An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU is scheduled to be in town tonight and it promises to be a very different set of circumstances than the last time he was here in January.
Back then, he was greeted by hundreds of placard-waving protesters during a party fundraising luncheon, and harangued during a town-hall meeting at TRU. He distinguished himself at that event by the cool, extremely patient manner in which he dealt with them.
This time, Trudeau will attend the Liberal party’s nomination meeting for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo that will pick Terry Lake as the candidate.
In January, the protests only confirmed Trudeau’s position, and that of his party, as the ones to beat in the federal election set for October. “His to lose,” was the way some pundits put it. Sure, the pipeline controversy was causing him a headache, but it’s nothing like the SNC-Lavelin train wreck since then.
Back in January, the protesters represented the most strident and the loudest of those who oppose him. They didn’t reflect the feelings of the moderate majority.
Now, it’s a different story. It will be surprising if there are no placards and chanting outside the hotel where the Liberal nomination meeting is being held tonight. The same pros and cons to the pipeline will no doubt be in evidence, along with more insulting messages about his personal integrity and so on.
But what must worry the Liberals now is the underlying change in attitude towards Trudeau.
In January, there were hopes the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo seat could be won, with the help of a leader who was still popular. In May, it’s no longer at all clear that Trudeau’s presence will prove to be a help in this riding, and in many others across the country.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.