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Don Martin: The fall of Justin Trudeau has begun – CTV News

The Justin Trudeau brand is in trouble.
The 2015 fresh prince of politics with the celebrity hair and rock star aura is heading into a 2022 summer of inflation-driven Canadian discontent as a faded force of personality in need of an exit strategy.
You know there’s a reputation hit happening when Trudeau becomes the unnamed star of a children’s book "How the Prime Minister Stole Freedom," a satire about his handling of the Freedom Convoy and vaccination mandates, which now sits atop the Amazon Canada bestseller list.
On a more serious vein, there’s an alarm sounding over his leadership style when former top bureaucrat Paul Tellier unleashes in Policy Options magazine, warning Trudeau’s control freakdom of an office is “in the process of destroying the public service … and the word ‘destroying’ is not too strong."
And while this is hardly scientific, after a weeks-long survey of just about everyone I’ve met and many of them Liberals by voting inclination, the overall judgment on Trudeau is one of being a political write-off with their body language alternating between exasperation and eye rolls.
He’s too woke, too precious, preachy in tone, exceedingly smug, lacking in leadership, fading in celebrity, slow to act, short-sighted in vision and generally getting more irritating with every breathlessly whispered public pronouncement. And that’s just the one-sentence summary.
As one prominent and wealthy 40-year Liberal supporter told me: “I won’t send them another dime until he’s gone. He’s a wimp.”
Trudeau is, of course, undoubtedly oblivious to all this. He didn’t even break a sniffle during question period Tuesday, although he seemed to have great trouble answering questions without reading a script as he copes with a second COVID-19 infection.
It was a daunting run of questions that demanded all his artful dodging talent for reading non-answers to questions. He needed to protect his foreign affairs minister for allowing a bureaucrat to attend a Russian caviar party in Ottawa, his public safety minister for promoting a nose-stretcher that police requesting the Emergencies Act to cope with the Freedom Convoy (they didn’t) and shrugging off a Globe-obtained government analysis showing his 2030 emission targets will be extremely difficult to meet.
That’s theatrical business as usual for Trudeau, but he’s delivering performance hiccups far beyond the Commons.
Take the recently completed Summit of the Americas, where Trudeau’s meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden produced jargon and rhetoric a’plenty, but not a whisper of accomplishment to mend our so-far unproductive relationship.
While Trudeau is the so-called dean of the G7 in terms of political longevity, he didn’t even try to convince Biden to reconsider the axed Keystone pipeline or thwart the Michigan governor’s threat to kill the Line 5 pipeline, this in a time when the U.S. is playing footsie with dictator-run Venezuela to alleviate the energy price crisis.
Even when Trudeau does spring into action, his motivation appears suspect.
The Wall Street Journal recently derided Trudeau for acting in response to U.S. developments by toughening Canadian gun laws in the aftermath of the Texas school massacre and re-emphasizing a woman’s right to an abortion in Canada ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month. “Apparently Canadian politics is too boring, or parochial, or something,” the editorial observed. “If he wants to influence U.S. politics, we recommend he emigrate and run for Congress.”
But mostly, Trudeau just doesn’t act. As Globe columnist Campbell Clark noted in taking aim at the prime minister’s hesitancy to end vaccine mandates, a "political inertia" orbits the sloth-speed Liberal government where “without a political impetus to do something, the default is to do nothing”. Well said.
Many of Trudeau’s talked-up commitments – be it targets for Afghan translator immigration, Ukrainian resettlement numbers, greenhouse gas emission targets, Indigenous reconciliation moves or even tree planting by the billions – are overpromises sent off for prolonged study to ultimately end up being underdelivered.
A cagey political operative recently insisted to me that, having been involved in the Trudeau negotiations for a power-influencing deal with the NDP, she’s convinced Trudeau is running for re-election to give the cement time to set on his legacy.
If so, his shaky display of true leadership should reward the Conservatives with a government mandate in the next election.
But Trudeau has enjoyed plenty of luck in politics, so unless coronation-bound Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre pivots somewhat into mainstream thinking, the hard-right Conservatives could fall short of what’s required to unseat Trudeau from a fourth mandate.
Speaking of pivoting to a current sign of the prime minister’s ailing status, his media party at 24 Sussex Dr. returns Wednesday with Trudeau away in COVID isolation. I asked a colleague if the missing celebrity host would hinder press gallery attendance. “Actually, I think it’ll be much better without him.”
There’s little doubt a lot of Liberals are thinking the same way about their party under Justin Trudeau.
That’s the bottom line.
After six weeks, more than 70 witnesses, and the submission of more than 7,000 documents into evidence, the public hearing portion of the Public Order Emergency Commission wrapped up on Friday.
On the stand at the federal inquiry examining the federal government's invocation of the Emergencies Act, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed candidly that a central factor in his historic decision to enact unprecedented powers to shut down the 'Freedom Convoy' protests, was his fear of what could happen if he didn't.
The federal government's fall economic update makes it clear that while the deficit is declining, the risk that Canada enters into a recession is rising.
Members of Parliament—many dressed in black—returned to Ottawa on Thursday to take part in a 'special session' commemorating Queen Elizabeth II and marking the accession to the throne of King Charles III. The House of Commons held this historic opportunity to allow MPs to pay tribute ahead of Monday's national commemorations.
Pierre Poilievre is the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, securing victory on the first ballot after a record-setting and divisive leadership campaign. After a seven-month campaign, the long-time MP and former cabinet minister from Ontario won the election decisively. Securing support across the country, he told party members they are now 'one party serving one country.'
Find out what 'the best brains in Canadian politics' are predicting for Canadian politics in 2023, in Don Martin's exclusive column for CTVNews.ca.

