John Ivison: Trudeau goes on attack as polls show Liberals losing ground


When Justin Trudeau called the federal election, he probably envisaged selling Liberal policies in Conservative-held ridings. A week later, he finds himself attacking Conservative policies in Liberal ridings that may flip to his political opponents if his fortunes don’t improve. As the first public opinion poll showing the Conservatives overtaking the Liberals appeared, so Trudeau’s assault on Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole became more furious. In a baking parking lot bordering the Miramichi River, in front of a couple of hundred broiling New Brunswickers, Trudeau’s stump speech assailed O’Toole for his position on pandemic relief, mandatory vaccination, childcare and private health care. “Shame on you in a pandemic,” he said, with the mock fury that only a politician whose prospects are heading in the same direction as his polling numbers can summon up. The comments were based on an interview with O’Toole in which the Tory leader made the case for health-care reform within universal coverage, such as the use of private diagnostic clinics in Saskatchewan that former premier Brad Wall said had improved service and reduced waiting times.

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