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

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

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

Just Posted

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

pinnacle pellet
Three injured at pellet plant fire

Pinnacle Pellet temporarily suspends operations

Elf on the Shelf 2020 in Burns Lake. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Did you spot the Elf yet?

The festive fun started in Burns Lake last Friday, with little elves… Continue reading

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Most Read