EDITORIAL: Prime minister’s visit to Kamloops the start of campaign

Consider Wednesday, Jan. 9, the start of the federal election campaign as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Kamloops to begin a series of cross-country town halls.

Trudeau will hold a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. in the old gym at Thompson Rivers University. It is free to attend and he will apparently choose people at random when seeking questions from the audience.

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The town hall will be preceded by a fundraising lunch for his Liberal Party of Canada.On Thursday, the prime minister and his large entourage will head to Regina to do it all over again as we march toward the Oct. 21 federal election.

That Trudeau would start the campaign in Kamloops is not surprising. In the 2015 election, Steve Powrie received the most votes ever by a Liberal candidate in Kamloops and, had about 3,000 ABC (anybody but Conservative) voters read the political winds correctly and switched their vote to Powrie from New Democrat Bill Sundhu, the Grits would have won the riding, rather than have the Liberals and NDP split the vote and give Conservative Cathy McLeod the victory.

Since being elected under his “sunny ways” mantra, Trudeau has found many cloudy skies, from breaking his biggest promise to adopt proportional representation and rid Canada of the first-past-the-post voting system to what many First Nations see as inaction on promises to improve the lives of Indigenous people.

The prime minister has consistently answered Opposition questions in the House of Commons with non-answers, emulating behaviour of political leaders he has in the past criticized.

As of Tuesday, the prime minister’s communications director told KTW there has been no confirmation of media availability in Kamloops with Canada’s leader.

Perhaps, then, we will hear Trudeau offer honest answers to questions posed by ordinary Canadians on Wednesday night at Thompson Rivers University.

© Kamloops This Week

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