Chantal Hebert writes this morning that the Trudeau government is showing signs of being all hat and no cattle. She offers four examples:
Second only to that of the prime minister, the credibility of the finance minister is an asset that must be preserved at all costs. That is even truer in the case of a government led by a prime minister with limited economic credentials. This week in the House of Commons, the Bill Morneau-Trudeau tandem came across as less than the sum of its parts.
With the date of his first budget still to be announced, the finance minister looked like a deer caught in the opposition headlights as he used recycled talking points to evade questions as to the government’s thinking on Canada’s fiscal state.
The Bombardier file was sitting on Trudeau’s desk on the day he moved in the prime minister’s office. After almost four months, the prime minister should have more to offer than evasive answers.If Trudeau feels that Bombardier’s call for yet another financial lifeline is final proof that Canada cannot continue to try to hold its own in the global aerospace industry, he should say so and cut the government’s losses. Down the hall from the House of Commons, the Senate is spinning its wheels as its members try to divine how the Liberal government sees the way forward now that it has decided to keep the place at arm’s-length. They may soon turn to an Ouija board.
A senator tasked with representing the government in the upper house has yet to be appointed. That was initially expected to happen in late January. A month later, Trudeau’s new appointment process has yet to result in a nomination. Meanwhile more than a few Senate veterans are at a loss to figure out how the government is planning to get its bills through an upper house peopled with opposition and independent members in a timely manner.
The indigenous file is central to the Liberal agenda but the upcoming inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women was never meant to be its centerpiece policy.Government-led consultations as to its terms of reference were supposed to ensure a result-oriented mandate.
But the consultations have led Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett to conclude that the tragedy is greater than she initially believed. As a result, the actual purpose the government has in mind for this exercise is even less clear today than when it was sworn in last year.
As Finance Minister, Paul Martin earned a reputation for making tough decisions. But as Prime Minister, he soon earned the nickname Mr. Dithers. It would be tragic if Mr. Trudeau also earned that moniker.