‘It really sucks right now’: Trudeau Acknowledges Public Discontent

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently fielded a variety of questions at the New York Times office during a trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. In the interview, Trudeau talked about the prevailing mood among Canadians and citizens in Western nations and candidly acknowledged the widespread dissatisfaction, characterizing the current situation as “tough.” 

“It really sucks right now. Like, everything sucks for people, even in Canada. We’re supposed to be polite and nice, but, man, people are mad,” he said, addressing the mood of Canadian voters and voters in other Western countries. “People are mad at governments because things aren’t going all that well and people are worried. So, yeah, it’s a tough time.”

But Trudeau went on to express his belief in an impending turnaround, citing decreasing inflation and anticipated interest rate reductions in the coming year. He also highlighted the government’s commitment to substantial investments in housing as a potential avenue for improvement.

“We know things are going to start getting better. Inflation is coming down. We think interest rates are going to start coming down probably middle of next year. We’re launching massive housing investments. Hopefully, people are going to start seeing things get better,” he said without elaborating on the plans.

At some point, it seemed like the Prime Minister finally realized what the problem was, but he shifted into talking about optimism.

“People are anxious because that promise of progress no longer seems to hold. A sense of optimism is gone right now — or it’s at least really strained. There are challenges that people are facing that are undermining our sense that our institutions, that our democracies are actually functioning well.”

He expressed concern about the dwindling sense of progress and optimism, attributing it to the rise of populism and the mistrust of experts and facts. 

“When you can’t put food on the table, when you’re scared to walk down the street, you’re more likely to vote for a strongman that says, ‘Everything’s going to be OK, even if I’m going to take away some of your freedoms or some of your rights.’”

“That’s the thing that worries me,” he said. “The way to solve that isn’t to come out with better slogans. It’s to actually solve the challenge of people being optimistic about the future and feeling: Oh, there is a path for me to be successful.”

Trudeau was right about one thing — that people are struggling to put food on their table. Sadly, optimism isn’t going to fix that. In an earlier engagement at the Global Progress Action Summit in Montreal, the Prime Minister also expressed that he knows where the disconnect is, saying:

“If we’re not responding to where people are, (in their) daily life, then we’re not going to be connecting with them,” Trudeau told the panel at the event. But then he asserted that optimism about the future through long-term actions such as fighting climate change can be presented as solutions to “present challenges” such as affordability crisis many Canadians are already currently drowning in.

As CP24 reported, “The goal, he said, is ‘getting people to be optimistic about the future but also comforted in their present challenges’ by presenting progressive aims, such as an inclusive economy and fighting climate change, as solutions to affordability issues.”

Trudeau’s approval rating

The Angus Reid Institute’s Trudeau Tracker shows that 63% of Canadians disapprove of the Prime Minister in September, coming from 59% in June, and 55% in May.

Via the Angus Reid Institute

The September figure is the third-highest following the 64% in January 2020 just after the election, and 65% in March 2019.

Information for this story was found via the New York Times, CP24, Angus Reid Institute, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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