OTTAWA — Fasten your seatbelts, Canada! The road to the federal elections next fall promises to be bumpy.
The year ending has been turbulent on the political scene in canada and the one who comes is likely to be even more tumultuous while the politicians are preparing for what the prime minister Justin Trudeau and the leader of the conservative Party Andrew Scheer plans to be a ferocious campaign.
Imagine the first six months of 2019 as a phase of the semi-final, where the party leaders play the elbow to take their place, putting their messages to test and refine their attacks against the opposing forces. The grand finale will begin when the parliamentary session ends in June, even if the beginning of the campaign will be officially declared on the 1st of September, at the earliest, for an election planned for 21 October.
The liberals of Justin Trudeau and conservative Andrew Scheer leave favorites. The NDP, the green Party and the people’s Party of dissident conservative Maxime Bernier are also in the race, but appear instead as potential disruptors which may play a role in the victory of one or the other of the two major parties.
But if the year that is ending gives us a clue, we can certainly expect many twists and turns.
For Justin Trudeau, 2018 began with a disastrous journey in India, which has resulted in a decrease of popularity that his party and himself don’t seem to be quite delivered. In spite of an economy that is relatively strong, the rate of unemployment is the lowest in 40 years and have lived through the difficult negotiations for the renewal of the Agreement on free trade in north america, Mr. Trudeau has been assailed by many events that have made the shadow of her good news.
Among these, there was the unpredictable american president Donald Trump, who has enacted tariffs on steel and aluminum to canadian and who has described the prime minister Justin Trudeau of “low” and “dishonest” when he is standing to denounce them.
It is also important to emphasize the ongoing wave of asylum seekers who have crossed the canadian border in an irregular manner.
And then, there has been a court decision that stopped the construction of the expansion project of the oil pipeline of Trans Mountain that the liberals were purchased at a cost of $ 4.5 billion. This judicial decision has toppled one of the pillars of the program of the Trudeau government that promised to fight against climate change by maintaining the balance between the economic growth and the protection of the environment.
This has had the effect of undermining another pillar of the liberal agenda, is to impose a price on carbon starting in April. All this while some of the best allies the liberals among the governments of the provinces in favour of the environment have been replaced by fierce conservative opponents. This is the case in Ontario and New Brunswick, in particular.
The prime minister of ontario Doug Ford and the prime minister of new brunswickers Blaine Higgs have quickly joined Scott Moe, Saskatchewan, and Brian Pallister, Manitoba, to challenge the constitutionality of the carbon tax and Justin Trudeau.
The issue of oil pipelines has caused sharp protests in Alberta, where calls for the separation of Canada have resurfaced, fuelled in part by the rejection of the “dirty energy” to the west by the premier of Quebec, François Legault.
After having seen a diplomatic conflict in summer with saudi Arabia because of a Twitter message of global Affairs in Canada, Justin Trudeau concluded his year 2018 on a confrontation bitter with the China around the arrest of a leader of Huawei Meng Wanzhou. In retaliation, China has proceeded to the arrest of canadian citizens.
While Trudeau stresses the fact that there has been no political interference in the case of Ms. Meng, and that Canada respects simply the rule of law, and Donald Trump came again to him to complicate the life by suggesting that the arrest of the businesswoman was part of a ploy designed to put pressure in trade negotiations with China.