Jagmeet Singh’s “We don’t respect Conservatives” remark further divides an already angry nation
One of the reasons for Jagmeet Singh’s rising popularity has been how he handled some difficult moments on the campaign trail.
Singh responded well to Trudeau’s blackface debacle and demonstrated a level of empathy that is rarely seen in a politician.
The Conservative Party of Canada’s internal investigation and report into how the party lost to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the 2019 federal election found that inexperienced staff and too much top-down control of the campaign were main factors leading to the loss, despite the CPC winning the popular vote.
The report, handled by CPC party stalwart and former Harper cabinet Minister John Baird, found that two major factors in the loss of the election were inexperienced staffers and giving too much of the campaign decision-making to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s campaign manager Hamish Marshall, according to a report released by CBC on Tuesday evening.
CBC journalists spoke to multiple party sources who said the report also included the election revelations that Scheer held dual Canadian-American citizenship (despite Scheer criticizing other politicians for holding dual citizenship) and that he falsely claimed he was once a certified insurance broker.
“I have always taken full responsibility for the campaign,” Marshall told CBC. “The buck stops with me.”
Baird was tasked by Scheer to do the election campaign’s postmortem, with him reporting the findings back to Scheer.
The party caucus next meets on January 24, but it’s unclear whether the report will be shared with the Conservative MPs.
The Conservative Party of Canada has announced that their leadership race will officially begin on Monday, according to the CBC.
As well as this, the party has released the rules that will govern the competition. Most notably, the prospective candidates will only have two months to procure $300,000 in cash and 3,000 signatures.
Both the signatures and the financial deadlines will be staggered so that wealthier candidates do not have an advantage over those who are less-wealthy.
The leadership race has been ramping up over the last few weeks and rumours have been swirling over who may throw their hat into the ring. So far, only long-shot candidates have officially declared, although party grandees like Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole are expected to declare.
Another name that may cause some excitement is Pierre Poilievre, who seems to be a keen favourite amongst members.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s late response to Friday’s news of Iran admitting to accidentally shooting down the Ukranian plane that killed 176 was released Sunday evening. The statement condemns “Trump’s actions” without once mentioning Iran shooting down the plane.
“While we remain focused on the needs of those who mourn, we cannot forget our responsibilities to Canadians and to the international calls for peace. Canadians have served bravely and proudly in the Middle East, working to deescalate the violence and build toward that peace,” said part of the statement attributed to Singh and released Sunday.
“Now, with tensions so high in the region and the unpredictability and President Trump’s actions, it will not be easy to get back to that work, but we have a responsibility to make sure that we do. Canada can be a leader in making the horrific tragedy of Flight 752 the end of the latest increase in violence and not the beginning of another misguided and disastrous war.”
Iran initially falsely claimed the plane crashed due to an engine failure, but after the Pentagon and others with intelligence announced the plane was shot down by anti-aircraft missiles, the country’s regime admitted its military accidentally shot down the plane.
The NDP are just the latest to place blame on U.S. President Donald Trump for Iran shooting down the Ukrainian plane that resulted in 57 Canadians being killed. Over the past few days, Canadian journalists have also been suggesting Trump is at fault for Iran shooting down the passenger plane because he increased tensions after giving the greenlight for a drone strike that killed terrorist Qasem Soleimani.
These same critics of Trump also fail to mention the injustices and lack of freedom in Iran’s theocratic dictatorship.
Over the past few weeks, rumours have been swirling around the internet over the Quebec-based, Dragon’s Den star, Vincenzo Guzzo, and whether he had any intention to run for Conservative Party leadership.
This seemed to be confirmed when multiple sources, including David Tjordman, a federal Conservative candidate in Montreal in the last election, confirmed with The Post Millennial that “[Guzzo] made it clear he was going to be running … to me, and to a few other people as well.”
The Post Millennial reached out to Guzzo for a wide-ranging interview, where he clarified his position on running for leadership, spoke about Andrew Scheer’s tenure, and the policies he would introduce if he became Prime Minister in the next Canadian election.
(The following interview was edited for clarity and length.)
TPM: Will you be running in the upcoming leadership election?
VG: I really want to see who else throws their hat in the race. The biggest issue that I have is that my personal desire, the party’s desire, and the national desire, needs to be in line. They need to cross somewhere. A lot of the party has been screaming bloody murder because they want one of their established guys to be the next leader. My problem is that I sit there and I say, you do realize that you guys have ten, fifteen years of political baggage that you need to justify like Andrew Scheer had to justify.
So your claim that you’re a better candidate, because you have the experience is negative in this case. If you voted ten times and you’re a pro-lifer, you’re going to have a tough time when all of a sudden you become a pro-choicer.
