why the retreat is important and what’s at stake for the Liberal Party after Parliament returns later this month.

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  1. I'm happy interest rates aren't going down yet because my registered disability savings plan lost money the last couple years and is finally growing again instead of losing. And who cares where Trudeau went on vacation

  2. Canada is a mosaic nation which means Canadians for the most part get along, to be condescending and belittling won't help anyone, traveling to Jamaica is supposed to drive home the point that Canada is a mosaic nation? the bottom line is I guess he can retire in Jamaica if he chooses to. Can't tell them how to behave anymore, let alone tell Israel to become a mosaic nation that can get along. Hey, put your guns on top of the fridge, and give it a rest, Israel is ignoring Canada's request. How does it feel Trudeau?

  3. {<>( #the sacred invaluable spent object "work safe bc ink pen" the Winny tired grumpy investors this time of year are all crying nothing is going on, shameful, however if the clever merchant advertises their available work now, tomorrow , in the spring or late winter some ande some of the labor resivor will answer, yea workers necessary ad, got to plan ahead, this is an ordinary miracle , +29 day grace since white sun, year one January 19th 2024th . safety notes, pirates try to racketer the labour market )<>}

  4. <>( why they mutter improviser bodie , or similar, is called a <<phishing scheme>> they used to call it schitzophrinic disorder as result of dehumanization, my way of dealing with this is to go completely quite until its over, basically, surprisingly, neurologic interruption on the planet cognitive flow , orea plantariume, especially at moment>> red sea , piracy<< )<>}<>#IHMCSPQR

  5. {<>( transcribed: it is shameful the new democratic party would suggest to any worker alive runic, not to take maxiume vacation days entitled to, this party is losing our support , strange tradition, to suggest prime minister justin trudeau shouldn't take his vacation (contracted) allotment shame, especially when literally winter low season when nearly nothing is scheduled, complete bollocks ande witchcraft )<>}<>#IHMCSPQR


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