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

Just Posted

This week in photos | The spirit of giving comes to Haida Gwaii

Masset Lions Telethon, Queen Charlotte’s annual craft fair, Fields store coming along in Skidegate

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Masset residents receiving extra incentive to get home safe this holiday season

Masset RCMP, B.C. Liquor Store and local elementary schools team up to curb drinking and driving

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

Banned from taking work involving young people for five years

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read