Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s arrival at the Liberal caucus retreat in London, Ont., may be delayed, but once he returns from India, it appears he could face turbulence this fall as Parliament will resume next week.
Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives have seen a summer surge in the polls, with a recent Abacus poll placing the Conservatives 14 points ahead of the Liberals, increasing pressure as the House of Commons prepares to return next week after the spring break. ‘summer.
Fredericton Liberal MP Jenica Atwin told reporters at the caucus that she was hearing some frustration with the government at the gates of her riding, but remained confident in the government’s direction.
“We’ve made progress, so people who have been paying attention to what’s actually happening and not going down these rabbit holes on social media, I think they’re seeing that,” she said.
“But it’s the others, it’s to counteract what we’ve been putting in their faces all the time that everything is broken, which I don’t believe is the case.”
In his social media posts, speeches and responses to questions, Poilievre often says that “everything seems broken” in Canada. This term has been used to describe the housing market, outbuildings, airports, pa*sport offices and much more.
Atwin criticizes this approach, saying that while it may attract attention on social media, it does not offer solutions to complex problems.
“We often see, you know, that everything and anything is blamed on the federal government and that’s just not the case. Again, these are deep and complex issues that are multi-faceted and for which multiple levels of government are held accountable. Health care is a good example,” Atwin said.
“So it’s just about understanding the jurisdictions and placing, not necessarily blame, but responsibility. We must also ask more of our provincial leaders.
One of the biggest questions facing the Liberals as they retire from caucus is how to make housing more affordable. This was presented as the main priority at the start of the ministerial retreat last month, but no new measures were introduced.
During the Liberal convention, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly declared that work was continuing.
“We know people are suffering because of the issue of inflation, the cost of living, the fact that for first-time home buyers it’s difficult. We know that,” she told reporters.
“[Housing Minister] Sean Fraser is currently working to find solutions based also on our election platform, which was very ambitious on housing, and also on what is needed as the context evolves.
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Status of Women Minister Marci Ien said they didn’t feel behind at all, but rather energized.
Ien says she is currently listening to concerns about housing in her Toronto Center riding, and will have more to share on the issue soon.
“There is a lot of work being done there. I guess it’s up to us to tell you a little better what’s going on, but you’ll hear it in the next few days,” Ien said.
On Tuesday, MPs repeatedly said the government does have a plan to address cost of living issues, but needs to do a better job of communicating it to Canadians.
For Quebec MP Alexandra Mendès, she said the government should be more direct about its achievements.
“The feeling that the government does not have a plan is perhaps legitimate in the sense that it is difficult to explain such a comprehensive plan, when the government does have a plan,” she said.
“But it takes time to explain that, and it’s not something you can do in 30 seconds.”
Asked about the polls, Liberal MPs said they were working to interact with their constituents to get a sense of how people are receiving their message.
For Atwin, his view is that the current polling issues may be a bit of a fad, pointing out that “people think it’s cool to not like our prime minister right now, which is a very strange phenomenon that is occurring.”
“So I think it’s just a product of the times,” she said.
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