Hope was in short supply just ten weeks ago on this 10-kilometre spit of sand at the end of the migration route for tens of thousands of Canadian snowbirds, Don Martin writes in an exclusive column for CTVNews.ca from Florida's Fort Myers Beach. But there are signs, he says, things may return to normal much faster than anyone expected.

Danielle Smith has gone straight from the political altar to a divorce from common sense – and her out-of-the-gate antics suggest she could soon claim the title of Alberta's briefest premier, Don Martin writes in an exclusive column for CTVNews.ca.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gambled just by showing up. And he appears to have won in the court of reasonable public opinion, Don Martin writes in an exclusive column for CTVNews.ca.

By declaring even the kitchen a fire hazard and health risk to continued service, the very kitchen where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his family and his visitors have been catered to remotely for seven years, the National Capital Commission has officially mothballed the estate and nailed an unofficial demolition order on the gates. This is not a lamentable development, Don Martin writes in an exclusive column for CTVNews.ca.

Evan Solomon talks to people and players who dominate the political scene
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According to new statistics, 50 claims of a serious and permanent injury connected to a vaccine authorized by Health Canada have been approved for compensation by Canada’s Vaccine Injury Support Program, which has approved or paid out $2.7 million in total since 2021.

A major winter storm bearing down on Toronto is adding to the calamity in Canadian airports already plagued by flight cancellations and delays set off early this week by heavy snow in Vancouver.

The value of homes being sold is dropping as the demand for homes continues to fall. What’s driving this downward trend, though? Personal finance contributor Christopher Liew explains how higher interest rates are affecting home sales, outlines how much the real estate market has declined year-over-year, and outlines how it could affect you.

Newly released archival records of the RCMP Security Service shed fresh light on a Russian defector's tragic odyssey, which made international headlines in the early 1970s.

As the first phase of Canada's single-use plastics ban comes into force, CTVNews.ca looks at how restaurants and grocery stores have been phasing out disposable bags, cutlery, and packaging.

Stores in Canada are gearing up for Boxing Day sales, with many rolling out deals early in the hopes of enticing budget-conscious shoppers.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has announced regulations for the ban on foreign homebuyers, which comes into effect on Jan. 1.

A lawyer who represented 'Freedom Convoy' organizers has been sued for defamation after alleging a Toronto consultant carried a Nazi flag to discredit protesters.

The idea of a daring wartime trip by Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Washington had percolated for some time before the surprise visit was revealed just hours ahead of the Ukrainian president's arrival.

A major winter storm bearing down on Toronto is adding to the calamity in Canadian airports already plagued by flight cancellations and delays set off early this week by heavy snow in Vancouver.

Newly released archival records of the RCMP Security Service shed fresh light on a Russian defector's tragic odyssey, which made international headlines in the early 1970s.

The City of Winnipeg is currently negotiating with activists who are blocking access to its only operating landfill, demanding searches for the remains of Indigenous women killed by an alleged serial killer.

A lawyer who represented 'Freedom Convoy' organizers has been sued for defamation after alleging a Toronto consultant carried a Nazi flag to discredit protesters.

Public servants who received a controversial back-to-the-office order last week are scrambling to find childcare before the transitional mid-January date when federal employees will be required to spend two or three days a week at the office.

As Christmas Day approaches, many consumers are still in the midst of holiday shopping. But it pays to watch out for fraudsters and scammers trying to swindle you out of your cash or steal your personal information.

Former President Donald Trump asked a federal court on Wednesday to dismiss the sexual assault lawsuit, brought under a new state law in New York, that was filed by the ex-magazine columnist who has accused Trump of rape.

