Today marks the return of the federal Parliament for the fall session after its summer recess. Even though summer tends to be a quieter time in Canadian politics, the past few months have shown otherwise.
On the heels of a $3 million ad buy, an image overhaul and cross-country tour, the Leader of the Official Opposition, Pierre Poilievre, capped off his summer tour in early September with his first policy convention in front of 2500 enthusiastic supporters in Quebec City.
One of his themes throughout the summer period has been affordability and housing, including a major policy announcement and a plan to introduce a Private Members’ Bill entitled the Building Homes Not Bureaucracy Act, likely this week.
Liberals Spooked by the Polls?
It appears these efforts have been paying off for the opposition leader as recent poll numbers have the Conservatives leading by 15 points over the governing Liberals, who are struggling with voter fatigue after eight years in office.
These poll results seem to be making some Liberal MPs nervous, creating calls for a change in tone. For his part, Prime Minister Trudeau, looking for a refresh, conducted a major cabinet shuffle at the end of July, shaking up much of his front bench as the government moves into the second half of its mandate.
At the end of the Liberal caucus retreat last week, the Prime Minister announced several measures designed to help address Canadians’ affordability concerns and the housing shortage. Among them, the federal government is proposing to cut the GST on construction of new rental housing, as well as proposals to help address grocery prices, and overhaul the Competition Act.
The federal government’s primary focus this fall will be on affordability, housing and crime. Here’s what we can expect:
- Bill C-48 to reform bail provisions for repeat violent offenders,
- Pharmacare legislation,
- Debate on artificial intelligence and privacy concerns,
- Legislation to protect Canadians from serious forms of harmful online content,
- A public inquiry on election interference, and
- Revised mandate letters for the new Cabinet.
Even though this is a minority parliament, the Liberals and NDP have a Supply and Confidence Agreement in place. If it holds together, it will allow the Liberals to govern until June of 2025. And with the recent poll numbers and general political outlook, there seems to be little appetite among the governing Liberals and opposition NDP and Bloq Québécois for an election any time soon, leaving only the Conservatives chomping at the bit.
We’re Here to Help
For more information and insights about what these developments mean for Canada’s political landscape, please contact:
Brian Gilbertson – Senior Strategy Advisor, Ottawa
Tara Bingham – Vice-President
To learn more about Prairie Sky Strategy, please visit our website.