Saskatchewan

The speech that never was: Documents reveal what Trudeau planned to say at cancelled Regina event

Following an access to information request, CBC News was given the transcript for a speech the prime minister planned to deliver at a March 5 event, which was cancelled so Trudeau could attend private meetings in Ottawa.

Prime minister was scheduled to speak at Canadian Tire store on March 5, day after Jane Philpott's resignation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was originally scheduled to speak at a Canadian Tire in Regina in March. The event was cancelled so he could attend private meetings in Ottawa instead. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

An access to information request has revealed the text of a speech Justin Trudeau planned to deliver at an event in Regina earlier this year — but which the prime minister never delivered.

Trudeau was scheduled to speak at a Canadian Tire store in Regina on March 5, 2019, and to deliver remarks at a Liberal Party fundraiser. He was also scheduled to make an announcement in Regina the following day.

But the visit was abruptly cancelled, with a spokesperson saying at the time the prime minister would instead be in Ottawa for private meetings.

A March 5 email, recently obtained through a CBC access to information request, simply states "No Regina Canadian Tire appearance." An updated itinerary for that day showed Trudeau would attend private meetings in Ottawa.

The emails didn't specify what the meetings were about.

The cancellation came one day after then Treasury Board president Jane Philpott resigned from cabinet, in the fallout from the Liberal government's handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

A media advisory obtained through the access to information request said Trudeau's speech at the Canadian Tire store was supposed to "highlight how Saskatchewan residents can choose to use their Climate Action Incentive payments to save money at home."

Here's the text from Trudeau's speech that never was:

Hi everyone!

It's great to be here today along with NAME. And thanks EMPLOYEE, for showing me around the store.

Whenever I'm in Regina, I'm always impressed by how folks here embrace the outdoors year round, whether it's skating in the rink downtown in the winter or going cycling in the summer. 

My family spends a lot of time outside, too — My kids are big fans of skiing and hiking. And as a father, I know that we have to make sure that  our kids can keep discovering Canada's beautiful lakes and forests. We have to make sure that pollution, extreme weather, and climate change don't jeopardize our homes, our businesses, and our future. 

That's exactly why our government put a price on the pollution that causes climate change. 

It works like this: companies that pollute now have to pay for those emissions, and that money comes right back to Canadians through the Climate Action Incentive payment that people get when they file their taxes. 

It's fair, it's effective, and it makes life more affordable for families.

A family of four here in Saskatchewan will get over $600 back this spring. And people like farmers who live outside a big city will get the rural top-up. Plus, this amount will go up year-over-year. 

That means that when you come to Canadian Tire, you can pull out the cash from your Climate Action Incentive payment. It's money you can spend as you choose, including on things like new efficient lightbulbs to help save on your electricity bill, or weather-stripping so you don't waste heat during the winter. 

My friends, just like a healthy environment goes along with a strong economy, real, effective action on climate change goes along with making people's daily lives a little easier. 

Pendant la Semaine d'action pour le climat, et toutes les semaines de'lannée, nous centrons nos efforts sur la protection de notre environnement tout en mettant plus d'argent dans vos poches et en bâtissant un avenir meilleur pour tous. 

Than you, I'm now happy to take the media's questions.