The idea of a daring wartime trip by Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Washington had percolated for some time before the surprise visit was revealed just hours ahead of the Ukrainian president's arrival.

Designated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced late Wednesday that he has successfully formed a new coalition, setting the stage for him to return to power as head of the most right-wing Israeli government ever to hold office.

Utah has filed kidnapping charges against the nephew of imprisoned polygamous leader Warren Jeffs, saying that he and his sister's 10-year-old daughter have gone missing, apparently to keep the girl from her mother upon orders Jeffs issued from prison in Texas.

The PM's comment had come after David Seymour, who leads the libertarian ACT party, peppered Ardern with questions about her government's record for around seven minutes during Parliament's Question Time, which allows for spirited debate between rival parties.

The UN Security Council approved its first-ever resolution on Myanmar on Wednesday, demanding an immediate end to violence in the Southeast Asian nation and urging its military rulers to release all "arbitrarily detained" prisoners including former leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is signalling a shift away from humanitarian aid toward funding infrastructure projects in developing countries.

MPs have been studying the future of hybrid Parliament, and in the new year a House committee is expected to release a series of recommendations as to whether it is time to retire the virtual elements of Commons proceedings. Ahead of that report being made public, here's what the committee has heard from participants in the study.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada says it is filing a labour board complaint against the federal government.

The holiday dinner many are looking forward to this season could come with an unexpected ingredient – plastic – after a study at the University of Portsmouth in England found about 230,000 microplastic particles while examining two separate roast dinners.

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According to new statistics, 50 claims of a serious and permanent injury connected to a vaccine authorized by Health Canada have been approved for compensation by Canada’s Vaccine Injury Support Program, which has approved or paid out $2.7 million in total since 2021.

Japan adopted a plan on Thursday to extend the lifespan of nuclear reactors, replace the old and even build new ones, a major shift in a country scarred by the Fukushima disaster that once planned to phase out atomic power.

North Korean hackers have stolen an estimated 1.5 trillion won (US$1.2 billion) in cryptocurrency and other virtual assets in the past five years, more than half of it this year alone, South Korea's spy agency said Thursday.

Canadian scientists have announced the discovery of a fossil preserved with its last meal, a rare finding that sheds light on what the ancient ecosystem may have looked like.

Canada's entry for best international feature has been knocked out of the competition at next year's Oscars.

Pop singer Justin Bieber lashed out at H&M over clothes featuring the Canadian artist's image and lyrics, saying the Swedish fashion retailer had not obtained his approval.

Sonya Eddy, a veteran actress best known for her performance as nurse Epiphany Johnson on the soap opera 'General Hospital,' has died, the show announced in a tribute post.

Two of Sam Bankman-Fried's top associates secretly pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and are cooperating with investigators, a federal prosecutor announced Wednesday as the digital coin entrepreneur was being flown in FBI custody to the U.S. from the Bahamas.

Crown prosecutors stayed a criminal charge against Marineland in a Niagara, Ont. courtroom Wednesday that alleged the facility was hosting dolphin shows without the authority to do so.

Markets on Wall Street trended modestly lower before the bell early Thursday as the last economic reports of the year trickle in, including a final reading on inflation, which has dogged the the U.S. economy for nearly two years.

On December 17, as the ski grounds of Les Gets opened its doors for the snowy season, it also became the first ski resort in Europe to ban smoking in its entire communal area, or to quote its new campaign slogan: "Les Gets, territory without cigarette butts."

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As Christmas Day approaches, many consumers are still in the midst of holiday shopping. But it pays to watch out for fraudsters and scammers trying to swindle you out of your cash or steal your personal information.

Men can compete in Olympic artistic swimming for the first time at the 2024 Paris Games, World Aquatics said on Thursday.

Franco Harris, the Hall of Fame running back whose heads-up thinking authored 'The Immaculate Reception,' considered the most iconic play in NFL history, has died. He was 72.

The New York Yankees named outfielder Aaron Judge as the 16th captain in franchise history on Wednesday. The 30-year-old signed a nine-year deal worth a reported US$360 million.

One-fifth of all passenger cars, SUVs and trucks sold in Canada in 2026 will need to run on electricity under new regulations Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault proposed Wednesday.

In a major boost for U.S. President Joe Biden's pledge to eliminate gas-powered vehicles from the sprawling federal fleet, the Postal Service said Tuesday it will sharply increase the number of electric-powered delivery trucks — and will go all-electric for new purchases starting in 2026.

The price to fill up your tank in Alberta will drop in the new year, thanks to the UCP government's strategy to suspend the fuel tax.

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