Western Alienation & Conservative criticism
welcome to this week's episode of Blue Sky Strategy Groups a Canadian. podcast what you need to know about this week in Canadian politics I'm Alison Fair and Associate Hero Blue Sky and joining me this week. Susan Smith President and CO founder of Blue Skies Strategy Group and Aena Brody Vice President of blue sky. Hello to you both earning season warning okay. So let's talk about Western Alien Nation. Lot of talk talk about that a lot of headlines in the newspapers It continued this week with Jason Kenney warning that it will deepen unless trio guarantees the completion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project and repeals or at least substantially rewrites bill c sixty nine and then on top of it we had Michelle rental. Who was saying that? The PM should reach out to her party the Conservatives to help bridge the divide so Let's start with you. Susan what do you think the best way for Trudeau to deal with these concerns. Well they're very real concerns. I think in western Canada and the prime minister has signaled that he's paying attention and the first thing he needs to do is listen which I think he has been doing and we'll continue to do. The second thing he needs to do is reach out to people in Alberta in Saskatchewan and connect with them and look at ways to bridge these gaps the Trans Mountain pipeline. He reiterated and has continued to reiterate that it will it will be that the government is working to get it put in place e sixty nine is a bit trickier Legislation in a minority parliament means means government can potentially lose control of it. So maybe there are some potential regulatory changes that can be made or changes made at the regulatory level. which you wouldn't require them coming to parliament? That's something that they could look at but I think the. PM has lots of tools available to them. And I think hopefully people in there's a few people must've putting their hands to help 'em McClellan is a great help as a start. She's the managing the transition for the government and she's well regarded Western Canadian with a good deal of federal political experience. So she she will be an asset to the prime minister as well Neil. Your thoughts Canto settled the Western concerns down. We'll Mr Trudeau already has elected representatives of both both part of both provinces. He can consult Those are the premiers of the provinces. Just because they're from different parties doesn't mean they can't work together to solve some one of the issues That Returned you pretty much. Holy Blue from Winnipeg to Vancouver If Mr Trudeau is a statesman and if if he's interested in making this work as you said than their natural partners for him I know From time to time Mr Harper gets pointed out that he didn't have a working relationship with the provinces I I don't think that's wholly true. He didn't have Meetings with all the premier's all at once so that You know twelve premiums could beat up on on one prime minister but he worked unilaterally with a lot of the premier's over his time to bring about a specific changes that each province wanted So so I think they're. They'RE AVENUES FOR MR true to go down to to make sure that Alberta Saskatchewan to a certain degree Manitoba in BC Their views I need to be represented in agree with Neil. Actually I think the prime minister will reach out to the premier's he already has. I think he will hold a first ministers meeting though. He's not afraid of some of that. That the the the nonsense that can go on these things but actually think that could be to his advantage. Because there are premieres like premier pallister for Manitoba is a western premier. WHO said you know? Politics is like a marriage. You don't when it gets tough your Canada's like marriage when it's tough you don't just pick up pack up and leave you work at it. So I think there's been signals from premier creamier pallister that he he could end up a bit of a broker between the West Premier Horrigan from British Columbia again. He's a western premier. He was out in the news this week. Saying I'm I'M WE HAVE AN EP liberals and conservatives we're from the West so maybe there's a schedule and now Berta alien nation but does not necessarily western alien nation but I do think he will play a role will potentially premier sandy silver from up in the Yukon. So I think the prime minister will be reaching out to the premier's at most of the rest of the premier's don't want to see the country. Broken up So I think they'll be some cross partisan Politicking that goes on actually behind the scenes as well at the premier's level. Yeah and Neil. Well you brought up Stephen Harper Global Mail this morning. Actually Chretian's Harper in Calgary yesterday speaking and he was the last prime prime minister that had a minority government and says that he should just ignore this. The things that are going on there right now And run his government according to how he feels your thoughts Listen it's always nice to hear what former prime minister say they. They've done the job. They have boatload to experience both Mr Mr Mr Harper being in power for Ten years I think both of them I think that's different I think Mr Harper was talking about running the House of Commons and getting a government agenda through rather than how you represent the entire country without representation tation at your cabinet table getting legislation through a minority government Mr Harper talked about doing things that were publicly popular. So you ahead public sentiment on your side. It was to the detriment of the other parties to oppose that that legislation