Has the federal by-election kafuffle put the Burlington seat, currently held by Karina Gould, at risk?

By Pepper Parr

July 5th, 2024



Burlington MP Karina Gould is the House Leader for the Liberal party and these days she is a busy women.

Despite officially being on maternity leave Gould made an announcement during the week of an $8.5 million funding in the form of loans to n!Biomachines, Aethon Aerial Solutions, GL Chemtec International, JFE Shoji Power Canada, Merk Automation Inc, and M&G Steel.

The next federal election is going to be a tough one. Should Gould hold the Burlington seat she is there for as long as she wants to be an MP. A Prime Minister as well: Karina Gould has never talked about that role.

At a different media event Gould, as Liberal House leader, said the Liberal caucus will gather in September in Ottawa during which Prime Minister Trudeau will address the concerns Liberal MP’s have with the Toronto St.Paul results.

The loss of the Toronto St Paul riding by-election earlier this month was a shock to the Liberal party that is now in the midst of deep concerns over Justin Trudeau’s statements that he intends to run in the next federal election when it is called. It is currently scheduled for October 2025, however the Prime Minister can call an election at any time.

Christina Alexandra Freeland, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister,  held a meeting of all the Cabinet ministers in the 416 area code and reports that they are unanimous in wanting the Prime Minister to lead the Liberal party when there is an election.

The Prime Minister has said that he will not hold an everyone in the room caucus meeting in the near future, instead holding one on one conversations with individual members of Parliament.

The Prime Minister is taking a pass on attending the Calgary stampede – nothing but bad news for him at that event.

Last week we ran a story on the devastating loss of the Toronto St Paul riding and asked Gould if she thought that had ranked balloting been in place would the Liberals have held the riding?

Ranked balloting has the potential to change in a fundamental way how people are represented in the House of Commons.

Dave Meslin, a leading advocate for a change in the way the Members of Parliament are elected said that had ranked balloting been in place ‘the Liberals would probably have won that Toronto St. Paul by-election.

In December of 2015, an all-party House of Commons committee released a report recommending the Liberals design a proportional representation voting system and hold a national referendum to gauge support.

At the time, the Liberals refused to knowledge a consensus; and in 2017 ,Trudeau directed the minister of democratic institutions, Karina Gould,  to abandon electoral reform altogether.

In 2017 Gould stood before a media scrum and said the government was not going to follow through on its 2015 promise.

We reached out to Gould asking her for a comment on how the Toronto St. Paul by-election result might have been different if ranked balloting had been in place.

Gould responded saying: “Thank you for reaching out. I stand by the decision the federal government made in 2017 not to pursue electoral reform further. There was no consensus at the time as to how to move forward. When doing something as big as changing how we elect governments in this country, there should be a clear call for how to make that change.

“The results in Toronto St Paul’s are certainly disappointing for us as a Liberal Party. However, voters were clear they wanted to send us a message and that message has been heard. We will be taking the summer to reflect and listen to Canadians across the country and come back energized for the year ahead.”

Political pundits, and this country has more than its share, are pitching in with their views. One said is a posting made yesterday that:

Of the 155 Liberal MPs, 100 or more face defeat in next year’s election, a fate their party leadership has been unable to change. Not a single poll has shown federal Liberal support at or above 30 per cent since mid-September, 2023. In June polls pegged the Liberals as low as 21 per cent.

It is exactly those MPs, fuelled by panic without a plan, who are now the greatest threat to the Liberals. The worst possible outcome for their party is not a controlled crash landing that defeats 100 Liberal MPs in next year’s election. Worse would be an uncontrolled descent caused by fighting in the cockpit and disorder everywhere that causes a lot more devastation on impact.

Panic risks an outcome where the Liberals represent Anglo Montreal and few scattered outposts held on anomalous vote splits.

Without any replacement in the wings capable of boosting Liberals back to a competitive position, the smart move is for the Liberals is to turtle-up and protect as much as possible.

Which brings us back to Burlington.  Is the Burlington seat at risk?  Can Gould defeat the Conservative candidate – it looks like Emily Brown will win the nomination – no date yet set for a Conservative nomination meeting.

Related news story:

Ranked balloting – why not?

Would the Liberals have won Toronto St Paul if the ballot counting had been ranked?

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6 comments to Has the federal by-election kafuffle put the Burlington seat, currently held by Karina Gould, at risk?

  • Stewart Schneider

    I think Marc Garneau said it best! Trudeau is all photo op and no substance.

  • Ted Gamble

    I respect Ms. Gould however every Liberal seat is at risk with Trudeau at the helm. The rumour is that Karina will not run and rather opt to challenge for Mayor.

    • Joe Gaetan

      Sure why not, Mike tried that as well. I doubt she could beat MMW and may, based on her time-served in the Liberal spending boot camp, spend even more of our taxpayer dollars.

  • Graham

    These should never be “Forever Jobs”.Trudeau has had enough turns at bat so needs to move on and take many of his cabinet with him.
    All parties seem to run out of well thought out policies after about 8 years in my experience.Time for some new thinking other than endless spending .
    My guess is that the 905 Liberal seats will all turn blue.

  • Charlie Schwartz

    Could we see a change? Sure, Trudeau, has outstayed his welcome, the Liberals need a new leader. Let’s face it the Liberals who wear orange (NDP) are the only thing that keeps him in power.

  • joe gaetan

    Lets see what former Minister Mark Garneau has to say, as Minister Gould has been a stalwart supporter of the Prime Minister and recently his H.O.C. attack dog.

    OTTAWA – Former foreign affairs minister Marc Garneau says Canada has lost its standing in the world under the tenure of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom he criticizes as an ill-prepared leader who prioritizes politics and makes big pronouncements without any follow-through.”

    Source: https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/2024/7/5/canada-s-global-reputation-suffering-under-trudeau–garneau-asse.html

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