The Liberals and Conservatives are heading for a showdown in Ottawa this fall over the hottest political issues of the summer, with both parties planning to prioritize issues like inflation and travel issues.
After a summer of scrutiny of the chaos at airports and passport offices, as well as the continued economic pressure felt by families due to rising costs of living and inflation, the founder of Nanos Research , Nik Nanos, says he expects an “ugly, edgy House of Commons this fall.”
In an interview with CTV’s Question Period, Nanos said that would be especially the case if the presumptive frontrunner to the Conservative leadership, Pierre Poilievre, won on Sept. 10. The House of Commons is due to resume on September 19.
Although the longtime MP may be in the best position to come out on top once all the ballots have been counted next week – and he has doggedly gone after the Liberals throughout the race on these questions at campaign stops and in widely circulated social media videos — regardless of who wins, the new face at the helm of the Official Opposition will put pressure on the Liberals on these burning questions.
This is because, according to Nanos, in the absence of action, the Liberals are vulnerable.
“When we look at our weekly tracker on what Canadians are worried about, you know there’s actually a four-way tie. There’s usually only one or two things Canadians are worried about,” Nanos said, citing jobs, rising cost of living. , health care and the environment as primary concerns. “It’s like nothing is right.”
The pollster said that in these situations it is usually the government of the day that bears the brunt of the impact.
“Think about it this way… If you can’t pay the rent, what do you have to lose by voting for someone other than the government of the day? Nothing and that’s what the Liberals are for. faced,” Nanos said.
In this regard, Conservative Party Chairman Rob Batherson said he was confident that rather than questioning post-leadership unity, the Conservatives would focus squarely on using issues like the inflation to toast and eventually defeat the liberals.
“The Conservative Party of Canada – after a very vigorous leadership race with a lot of strong opinions expressed – once this new leader is chosen…the focus will be on: who is the leader and the team that can replace the liberals?” Conservative Party Chairman Rob Batherson said in a CTV Question Period interview on Sunday.
“When you look outside the Conservative Party of Canada, what drives public opinion among Canadians? And it is the fact that everything is more expensive. It’s the fact that our passport offices have been turned into campgrounds, Pearson Airport is an international disgrace and people want a change of government,” Batherson said.
LIBERALS INTEND TO PRIORITIZE
Aware that these issues continue to be at the top of the agenda and likely keen to counter coming criticism from the Conservatives, a senior Liberal cabinet minister told CTV’s Question Period that these pressure points will be among their top priorities for the fall session, with plans to iron out their approach at next week’s cabinet retreat.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said inflation and improving service delivery to Canadians will be priorities for the Liberals this fall, in addition to their ongoing commitment to fight climate change.
Between Tuesday and Thursday next week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet will meet in Vancouver to discuss what ministers heard over the summer and develop a strategy to address Canadians’ concerns in the upcoming parliamentary session. of autumn.
Last week, federal ministers tasked with fixing what the Liberals have acknowledged as ‘unacceptable’ delays in passports, airports and immigration came forward and made an effort to take on some of their role in the chaos , saying that even if the situation begins to improve, they are committed to continuing to work until the systemic problems are resolved.
Regarding the rising cost of living and inflation, LeBlanc said he thinks the government needs to do more.
“The whole issue of affordability is a huge priority for us, and we think it needs to be,” LeBlanc said, without giving details.
Nanos warned that the Liberals need to change their reflective messaging on affordability measures already taken and that inflation is a global problem, to better respond to the pressure felt at home, whether at the pumps or at the grocery store.
“They have to get in on the game and they have to be proactive. You know what, if you can’t pay the bills, it’s unacceptable for the government to give up and say there’s nothing they can do,” Nanos said. “People want action, and they also want empathy.”