As prominent members of the Liberal party congregated in London, Ontario, for a caucus retreat before the anticipated arrival of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Discussions centered on the growing need for decisive action on housing while improving communication of their policies.
Refuting recent poll results that showed a surge in popularity for Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives, those who engaged with the press played down its significance.
These deliberations were set to commence in full after Trudeau’s return from his delayed trip to India, scheduled for Wednesday. On Tuesday, offshoot groups from the party, including the Liberal women’s caucus, Indigenous caucus, and rural caucus, all convened for discussions.
Regarding housing, certain sentiments echoed through the hallways. Arielle Kayabaga, MP from London West, Ontario, lamented the persisting issue of affordable housing. She cited hurdles like several stakeholders needing to come together to conceive effective solutions and emphasized the personal struggles many Canadians, herself included, are experiencing due to the housing crisis.
Alexandra Mendes, the MP of Brossard-Saint-Lambert, Quebec, defended the government’s endeavors, claiming they do have a coherent plan to address these concerns — explaining the intricacies of said plan to the public, however, poses a significant challenge.
Drawing attention to the need for affordability, MP Iqra Khalid of Mississauga-Erin Mills, Ontario, mentioned the substantial impact of early learning childcare programs upon families in her constituency. She acknowledged that while statistics may have painted a rosy picture of Canada’s standing on a global scale, a lot of citizens face hardships that must be addressed.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Quebec, Melanie Joly, noted the struggles first-time homebuyers are going through and stressed the importance of the incoming minister taking charge of the situation and having purposeful dialogues.
About the polls predicting strong competition from Poilievre, Mendes called it a natural progression as global politics is in flux. However, she also expressed optimism that as elections approach, the public would make an informed choice.
Jenica Atwin, Fredericton, New Brunswick’s MP, downplayed polls’ significance, arguing that issues are complex and warrants a nuanced understanding rather than simplified messaging.
On the topic of communication, Joly asserted the government’s commitment to delivering good governance, emphasizing the need to remind Canadians of Poilievre’s political legacy.
Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth and Toronto Centre, Ontario MP, reiterated her resolve to ensure that Canadians are heard and served effectively.
Closing the dialogues, Mendes admitted that the government could have been more assertive in publicizing its accomplishments for Canadians.