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Election 2019

What happened to the Liberal brand?

By Lori Turnbull      

There is at least one factor that the SNC-Lavalin affair and the blackface photos have in common: these are about Justin Trudeau, not the Liberals.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured July 31, 2019, in Ottawa. Depending on the results of the October election and whether Mr. Trudeau’s personal brand can recover, the Liberals might end up having conversations about the future—an outcome that was virtually unthinkable only four years ago. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

HALIFAX—When Justin Trudeau became the leader of the Liberal Party back in 2013, it was nothing short of a coronation. He won handily on the first ballot and proceeded to bring the party back to life at perhaps the most vulnerable time in its history. Often referred to as the country’s “natural governing party,” the Liberal machine lost its momentum when the sponsorship scandal of the early 2000s combined with the success of the unite-the-right movement to remove the Liberals from power for nearly a decade. Then-prime minister Stephen Harper governed for three successive terms, as Liberal leaders Stéphane Dion and then Michael Ignatieff let Conservative attack ads define them. Jack Layton and the NDP were making historic gains at the Liberals’ expense and the Greens were emerging as potential player. At that time, it was not inconceivable that the natural governing party would fade into non-existence.

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‘Thou shalt be there,’ government whip tells MPs as high-stakes minority Parliament kicks off Thursday

News|By Palak Mangat 11:22 AM ET
In a minority Parliament, co-operation between parties is now an 'imperative, as opposed to something that we would try to do,' says Chief Government Whip Mark Holland.

‘A servant of the House’: MPs to elect Commons Speaker in early-morning ceremony

News|By Beatrice Paez
Incumbent House Speaker Geoff Regan says he expects MPs will be largely influenced by their peers' assessments of the candidates in casting their ballots for the new Speaker.

Political ties, not diplomatic bona fides needed for next Canadian envoy in D.C., says former ambassador

News|By Neil Moss
‘From a U.S. perspective, the relationship between the ambassador and the prime minister has to be extremely close,’ says Michael Kergin.

‘Let’s get on with the contest now’: chorus of prominent Conservatives calling for Scheer’s ouster continues to grow

News|By Mike Lapointe
But a Conservative source is decrying public criticism of Andrew Scheer's leadership, saying it will only create the kind of schisms that will set the party back and that former leader Stephen Harper worked to avoid.

Parliament security labour standoff nearing end of the road

Long-awaited collective agreements are finally being settled with the unions representing Parliament’s security officers, just in time for a new round of talks.

French envoy defends Macron’s NATO comments as ‘brave’

French ambassador Kareen Rispal says the 29-member alliance is in the midst of a political crisis and her president was recognizing that fact.

‘Small but mighty’: New Democrats say they’re up to the task as MPs pile on critic jobs

The 24-member team is Jagmeet Singh’s ‘first caucus,’ says MP Don Davies, and the group is ‘starting with a clean slate.’

Diversity, inclusion minister should act as ‘catalyst’ with cross-ministerial power, say advocates

'It is a weird irony that integration is being isolated this way,' says Anita Singh, while others say there’s an opportunity for the diversity, inclusion, and youth file to play a larger role in government.

PMO finalizes the chiefs of staff of 22 cabinet ministers; senior PMO staffer Bouchard moves to Heritage

News|By Abbas Rana
The Liberal Research Bureau is seeking applications from interested staffers to fill posts in the Prime Minister's Office and the offices of MPs and ministers.
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