For example, when that whole thing about the double citizenship came out, my dad walked into my office and said, “you’re gonna have to relinquish your Italian citizenship.” I said, why would I do that? And, he said, “Well if you ever wanna go into politics, you can’t have two citizenships.” Who said that? Scheer’s actually getting beat up because he tried to beat up other people for the same thing, so now he’s being told you’re contradicting your own complaints from the past.
Ultimately, the question that I don’t think anyone wants to answer is that everyone wants to do this as a two-step process—first you work on winning the leadership, and then you work on winning the general election—I don’t think this is the way this should be done. I think the person who should win the leadership should be the person who the party needs to feel could actually win a general election against Justin Trudeau.
TPM: You might be running, but you’re not 100 percent sure. What’s your strategy and how do you plan to win both the leadership vote and the general election?
VG: My big thing about the general election, Is that I believe everyone needs to be honest. Eveyone needs to realize that we were in an election where, for whatever reason, abortion suddenly became a conversation and blackface became a conversation. What really matters to Canadians was not actually discussed. Canadians don’t like this wishy-washy approach. We don’t like this approach where you answer us based on the latest polls.
TPM: Why do you believe that you would do a better job than MacKay, Poilievre, or O’Toole?
VG: I think that they would do a perfect politician’s job. The question is, is that what Canadians want? Do we need another politician who will tell them half-truths? That’s the key, if we want more of the same, any of those guys would be way better than me, if you actually want change … for example, I had one candidate approach me, and I won’t mention names, and he came to me with his most important things, and believe it or not, out of those things, senate reform was one of them. I looked at him, and I said, “Is this a joke? You want to talk about senate reform? 100 thousand Canadians have lost their jobs in the oil industry, and you want to talk about senate reform?”
I’d rather not say who it is, but if I run, I’d be more than happy to throw it at him in a debate because it is a joke. Senate reform is the last thing we should be talking about.
TPM: Your bid seems quite similar to Kevin O’Leary’s bid. O’Leary’s bid obviously didn’t work out, so why are you different?
VG: I’m not doing an O’Leary strategy, and I’ll tell you why. I’m not doing that because I’m not making inflammatory comments on twitter, I’m not issuing pictures of me machine gunning god knows what … It always seems like when we refer to Kevin O’Leary we try to be negative, you know, I want to remind everyone that O’Leary made 400 million dollars of personal wealth. He’s a success story in his own right. I have no problem necessarily with the comparison, because he’s a good guy, but I’m not Kevin O’Leary, I’m not going to insult people. I’m going to point out that the political class have disappointed Canadians in the last few years.
TPM: You mention the last election–what did you think of Andrew Scheer’s leadership in the last election?
VG: On a personal level, I think that Andrew is a very nice guy, I think he’s a very humble guy, a very sociable guy, he’s the kinda guy I would watch a hockey game with, so on a personal level I think he’s a great guy. As a politician, I’ve gotta be honest, I think the people he surrounded himself with were not necessarily his best friends—so, either they were not his best friends or they were the worst political strategists I know. You need a bilingual person, you need someone who can actually think and reflect in French. Because, when that French debate comes, you’re going to be interrupted before you can answer. You need to know about French culture, you need to speak French, understand it, or you’re outta the game. I don’t think Andrew was well advised on the importance of understanding French culture. I think the people who advise Andrew not to answer the abortion question were wrong, and I mean dead wrong. Those guys, they carry 75 percent of the blame of that election that was lost.
TPM: What policy would you want to see the government introduce, and what do you think of supply management?
VG: So for me right now, I would tell you before I would tackle or even consider tackling milk quotas, I would much rather tackle oil. Why are we under-taxing other items? How could we make recycled goods more attractive to people? What can we do to make recycled paper the first choice for people rather than new white paper? Because, the truth of the matter is, I would rather educate people on why the government is sucking and blowing at the same time when it over-taxes people on oil and asks them to use less of it. You know, if everyone stopped using oil tomorrow, we would have a bankrupt government.
TPM: How likely are you to run as a percentage?
VG: So, let’s put it this way, if the candidates that have announced are the candidates that are coming, I’m 75 percent gonna run. There is no way I’m gonna let the candidate who have come out now be the ones who go into the next general election. The only candidates that have announced will give Justin Trudeau a third mandate. If Jean Charest announces then I will openly say that I will support him. That is the guy that I think can actually stand up to Trudeau.
TPM: So if Jean Charest runs you won’t run, but if he doesn’t, your 75 percent going to run?
VG: That’s correct.