Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference in Ottawa, Wednesday October 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference in Ottawa, Wednesday October 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Trudeau regrets negative tone of campaign, promises co-operation ahead

He also said there were a lot of issues that did not get fully discussed amid the smears and attacks

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed regret Wednesday for the nastiness of the federal election campaign and vowed to find a way to work co-operatively with other parties in the next Parliament.

Trudeau was sent back to Ottawa with a diminished government in Monday’s vote, winning the most seats but not enough to form a majority government. He said he has no plans to establish a formal coalition with any other parties, but that he heard loud and clear the message Canadians sent him.

“Canadians gave me a lot to think about on Monday night,” he said, adding that voters’ expectations are that his government work with other parties on key priorities of affordability and climate change.

“I am going to take the time necessary to really reflect on how best to serve Canadians and how to work with those other parties. I think that’s what the people who voted for me and the people who didn’t vote for me expect.”

Trudeau and other leaders, including Conservative Andrew Scheer and the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh, were all criticized for delivering post-election victory speeches on Monday night that brimmed with the same divisive rhetoric that soured most of the previous 40-day campaign.

Trudeau appeared Wednesday to attempt a more conciliatory tone as he seeks a way to keep his minority government afloat.

“I think many of us regret the tone and the divisiveness and the disinformation that were all too present features of this past election campaign,” he said. ”I think Canadians expect us to work together, to listen to each other, to figure out a way to move forward that isn’t as divisive and challenging as this election was.”

READ MORE: Climate and pipeline are priorities after election, Trudeau says

He also said there were a lot of issues that did not get fully discussed amid the smears and attacks.

“I recognize that much of this campaign tended to be around me and I do hold a bit of responsibility for that,” he said. “But this Parliament and this government will be, and needs to be, focused on Canadians.”

Being a government for all Canadians will be more challenging for Trudeau since he will have no MPs from Alberta or Saskatchewan in his caucus or cabinet. Only 15 of the 157 seats the Liberals won on Monday are west of Ontario: four in Winnipeg, and 11 in Vancouver and its suburbs.

In contrast, the Conservatives got more votes in Alberta than they did in Quebec and all of Atlantic Canada combined. The party failed to elect a single MP in Newfoundland and Labrador, or Prince Edward Island.

Trudeau said he has already spoken to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, as well as big city mayors in those provinces, to figure out the best way to overcome those divisions and ensure their provinces have a voice in his government.

“I think any government needs to make sure that it is hearing from every corner of the country,” he said.

In the past, prime ministers have looked to the Senate to fill the void if a province or region was unrepresented in their caucus, but Trudeau’s policy of not having senators in the Liberal caucus and only appointing independents makes that much harder for him.

Trudeau said he will name his new cabinet on Nov. 20, but did not give a date for a return of Parliament or a throne speech. In 2015, he named his cabinet 16 days after election day, and recalled Parliament four weeks after that.

Trudeau’s opponents have criticized him for refusing to compromise while he led a majority government. On Wednesday, he could not name a specific instance where he had compromised when asked to do so.

He did suggest the onus is not just on the Liberals to be more conciliatory, saying he expects opposition MPs, particularly “progressive parties,” to support the government on areas of common ground, such as cutting taxes for the middle-class.

Trudeau said such legislation will be the “very first thing we will do.”

Cancelling the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion however, is not something he intends to put on the table as a carrot to entice the NDP or Greens to support his government.

Green leader Elizabeth May said she would not support any government that is building new pipelines. Singh stopped short of drawing a line in the sand over Trans Mountain.

“We made the decision to move forward with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion because it was in Canada’s interest to do so,” he said. “We will be continuing with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.”

Scheer has said it is up to Trudeau to work with the provinces and opposition parties over the coming months, while Singh has said he wants Trudeau to address his party’s key priorities in exchange for New Democrat support.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Kindergarten class out learning some basic safety and biking skills on Spirit North Day. (Rachelle van Zanten photo/Lakes District News)
Spirit North’s after school program for spring and summer begin

The Spirit North’s after-school program at Morris Williams Elementary school has been… Continue reading

Indigenous count crucial to determining services

Pandemic protection measures in place for Indigenous communities

Kenny Olson in the bakery department where he worked for the past two years. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Community bids adieu to Kenny Olson

Retirement beckons after 40 years with Overwaitea/Save-On Foods

Beth Berlin with Lisa Cant after administering vaccines at the one-day walk-in clinic in Burns Lake last week. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake health area sees 50 per cent immunized population

Unknown when further clinics may be held

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read