Trudeau’s opponents: One gives him an earful, another seeks common ground

PM meets with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe’s back-to-back meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Tuesday yielded little by way of results in the seemingly elusive search for national unity in the wake of a divisive federal election.

With the House of Commons scheduled to return on Dec. 5, Scheer lobbed the ball into Trudeau’s court for ensuring the throne speech attracts enough support to keep the government standing, while Moe suggested it appears time for his province to find a way to play the game on its own.

Moe said he arrived in Ottawa in good faith to hear how Trudeau planned to make good on a promise he made on election night: that he understood and would address the frustrations of voters in Alberta and Saskatchewan who elected not a single Liberal MP between them on Oct. 21.

“I came today to hear about what he was going to do differently to support the industries and the people in our province and I can tell you this — I did not hear that there is going to be anything different, there is going to be more of the same,” a visibly upset Moe told reporters after the meeting.

Before it began, Trudeau had suggested it was going to be a tough discussion, noting there are many areas in which the two do not agree.

“There are a number of things we’re going to be able to work together on,” he said, however. “We both understand our shared responsibility to do things that strengthen the country every step of the way.”

Moe walked into the meeting with a set of demands he’d been articulating since the Liberals won a minority government: a one-year pause on the federal carbon tax in Saskatchewan, a reworked equalization formula and more overseas oil markets opened by completing pipelines beyond the Trans Mountain project.

He got commitments for none of these, Moe said, and it’s time for his province to find another path forward.

Saskatchewan will continue its court challenge to the federal carbon tax and increase outreach to global trading partners, he added.

Scheer, who also represents a Saskatchewan riding, left his own meeting with Trudeau with a slightly more optimistic tone.

After their conversation, he suggested he and Trudeau see eye-to-eye on subjects both parties made promises on during the campaign: making maternal and parental benefits tax-free, funding public transit in Toronto, and other tax cuts. Trudeau has long said his first move in the new Parliament will be to introduce tax cuts.

Scheer said he’ll wait to see whether that agreement is reflected in the throne speech. A Commons vote to approve it as a general plan for governing is considered a measure of confidence. With a minority government, the opposition parties could easily trigger an election by voting to reject it.

“It’s up to Mr. Trudeau to find common ground to get his throne speech passed,” Scheer told reporters.

“I highlighted the areas we would be focusing on, the parts of our platform that we believe should be implemented, and it’s up to him to decide what to do with that.”

READ MORE: ‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

Trudeau is expected to meet the leaders of the other opposition parties in the coming days.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port McNeill council tackles the issue of AirBnBs

Council wants a public hearing to identify options for short-term rentals in Port McNeill.

Port McNeill council roundup: Feb. 11 meeting

Various stories from Port McNeill council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

REVIEW: Poetry helps Conshinz heal from brain trauma

The Book of 1000 Poems, Volumes 1-4, by Conshinz, a.k.a. Port Alice… Continue reading

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Most Read