Scott Thompson: Just because an election is possible doesn’t mean we want one

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: ‘I do not want an election,’ Trudeau says' Coronavirus: ‘I do not want an election,’ Trudeau says
WATCH: (Sept. 16) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, when asked about concerns of a potential election during the COVID-19 pandemic, said on Wednesday they have been listening carefully to opposition parties in terms of what they see Canadians need ahead of the throne speech. However, he said it would be “irresponsible” to talk about the "recklessness" of elections, but opposition parties need to reflect on the direction the country is taking. He also added he does not want an election and their goal is to keep Canadians safe.

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.

Read more: Canada must implement ‘distance voting’ for MPs in wake of coronavirus, Trudeau says

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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?

Read more: Trudeau prorogues Parliament — what exactly does that mean?

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.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Trudeau says handling pandemic ‘job one,’ throne speech has several elements' Coronavirus: Trudeau says handling pandemic ‘job one,’ throne speech has several elements
Coronavirus: Trudeau says handling pandemic ‘job one,’ throne speech has several elements

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML Hamilton.​​​​

Story continues below advertisement