The House

In House panel - Everybody's got challenges

Whether you're in government, the official opposition or the third party, there are some serious challenges coming your way. In House panelists Mark Kennedy and Emmanuelle Latraverse join us to talk about what the future has in store for the Liberals, the Conservatives and the NDP.
Justin Trudeau arrives at Rideau Hall for his swearing-in. (CBC)

Whether you're in government, the official opposition or the third party, there are some serious challenges coming your way.

The Liberals, the Conservatives and the NDP will all be facing crucial test in the coming days and week. 

In House panelists, Ottawa Citizen parliamentary bureau chief Mark Kennedy and Radio-Canada parliamentary bureau chief Emmanuelle Latraverse, join us to discuss the potential hurdles ahead for the three main parties.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference with his cabinet after they were sworn-in at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Wednesday, November 4, 2015. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)


EL: The biggest challenge is to live up to expectations, it's that simple. Trudeau's promise has been change, better change. He delivered a cabinet that marked people's imagination and it inflated, even more, that promise for change. But they have thorny issues on their desk now - whether to bail out Bombardier, or whether to dump millions of litres of sewage into the St. Lawrence River - so they have two issues, lightning rod issues, on their radar right away.

MK: No doubt, there are high, high expectations. We attended the swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall. There were 3,000 Canadians who showed up — they wanted to touch him, they wanted selfies with him. You cannot underestimate what is going on, there is an undercurrent of faith and hope and he has to deliver on it very quickly. 

Rona Ambrose was elected interim leader of the Conservative Party Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015.


EL: I don't want to reduce anything to Quebec but there is something startling to the fact that the only province in country where the Tories actually made gains is in Quebec and they elect someone as their interim leader who can't really communicate in French. And they come out with Mr. Blaney talking for her, it's like back to the future kind of scene, where they have a token French person to speak for the leader. That's a problem for this party that they'll have to solve. 

MK: On the issue of language, I agree. She better start learning French very quickly. She is the leader of the official opposition. She can't ask a question to Prime Minister Trudeau — in question period — in English day after day after day. But also she has to bring a fresh, more engaging, respectful approach because the Conservatives lost the election because they were widely perceived by the electorate as mean. 

The NDP under Tom Mulcair, seen during his Monday night speech, will finish with a seat total that fairly resembles what the party had before they made their huge gains in 2011 under Jack Layton. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)


EL: The main problem for Tom Mulcair is that he got a lot of coverage because he was the leader of opposition. The NDP will now have another learning curve. It took them a long time to grow into that job — they will have to be creative to jump into the political debate without the weight, or importance, they used to have.

MK: I find it very interesting and ironic that Mr. Mulcair is now calling themselves the "progressive opposition," they weren't using that language during the election campaign. They were criticizing Justin Trudeau and the Liberals for wanting to run deficits. It's a change, and now they have to redefine themselves. Now, they're in a soul-searching exercise that they're heading into.