OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s already tough re-election bid got tougher this week when the country’s ethics watchdog delivered a scathing rebuke less than 10 weeks before the October vote.
Independent ethics commissioner Mario Dion on Wednesday said Trudeau improperly pressured his former attorney general to spare engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group from a corruption trial.
Scandal - February - Trudeau - Conservative - Rival
The scandal, which first erupted in February, helped catapult Trudeau’s Conservative rival, Andrew Scheer, to the top in polls for several months. Recently, with no new developments or headlines, Liberal Party support was recovering.
But Wednesday’s 63-page report, chock full of new details about the saga, provides fresh ammunition to Scheer and further undermines Trudeau’s narrative, which is that he is a young and dynamic progressive on a mission to “do things differently” and more transparently in Ottawa.
Issue - Liberal - Party - Canada - Asset
“The big issue for the Liberal Party of Canada is that this undercuts their top asset – the prime minister’s brand,” said Darrell Bricker, head of polling company Ipsos Public Affairs. “It’s what won the last election. He IS their strategy.”
Konrad Yakabuski, a columnist for the Globe and Mail – the country’s most influential newspaper – was more blunt: “Mr. Trudeau may not get a second term.”
Pollsters - Damage - Report - Polls - Scheer
It’s too early for pollsters to measure the damage, but before the report most polls had Scheer slightly leading or tied with Trudeau, while the Liberals were gaining momentum in the...
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