Could pharmacare be the pill that heals the ailing Trudeau government?

Could pharmacare be the pill that heals the ailing Trudeau government?

By Shachi Kurl – Executive Director

There are headaches, and there are brain tumours. While pollsters’ steady drip of bad headlines are surely causing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his government and advisers no end of cranial pain, what’s yet to be diagnosed is whether they’re temporarily concussed, or incurably diseased.

The federal government didn’t exactly start the year in the pink. Cumulative injuries from last fall weren’t fully healed. Then the Liberals failed to vaccinate themselves on that ill-fated trip to India against bad judgment, bad optics and bad execution on a promise of closer trade ties (something the majority of Canadians wanted). Where ease and grace points initially defined the Trudeau mandate, his government now looks clumsy, laboured and for the first time, dangerously close to real trouble.

After weeks of criticism over his style (literally!) and with so much of the national conversation focused on his sliding fortunes, Trudeau still has a route to recovery. Perceived success on some key, substantive issues could turn things around.

The first involves continuing the dexterity that this government has previously employed in dealing with Donald Trump and the trade file. On that front, there may be glimmers of at least temporary success. In the wake of a full-court press by the prime minister and senior cabinet members, it appears Canada might win an exemption on steel and aluminum tariffs.

By shifting the focus back to NAFTA, Trudeau is no longer the goat, answering uncomfortable questions from the opposition, but the hero, saving the country’s economy – for now – from a man towards whom few Canadians hold any goodwill.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site, where it was initially published.