I witnessed in the House of Commons a day that could be pivotal for both the Conservative Party and the government.
Yesterday the Conservatives and Leader Rona Ambrose had enough of Justin Trudeau, his Ministers and their canned responses to Question Period.
Let’s set the stage. Lakeland Alberta MP Shannon Stubbs asked the Prime Minister about the loss of 200 jobs with the closing of the Immigration Canada office in Vegreville Alberta. The government has said it will offer all 200 employees a position in the new Edmonton office over 100 kilometers and one hour away from their homes.
Take a look at the moment I think could redefine how the Conservatives can be seen as an effective oppositition and a government in waiting.
In an unplanned moment during Question Period, the effects of the Opposition Leader calling out the Prime Minister for not caring and not paying attention to questions directed at him could be huge. In the house Trudeau was called onto the carpet by the Vice-Principal for not caring, letting his Ministers do all his talking with talking points and nothing original to say since Election Day in 2015.
The Conservatives now have to hold the government to account for not only for their actions, but for how they communication to Canadians. The Conservatives must demand more from the government on messaging and information and if the government does not then it is back to woodshed and another episode like yesterday.
Two challenges the Conservatives must face are to keep the pressure on the government in the manner that was displayed by their Interim Leader. The second is much more difficult, whoever becomes the Conservative Leader MUST learn from days in the house like this. Decorum in the House is all fine and good, but letting the government get away with talking points, answers that don’t match or answer a question must end. The new leader must be prepared to make Trudeau accountable for the poor performance of his Ministers AND defend the respect deserved of members of the opposition in the manner demostrated by Rona Ambrose.
This moment in what should have been a routine question turned into a moment where the Conservatives might be able to say that they are energized to defeat Trudeau and the Liberals in 2019.
I hope that ALL Conservative Leadership candidates have seen the video from Question Period and everyone should use this as a lesson as to how to treat the Liberals with every single question – take no prisoners and take no answer that consists of talking points or does not even come close to what was asked.
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