Trudeau Says ‘No Doubt’ He’s Staying as Leader, Still Has ‘A Lot to Offer’: Report

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he still has a place in politics despite polls showing his government faces an uphill battle against the Conservatives.
Trudeau Says ‘No Doubt’ He’s Staying as Leader, Still Has ‘A Lot to Offer’: Report
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a media availability with reporters on the final day of the APEC Summit, in San Francisco, Calif., on Nov. 17, 2023. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)
Noé Chartier

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’ll remain as leader of the Liberal Party, despite his government facing an uphill battle, according to an interview given to Quebec media.

“There is no doubt for me that yes, I continue, I have to keep going, and I still have a lot to offer,” Mr. Trudeau told online media La Presse on Dec. 7. “I still have a place in politics.”
Questions about the prime minister’s future have grown louder in recent months with polls showing Conservatives building a solid lead. The latest Abacus Data poll has the Tories 19 points ahead of the Liberals, clearly in majority territory.

“For sure there is a certain momentum, an interest, for Conservatives,” said Mr. Trudeau, adding that the party is “taking a lot of space right now.”

The prime minister added that “everything is difficult currently” and that it’s understandable people would ascribe responsibility for those difficulties to the government.

Mr. Trudeau said he expects to see through his minority term, which is bolstered by the supply-and-confidence agreement with the NDP. This would take him to 2025. The election at that time will offer a “choice similar to the one in 2015,” said the prime minister.

Mr. Trudeau was referencing the choice voters must make about which direction the country should go. One of those choices will be whether to continue pursuing actions meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to look to alleviating cost-of-living pressures.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has already pledged that the next election would be on carbon pricing, a measure intended to encourage Canadians to reduce their use of hydrocarbons. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem says inflation would drop 16 percent if the carbon tax was lifted.

Meanwhile, the Liberals are dedicated to accomplishing their climate change agenda, having announced new emissions caps on the oil and gas sector this week at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai.

After implementing a three-year pause on the carbon tax for home heating oil, an affordability measure that mostly applies to the Atlantic provinces, Mr. Trudeau said other exemptions are out of the question.

This explains the current showdown in the House of Commons, with the Conservatives forcing marathon voting in retaliation for their carbon tax exemption bill for farmers being blocked in the Senate.

The Tories are also targeting what they say are the Liberals’ inflationary deficits, with the government’s latest budget update not aiming for balance any time soon.

Mr. Trudeau defended his fiscal record to La Presse, saying he always tables “responsible” budgets.

“We understand that this is what allows us to help people during difficult times,” the prime minister said, adding that “a balanced budget is not an end in itself.”