Trudeau says it’s worth ‘pointing out’ similarities between Scheer and Harper

The Liberal party put the Harper stamp on Scheer the day he was elected leader of the Conservative party

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Andrew Scheer’s Conservative party is in the exact same place it was under Stephen Harper’s leadership and that’s why he and his Liberals will continue “pointing out” the similarities.

The Liberal party put the Harper stamp on Scheer the day he was elected leader of the Conservative party, billing him as a far-right social conservative. The Liberals raise Harper frequently and drop his name in fundraising emails to supporters.

“We are focused on what is truly important while Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are stepping up the same divisive and negative politics we saw from Stephen Harper,” wrote Liberal party president Suzanne Cowan in an email blast sent this week.

In an interview, Trudeau told The Canadian Press that the Conservative party’s approach to a range of issues shows that it does not have plans or ideas that differ from Harper’s.

“Canadians so clearly rejected Stephen Harper’s approach to government, the approach in the 2015 election, and yet on climate, on the economy, on international engagement, on migration issues, on Indigenous issues, they are very much still in the exact same mode that they were pre the 2015 election.”

“I think that’s sort of something that is worthwhile pointing out to Canadians,” said Trudeau.

In almost the same breath Trudeau said that in the next election he’s not going to try to “vilify” or “demonize” his opponents. But he suggested that he doesn’t view his comparison of Scheer to Harper as vilifying him.

Trudeau said when he was emphasizing his “sunny ways” during the last campaign, people were quick to point out any time he said something critical of Harper. But, he said, he’s going to be very sharp any time there are clear distinctions of policy between him and Scheer, or when he thinks Conservatives are trying to divide the country.

“I will make no apologies for being very passionate, sometimes overly enthusiastic, in the way I engage in robust debate but I am as much as possible going to keep it on a substantive level.”

He also said Scheer himself has not been able to articulate his differences from his predecessor. He pointed to an Assembly of First Nations meeting earlier this year where a chief directly asked Scheer how he’s different from Harper and Scheer asked for “a little bit of patience for when our platform gets released.”

Brock Harrison, a spokesman for Scheer, said if anyone is stuck in 2015, it’s Trudeau.

“He wants to re-fight the 2015 campaign because virtually everything he and his government have done since then has been a failure,” said Harrison, adding that Trudeau will have to explain why he’s “failed to balance the budget, secure the border, build pipelines, and provide relief for Canadian families.”

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre made similar comments in an interview recently, suggesting Trudeau points to Harper to deflect from his faults and because he’s feeling nervous about his chief opponent.

“You know the fact that he keeps trying to change the channel from Scheer is probably a good indication that he’s afraid of running against Scheer,” he said.

Poilievre said Trudeau uses the strategy to avoid taking responsibility for his own “failures,” and that whenever he’s asked about something he quickly deflects.

“It doesn’t have to be Stephen Harper, it can be anyone. But it’s the No. 1 rhetorical technique he employs — to quickly change the subject to another human being as soon as he is caught in trouble or failing. So we expect more of that, it’s actually a common tactic among privileged trust-fund babies.”

Janice Dickson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

TELUS to install fibre in Nelson

New cable will be in place this year

Nelson wins first round of Strong Towns competition

Voting ends at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 28

Vancouver choir with Nelson roots ‘will fill your heart’

Group directed by three Corazón alumni performs this week in Nelson

Nelson author launches Grocery Story April 7

New book about consumer-owned grocery stores pulls back the curtain on the grocery giants

Cottonwood Lake group applauds RDCK purchase but wants to buy more

Purchased forest covers 33 per cent of land to be logged

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read