You know some parties opposed legislation by voting against some parties opposed posed by not having members. Show up to vote so that so that The legislation could pass The the other part. Just get back to our original Topic about illumination. It's also going to be interesting to see how Mr Trudeau deals with Quebec because they the party's fortunes in Quebec Coronado great as I think they thought it was going to be Both the LIBERALS CONSERVATIVES IN THE END EP lost seats to the block The block block is a I think it was a protest vote not necessarily separation vote But it'll be interesting to see how Mr Trudeau also deals with Quebec alienation. I think I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call it Quebec alienate this this this country. I'm old enough sadly to have seen the political map like this a few times. Mr Crutch actually in the same same piece in the globe and the same meeting with Mr Harper said I've seen these things many many times in my life. He's a veteran attrition politician as everybody knows he's in his eighties now I think the prime minister will be paying attention to all parts of the country. He does have to pay attention to the message that was sent from Quebec as well. His second. The other person who's working with an McClellan on the transition is a woman named you bet. You don't who's from Montreal Well known in the Michelle Business Community. She's currently our ambassador to France The Prime Minister is a Quebec member of parliament himself. And if there's anybody that grew up talking about Quebec separation and the implications of it at their dinner table it would be Justin Trudeau so I think on that front. I think he's probably more comfortable managing that file but he's got to be the prime minister for the the whole country job. Okay and does he shun the the opposition parties out as Harper's also says no no he can't. He's not GonNa do that because Canadians. Returned with a minority government for a reason. He's not going to govern like he has a majority and with swagger. I don't think that's the impact. I think you're gonNA see a delay. Hey in the throne speech coming in. Because the prime minister is looking at what measures he can identify that we're priorities for his government and there might be some common ground with the other parties. All He needs. Though is fourteen votes every single time the end. EP are in no hurry to go back to an election. The blocker in no hurry to go back to the election the Conservatives does are in trouble with the moment with Mr Sheer yes. They won more seats. But the nicer out for Mister Scheer and so I think the prime minister will be able to find common ground with at least fourteen. MP's on and the other opposite opposite side of the House for at least the next two to three years. Neil you agree to a certain degree. I still go back to to Mr Harper. I spoke about yesterday. I lived through that Two thousand six to two thousand eleven Minority period as a staffer in the in the various cabinet ministers office during that time governing. Like you have a majority is not that difficult. If you're doing Putting forward legislation that Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We used to say If Canadian support it If Canadian in support you know tougher. Crime penalties You can put that. Before the House of Commons and miraculously will pass. People won't show up for votes In the opposition parties Because they know Canadians wanted at that time tougher. Penalties for certain crimes There is a a a host of other legislation that was passed in those five years of minority that speak to the ability to to govern ever and with public support and also pointed out In two thousand six a newly formed conservative government found themselves without representation on the island of Montreal and Mr Harper thought it was important enough to representation from the of Montreal that he appointed My former boss we as the newspapers used to call them. The unelected unaccountable Senator Fortunately Minister of Public Works and Government Services Who got to work? rolled up his sleeves. Got To work Did yeoman service both for the Canadian public and for for the island of Montreal. And by the time the Ritz were came in for the two thousand eight election People just call the minister. Fortunate you didn't worry about whether he's unelected unaccountable get point. Moving along I Susan you just mentioned sheer and all his concerns within his caucus focus and the Conservative Party. We haven't heard anything from him since the election other than the day after. How good is this type of talk for the Conservatives? I'm going to start with you you on this. Neil Can Shear survive all this talk. Sure I think there's a path for for Mr Sheer to survive For sure You know it's been. It's been ten or eleven days since the election People perhaps had different ideas about how this election would play out CONSERVA supporters. That is And they're venting it's. It's a lot easier to vent publicly now than it has been in the past I would say that there's probably just as much concern in the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party I don't think anybody got the the outcome they expected from this election. ten days after you know ten days after election people should still be taking a deep breath relaxing. I don't find it Particularly worrisome that Mister Scheer Shear hasn't been heard from since the since the day after the election. We haven't heard from Mr Trudeau have in that news conference after once. So cheery at at one news conference since then. You know the these. These politicians Have