The election campaign is now in full swing. From the start, the Liberal party was taken aback by reports alluding that their cabinet blocked efforts by the RCMP to investigate allegations of obstruction of justice regarding the SNC Lavalin scandal. Trudeau’s main statement in response to the questions regarding his cabinet’s involvement was roughly his job as Prime Minister is to be there to stand up for and defend Canadians’ jobs.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer debuted his campaign with a public reprimand of the PM, calling on Justin Trudeau to allow law enforcement to investigate his cabinet. The somewhat unknown conservative leader is struggling to make a name for himself that is not Harper or Ford.
Trudeau was not present at the first English debate hosted by MacLean’s and City TV. Instead, he rallied in Edmonton, one of the bedrocks of the Trans Mountain Pipeline project.
The Green Party was almost laughed off the stage by commentators and Scheer, despite Elizabeth May having the only political plan that even begins to address our climate crisis economically and scientifically.
Jagmeet Singh marked some points by connecting the Conservative leader to the much-hated Conservative Premier of Ontario during the debate.
“[Scheer] believes that the priority should be making life easier for the wealthiest,” said Singh. “I believe it has to be different and we can do it differently.” However, Scheer and Ford have not been seen together since the debate, indicating Scheer is distancing himself from his fellow Conservative.
This week hasn’t been all policy. A photograph of Trudeau surfaced on Wednesday, published by the TIMES, depicting the Prime Minister in blackface back in 2001.
“I shouldn’t have done that,” Trudeau stated in the Liberals’ campaign plane. “I should have known better, but I didn’t and I’m really sorry.” Trudeau has since admitted to other occasions where his costumes involved blackface.
One leader that has not shown restraint in his response is Singh, stating “What we see now is an ongoing pattern of behaviour that is going to hurt Canadians.”
Needless to say, this will have an impact on the Liberals’ re-election campaign. But does a picture of a man 20 years ago define him? At the end of the day, it is up to the people to determine what to make of Trudeau’s character.
Graphic by Victoria Blair