Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference in Ottawa, Wednesday October 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference in Ottawa, Wednesday October 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Trudeau regrets negative tone of campaign, promises co-operation ahead

He also said there were a lot of issues that did not get fully discussed amid the smears and attacks

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed regret Wednesday for the nastiness of the federal election campaign and vowed to find a way to work co-operatively with other parties in the next Parliament.

Trudeau was sent back to Ottawa with a diminished government in Monday’s vote, winning the most seats but not enough to form a majority government. He said he has no plans to establish a formal coalition with any other parties, but that he heard loud and clear the message Canadians sent him.

“Canadians gave me a lot to think about on Monday night,” he said, adding that voters’ expectations are that his government work with other parties on key priorities of affordability and climate change.

“I am going to take the time necessary to really reflect on how best to serve Canadians and how to work with those other parties. I think that’s what the people who voted for me and the people who didn’t vote for me expect.”

Trudeau and other leaders, including Conservative Andrew Scheer and the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh, were all criticized for delivering post-election victory speeches on Monday night that brimmed with the same divisive rhetoric that soured most of the previous 40-day campaign.

Trudeau appeared Wednesday to attempt a more conciliatory tone as he seeks a way to keep his minority government afloat.

“I think many of us regret the tone and the divisiveness and the disinformation that were all too present features of this past election campaign,” he said. ”I think Canadians expect us to work together, to listen to each other, to figure out a way to move forward that isn’t as divisive and challenging as this election was.”

READ MORE: Climate and pipeline are priorities after election, Trudeau says

He also said there were a lot of issues that did not get fully discussed amid the smears and attacks.

“I recognize that much of this campaign tended to be around me and I do hold a bit of responsibility for that,” he said. “But this Parliament and this government will be, and needs to be, focused on Canadians.”

Being a government for all Canadians will be more challenging for Trudeau since he will have no MPs from Alberta or Saskatchewan in his caucus or cabinet. Only 15 of the 157 seats the Liberals won on Monday are west of Ontario: four in Winnipeg, and 11 in Vancouver and its suburbs.

In contrast, the Conservatives got more votes in Alberta than they did in Quebec and all of Atlantic Canada combined. The party failed to elect a single MP in Newfoundland and Labrador, or Prince Edward Island.

Trudeau said he has already spoken to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, as well as big city mayors in those provinces, to figure out the best way to overcome those divisions and ensure their provinces have a voice in his government.

“I think any government needs to make sure that it is hearing from every corner of the country,” he said.

In the past, prime ministers have looked to the Senate to fill the void if a province or region was unrepresented in their caucus, but Trudeau’s policy of not having senators in the Liberal caucus and only appointing independents makes that much harder for him.

Trudeau said he will name his new cabinet on Nov. 20, but did not give a date for a return of Parliament or a throne speech. In 2015, he named his cabinet 16 days after election day, and recalled Parliament four weeks after that.

Trudeau’s opponents have criticized him for refusing to compromise while he led a majority government. On Wednesday, he could not name a specific instance where he had compromised when asked to do so.

He did suggest the onus is not just on the Liberals to be more conciliatory, saying he expects opposition MPs, particularly “progressive parties,” to support the government on areas of common ground, such as cutting taxes for the middle-class.

Trudeau said such legislation will be the “very first thing we will do.”

Cancelling the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion however, is not something he intends to put on the table as a carrot to entice the NDP or Greens to support his government.

Green leader Elizabeth May said she would not support any government that is building new pipelines. Singh stopped short of drawing a line in the sand over Trans Mountain.

“We made the decision to move forward with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion because it was in Canada’s interest to do so,” he said. “We will be continuing with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.”

Scheer has said it is up to Trudeau to work with the provinces and opposition parties over the coming months, while Singh has said he wants Trudeau to address his party’s key priorities in exchange for New Democrat support.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack School District school bus outside Sardis elementary on June 11, 2014. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
COVID-19 exposures on three school buses in Chilliwack

Exposure dates range from Nov. 13 to 19, according to letters sent out by Fraser Health

File photo
Outdoor recreation generates close to $1 billion annually in Fraser Valley: report

Camping, hiking and sportfishing generate the most spending, report finds

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

The Santa Photos event will not continue at Highstreet Shopping Centre after Fraser Health asked organizers to suspend the event after new restrictions. (Highstreet photo)
Santa Photos at Abbotsford’s Highstreet Shopping Centre event suspended

Fraser Health Authority asked Highstreet to suspend event following new restrictions

A vehicle incident is blocking all lanes west of 216th Street on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langley on Nov. 27, 2020. Traffic is getting by only on the shoulder. (DriveBC photo)
UPDATE: New incident on Highway 1 in Langley, crashes involving 10 cars cleared

New incident is reported eastbound underneath the 216th Street overpass

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read