to recover from a forty campaign which is Unbelievably taxing axeing on your constitution. Your personal physical constitution and L. P. Families P people you know people people will come out and say what they will say The Liberal Party perhaps have been a better at muting internal party dissension by. Imagine that it's there that People are frustrated within the Liberal Party party that they were they were reduced from In two thousand fifteen I think they got one hundred. Eighty two seats lost five seats through. by-elections hundred seventy seven and then came back after this election with one hundred fifty seven seats I'm sure there's internal liberal Worrying about that results Uh You know Mr Sheer has to get to work Show the party that He's the gentleman for the job Going into an April Convention and and work to change messages that are broader section of the public and support Susan. So a couple of things longer Mr the shares in trouble the better it is for the Liberal Party And and actually that means the parliament parliament will last longer so for people who are wondering about legislation getting through or for being able the deal with parliamentarians the longer conservative parties in turmoil the more stable the the minority government is I think Mr Shears in a little bit of the trump trouble because he was not The consensus choice of the party. It took thirteen ballots in the last leadership to get him. And beat Max Bernie who then left and we all all know what happened to him Good riddance to as they say. But I think Mr Shoes in trouble we saw Mr Mackay Peter. Mackay come out this week. Who's obviously the one that everybody talks about is the most potential successor successor to to Mr Xi at the moment saying it's like having a breakaway missing the net? He tried to backpedal that a little bit. But I I failed I think th well actually I think Peter Mackay achieved what he wanted. which was having people talk about him? As a potential leadership successor Mr Sheer is going to have to both both rally his caucus rally public opinion and deliver in the House of Commons at the same time he is not an experienced political leader. He's an experienced politician. He's a career politician Shen but he's not been the leader for all that long and he's not gonNA leader in fractious times so the difference is where in the past. He had his sights trained on Justin Trudeau and that was the flank. That's the only Frankie had to look at now. He's got to look at his rear at the same time. Guard his rear flank. And I think that's GonNa make it very interesting very challenging and I expect some disarray in the Conservative Party for the next little while while interesting one final story that I'd like to bring up. That got us all chatting in the office was Elizabeth May told CBC that she was interested interested unquote in becoming the speaker of the house When when returns your thoughts on this? We'll start with you Susan. What I think? It's very interesting interesting. I'm sure Jeff Regan. Current Speaker would find it quite interesting as well. Speakers are chosen by the members of the members of parliament. It's the very first order of business when parliament comes back and all of the MP's vote there's some calculus that goes into it on some of the parties parties. Consider whether or not they can give up a seat. Because is that that person who holds the speaker's chair no longer votes unless there is a tie which happens very seldom so there's calculus in that with the Liberals you know. Are they still comfortable Having Mr Regan put his name. Put forward dismissed. Regan still want to be speaker. I would argue that. The only reason he would give up being speaker is if perhaps he would be given a cabinet post The liberals may want to have someone who has a sense of the house for the next little while Elizabeth as a good parliamentarian. Her party might need in the house. It would be hard to her. I think it would be hard for. Elizabeth may just be the speaker unless she sees herself in the order of The gentleman from the UK who's just retired after ten years though. I I can't hear her barking awed over the next little while we'll see neil you know it's not out of the realm of possible whether it's probable is completely different. Story Ori I agree with Susan about the current speaker Jeff Reagan. It's hard as governing party in a minority parliament to Give up one of your piece to be speaker It was more. It was more seamless when When when Harper came into power in two thousand six Mister Milliken liberal was was already speaker. And so is a natural progression So Tori was easier progression to keep him in his speaker As a as a member of the opposition speaker because he he's already in place when when when the Conservatives took control of the house Whether Mr Trudeau can convince Mr Sheer to offer offer up one of his piece to be speaker will be interesting Ms May I don't think she's going to become speaker. Say I put I put. I'd put twenty bucks down on that. Okay Twenty Bucks. We heard that all coffee sounds good. Well Susan meal that with a great discussion and we'll talk with you guys next week and thanks to you. The listeners for tuning into blue skies strategy groups team of political observers for or this week's a Canadian. podcast what you need to know about politics this week in Canada blue-sky Strategy Adage Group is one of Canada's leading public affairs firms for government relations lobbying and strategic communications advice across Canada. visit us at blue sky. Strategy Group DOTCOM Blue Sky Strategy is a proud member of the Global Communications Alliance.