Competency remains center stage as the federal parties prepare for the spring sitting of Parliament
Federal political parties are gearing up for another sitting in the House of Commons, where affordability issues appear to remain front and center.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, speaking before his caucus on Sunday, continued to deliver a message critical of the state of the Canadian economy, with a focus on housing affordability, while blaming the challenges of rising cost of living government policies are maintained. by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“This is not a problem that fell into the lap of Justin Trudeau. This is a problem that he created with his inflationary spending and by continuously building local bureaucracies that block the construction of the house,” said Poilievre.
He repeated several times a refrain that summed up the Conservatives’ priorities for their next term in opposition: “Ax the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime.”
In French, Poilievre focused his criticism on the Bloc Québécois for supporting the federal government on various issues, while in English he similarly sought to tie the NDP and Liberals together as a “dear coalition.”
Poilievre referred to Bill C-234, proposed legislation aimed at exempting farmers from paying the carbon tax on fuel used in certain farming activities. The bill experienced extensive revisions and procedural wrangling as it made its way through the House and Senate late last year.
As MPs prepare to return to the regular rhythm of the House of Commons this week, the Conservatives continue to hold what polls suggest is a commanding lead – at least 10 percentage points, in several surveys – in support. in public.
“You have a population that feels sad about the direction of the country,” David Coletto, CEO of polling firm Abacus Data, told CBC News on Sunday. “And that is the main reason they feel dissatisfied with the performance of the prime minister and the government in general.”
On Thursday, the leaders of the New Democrats and governing Liberals also spoke publicly, outlining their priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh took the opportunity at a caucus retreat in Edmonton to focus on his party’s message of affordability, as well as his criticism of the government, with which the federal New Democrats made a supply and confidence agreement.
“[Trudeau’s] has almost nine years in power, and instead of growing the middle class, things are getting worse and worse. It’s more expensive to get groceries, more expensive to rent or mortgage. Life became more difficult. The salaries did not last long. He’s out of touch,” he said Thursday during a caucus retreat.
But Singh splits his time between criticizing the government for inaction on kitchen table issues and attacking the Conservatives for their proposed solutions.
“I also want to remind people, when the Conservatives are in power, remember when [Stephen] Harper is in power, he cuts the things you need. He cut health care. He cut and hurt. That’s what the Conservatives do. They will cut again,” he said.
Trudeau also addressed his caucus Thursday in Ottawa, defending his government’s record while sharpening his criticism of the Conservative opposition.
The prime minister highlighted government action on climate change and new programs like dental care, while warning that a Conservative government would take Canada further to the right. He specifically pointed out the name of several Conservative MPs whom he labeled as out of touch with Canadian values.
“Pierre Poilievre is focused on taking his party to the right, while we are focused on meeting Canadians where they are, where they need us for them,” Trudeau said.
The spring session of the House of Commons is scheduled to run until June.
The seat should also have more concrete tests for party support: Trudeau announced Sunday that a byelection will be held in the riding of Durham, Ont., the seat vacated when former Conservative leader Erin O. ‘Toole retired. Byelections in two other ridings, left vacant by the departures of former cabinet ministers Carolyn Bennett and David Lametti, are also expected to be called in the coming months.