Left Menu
Development News Edition

Ethics breach plunges Canada's Trudeau back into image crisis ahead of vote

Reuters | Ottawa | Updated: 15-08-2019 23:36 IST | Created: 15-08-2019 23:34 IST
Ethics breach plunges Canada's Trudeau back into image crisis ahead of vote
Image Credit: Wikimedia

Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's already tough re-election bid got tougher this week when the country's ethics watchdog delivered a scathing rebuke less than 10 weeks before the October vote.

Independent ethics commissioner Mario Dion on Wednesday said Trudeau improperly pressured his former attorney general to spare engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group from a corruption trial. The scandal, which first erupted in February, helped catapult Trudeau's Conservative rival, Andrew Scheer, to the top in polls for several months. Recently, with no new developments or headlines, Liberal Party support was recovering.

But Wednesday's 63-page report, chock full of new details about the saga, provides fresh ammunition to Scheer and further undermines Trudeau's narrative, which is that he is a young and dynamic progressive on a mission to "do things differently" and more transparently in Ottawa. "The big issue for the Liberal Party of Canada is that this undercuts their top asset - the prime minister's brand," said Darrell Bricker, head of polling company Ipsos Public Affairs. "It's what won the last election. He IS their strategy."

Konrad Yakabuski, a columnist for the Globe and Mail - the country's most influential newspaper - was more blunt: "Mr. Trudeau may not get a second term." It's too early for pollsters to measure the damage, but before the report most polls had Scheer slightly leading or tied with Trudeau, while the Liberals were gaining momentum in the provinces key to winning a parliamentary majority - Ontario and Quebec.

"It really comes down to a matter of timing," said Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, another pollster. "Will Justin Trudeau have enough time to absorb this set back?" The election is set for Oct. 21.

"(Trudeau) promised he would be different. Instead, we now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Justin Trudeau is not as advertised," Scheer said. Trudeau has stuck to his guns, saying he was seeking to prevent potential job losses at SNC-Lavalin that could arise out of a costly trial.

"I won't apologize for being there to defend Canadian jobs. It's my job as prime minister to defend those jobs," he repeated on Thursday in Fredricton, New Brunswick, where he announced an C$11.4 million investment in flood protection for the city. For Trudeau, it was business as usual, which in the summer before an election means making almost daily federal funding announcements in districts the Liberals hope to pick up.

Frank Graves, president of EKOS Research Associates polling company, said that it is possible that the effects of the ethics report will be limited because Canadians have already had time to digest the scandal, but polls will provide an accurate picture of the damage in a couple weeks. "It will put some wind in the sails of the Conservative attack plan, and Trudeau will take a hit," Graves said.



Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Poor on IHR capacity progress in 2019, WHO says Cambodia tops COVID-19 response

Despite being in proximity to Hubei, the original epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia has reported just 226 confirmed cases and zero deaths. After seeing the data, WHO appreciated Cambodias healthcare information system but experts dou...


Latest News

WRAPUP 10-Lebanese protesters storm ministry buildings, TV shows, as Beirut blast protests grow

Lebanese protesters stormed government ministries in Beirut and trashed the offices of the Association of Lebanese Banks on Saturday, TV footage showed, as shots were fired in growing protests over this weeks devastating explosion.A policem...

Promises could encourage honest behaviour in academic context: Study

Researchers conducted a study in India that involved 640 ten to 14-year-olds. The study was designed in a way that meant it was impossible to tell who had and had not kept their promise. The results of the study suggested that it is not jus...

Jaishankar talks of RCEP, says it is important not to get into false choice on FTAs

Advising against overhyping decisions not to join Free Trade agreements FTAs, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said it is important not to get into false choices and that there was a need to have detailed honest debates. S...

'Your time is up': Thousands protest against Netanyahu over economy, corruption allegations

Thousands of Israelis rallied outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus residence in Jerusalem on Saturday as anger mounted over corruption allegations and his handling of the coronavirus crisis.Your time is up, read the giant letters proj...

Give Feedback