Ottawa

Liberals might actually unite under Justin Trudeau

Tease the day: The Globe and Mail proclaims a united party will follow Justin Trudeau into battle
Nick Taylor-Vaisey
Photograph by Peter Bregg

Liberals can hardly believe what they’re reading. There it is, plainly written on the front page of The Globe and Mail: “Justin Trudeau will inherit a united Liberal Party.” Thus was John Ibbitson’s proclamation that Trudeau’s rise to his party’s leadership will bring an end to years and years and years, and then some more years, of infamous political infighting and internal division and bickering and arguing among “senior” Liberals, styled as “insiders” and “strategists,” who almost always remained anonymous.

The party obviously wants to bury all that treachery of the past. During a tribute to outgoing interim leader Bob Rae at the Liberals’ mini-convention over the weekend, former prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin bid Rae a fond farewell—on video, mind you, at a safe distance. But there they were, agreeing about something on the record, in front of all their former fans and enemies, respectively.

Michael Den Tandt doesn’t think it’ll be so easy. He says the party’s old guard, which sticks around as an old guard does, “implicitly do not share Trudeau’s views about how to generate public policy.” That’s a “little grenade” that’s “primed to explode” when Trudeau assumes the party leadership in Ottawa on April 15. The presumptive leader’s mission to listen to the country, and not rush to form policy so far out from an election, betrays any ideology. But, Den Tandt writes, that stubborn old guard does subscribe to an ideology: namely, as Den Tandt phrases it, “the primacy and elemental goodness of its old ideas, and the inviolability of past platforms.”

Trudeau and his team, poised to take charge of the leader’s office in Ottawa, don’t have an easy few years ahead of them. Still, they can smile at the Globe‘s front page and know they’re fighting back against decades of entrenched, and relentless, internal division. It’s a start.


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ caution that time is running out to develop a two-state solution in the Middle East. The National Post fronts the reality that Justin Trudeau is the “best hope” for the Liberal Party. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Mayor Rob Ford’s open letter to Torontonians in support of a new casino. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the federal government’s court-ordered payout of $29.2 million to a relocation company that unfairly lost out on a bid to relocate military families. iPolitics fronts Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ability to mostly sidestep the environment file with few political consequences. CBC.ca leads with one-quarter of surveyed nurses saying they wouldn’t recommend their own hospitals. National Newswatch showcases a Hill Times story that digs into the simmering dissent among Conservative backbenchers.


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. English only. International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino requested that all correspondence under his name should appear in English, a directive that sparked an NDP complaint.2. Oil-field theft. Alberta continues to struggle with the widespread theft of expensive equipment at oil fields all over the province, a problem that police and legislators are scrambling to fix.
3. Potholes. Montreal’s annual fight against potholes has enlisted the services of a number of companies implicated in the Charbonneau Commission’s inquiry into corruption.4. Diabetes. Middle-aged diabetics should be prescribed with cholesterol-fighting medication, says a report by the Canadian Diabetes Association that hopes to reduce heart disease and stroke.