Style over Substance

In his recent revealing interview, former Finance Minister Bill Morneau confirmed what most Canadians already recognize: that Justin Trudeau’s style over substance approach is not merely our perception but is, in fact, the order of the day.
In his sit down with CTV Question Period host Vassy Kepelos, Morneau explained how Justin Trudeau’s COVID-19 response was based on “scoring political points” rather than “policy rationales.”
Morneau explained how Trudeau and his advisors were/are much more concerned with how things would be perceived—particularly by targeted voting demographics and those in the media—than in rational policies.
Morneau resigned amid the WE Charity scandal in August of 2020, though, according to him, his position as Finance Minister under Justin Trudeau had long since become untenable.
According to Morneau there had been “tension during their entire time in office.” These tensions ramped up when Trudeau expected Morneau to essentially “rubber stamp” fiscal policies related to COVID-19 “overspending” (Morneau’s word) and, in some cases, engaged in end runs around Finance altogether.
While it is obvious that his critiques of his former boss are part of an attempt to resurrect his own tarnished image (and ensure blame for Canada’s current financial mess sits firmly with the Prime Minister), Morneau’s interview did offer insight into the way this Prime Minster works.
His meeting with the PM at Rideau Cottage (when he resigned) was one of the “very few” times the two had been able to have a frank private conversation. According to Morneau, meetings without advisors in the room simply don’t happen with Trudeau.
“Virtually any topic you wanted to discuss with the Prime Minister—official or informal, strategy or gossip—had to be shared in the presence of members of his staff.”
(That’s assuming you can get a meeting at all.)
Morneau’s revelations support the unflattering portrait of Trudeau that others who have left his orbit have already painted.
Above all, Morneau confirms the PM’s obsession with virtue signaling and identity politics. That for the Trudeau Liberals, policymaking is a one-ingredient recipe: how will it play with their targeted demographics (including those in the national media).
Political expedience rarely makes for good public policy. Rarely has this been shown more clearly than the government’s response to COVID-19.
Morneau summed up the issue well:
“Good policy can be good politics…[but] it requires strong leadership.”
Despite the best attempts by Mr. Trudeau’s staff and his boosters in the national media, the past year has further proved the vast void of leadership under this Prime Minister.
Canadians are ready for real leadership. Leadership focused not on polls and self-promotion but on people.
The Liberals see groups of Canadians as the problem. Conservatives see Canadians as our nation’s greatest potential.
Conservatives are listening. We understand the issues facing Canadian families, and we are ready to lead.
We will continue to hold this government to account and offer commonsense solutions that are focused on the needs of Canadians.