In the midst of a global pandemic, it sounds like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is changing his tune on a federal election after the Sept. 23 throne speech.
After proroguing government in August, the PM said he needed to put a new recovery plan before Canadians, suggesting that if that triggers democracy, then so be it.
Now, after a three-day Liberal retreat in Quebec, Trudeau told reporters he has no interest in an election at this time.
That could be because even in the short time since he prorogued government, COVID-19 cases in Canada have ticked upwards slowly, closing the sunny-ways window of opportunity to call an election while poll numbers are traditionally high for a leader during a crisis.
With that window closing, Trudeau is playing with fire in triggering an election at this time, especially when Canadians are focused on back to school and a rise in new cases.
However, it’s hard not to believe that was his intention even just a few weeks ago: distracting from the WE Charity scandal, thereby throwing opposition parties into a situation they were not ready for.
If Trudeau doesn’t want an election, doesn’t that prove the only reason he prorogued government was to silence the WE Charity scandal investigations?
Doubling down, the prime minister said holding an election would be “irresponsible,” saying, “Our country and our institutions are stronger than that and if there has to be an election, we’ll figure it out.”
That’s not the point. The point is Canadians would rather be figuring out COVID-19 than the future of the Liberals’ minority government. We have plenty of time for that.
And maybe Justin Trudeau should have thought of that when he prorogued government during a global crisis.