Federal political scene | These issues that will drive Ottawa in 2024

In Ottawa, 2024 promises to be a busy year. Commission of inquiry into foreign interference, presentation of an electoral-flavored budget, anger in the Western provinces, future of Justin Trudeau, without forgetting… the American presidential election, which Ottawa will monitor very, very closely . Are you ready ? Overview of the files that will attract our attention.

1. Will Justin Trudeau stay in office?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has answered this question more than once. Yes, he intends to lead the Liberal troops in the next federal election. But this categorical response did not end speculation about his future. If the strong trend announced in the polls for six months continues – the Conservative Party holds a lead of more than 10 percentage points over the Liberals in voting intentions – this question could arise even more acutely.

2. Federal elections in 2024?


Sign indicating the location of a polling station in Burnaby, British Columbia during the 2021 federal election

Justin Trudeau does not want elections before the scheduled date, in October 2025. However, he leads a minority government. For the moment, the agreement he concluded with the New Democratic Party (NDP) 18 months ago to ensure the survival of his government until 2025, in exchange for the implementation of measures dear to the new -Democrats, hold on. Three of the four parties recognized in the House of Commons – the Liberal Party, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois – say that an electoral campaign in 2024 is not part of their game plan. A federal election therefore seems unlikely this year.

3. Foreign interference back in the spotlight


Judge Marie-Josée Hogue will chair the commission on foreign interference.

The Committee on Foreign Interference will begin its public hearings on January 29. The commission is chaired by Judge Marie-Josée Hogue. The work of the commission will take place in two stages. The first will focus on interference activities that China, Russia and other countries may have engaged in during the 2019 and 2021 elections. A report on this aspect is expected on May 3. Next, the commission will evaluate the capacity of the federal apparatus to detect, prevent and counter interference activities. A second report must be filed by December 31.

4. A crucial federal budget for the Trudeau government


The cost of living will be an issue again this year.

The housing crisis and the rising cost of living were two major topics last year. They will continue to do so in the coming months, especially since the opposition parties have sharply criticized the Trudeau government’s slowness in tackling these two issues. There will be enormous pressure on Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to announce new measures to make life more affordable for Canadians. The next federal budget, which should be tabled in the spring, will therefore be a most important economic and political meeting for the future of the Trudeau government at a time when financial room for maneuver is limited in Ottawa.

5. National unity back on the radar


Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta

The future of Quebec within the Canadian federation has been a source of concern for decades. The issue of national unity returns to discussions in the corridors of power in Ottawa, not because of the rise in support for sovereignty in Quebec, but because of the anger brewing in the provinces of West. Led by a Prime Minister, Danielle Smith, more autonomist than ever, Alberta plans to withdraw its benefits from the Canada Pension Plan and ignore federal measures that it considers contrary to its economic interests. Saskatchewan, for its part, is declaring war on the federal carbon tax by ceasing on 1er January to collect this hated tax in the West.

6. The presidential election in the United States


Donald Trump and Joe Biden, during the first presidential debate held in September 2020

The spotlight will often be on our neighbors to the south in 2024. In November, Americans will be called to the polls. A rematch between current President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump is in the cards. This presidential election will have a considerable impact on relations between Canada and the United States if Donald Trump wins his bet by returning to the White House. Behind the scenes in Ottawa, we are preparing for such a scenario that many fear because of the economic, political and military consequences that it could entail.

7. The unexpected


Seen from Rafah, smoke rises into the sky above Khan Younes, in the Gaza Strip, after an Israeli strike.

Since coming to power, the Trudeau government has had to deal with a host of unforeseen events and international crises. The COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, foreign interference activities attributed to China, India’s involvement in the assassination of a Sikh community leader in British Columbia, and the ongoing war Israel versus Hamas in the Gaza Strip are part of the long list of events that have shaken up the Liberal government’s game plan over the years. What other unexpected event will complicate Justin Trudeau’s task in 2024? Time will tell !

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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