Support is going in the wrong direction for Erin O’Toole, despite Trudeau’s gaffes

Support is going in the wrong direction for Erin O’Toole, despite Trudeau’s gaffes

By Shachi Kurl, President

We’ve all had a high school lab partner like Justin Trudeau. You know, he’s the guy who promises his contribution to the big group project this term will be building a mechanized, programmable, drone-controlled model of the solar system. But all the work he’s shown to-date amounts to some pictures of planets he cut out of the encyclopedia he borrowed from the library on your card. He insists he’ll get it all done, but it makes you mad enough to kick him out of your group. Still, everyone else wants to keep him. What is even happening?

This parallels exactly what is going on after weeks of deteriorating news about Canada’s COVID-19 distribution plan. Rather than ramp up receivables from European vaccine producers, Canadians watch delivery grind to a halt. Instead of producing vaccine domestically, like the United States, we’ll wait until 2022 for such capability. Notwithstanding a public health infrastructure once the envy of the world, Canada slips to 33rd worldwide in doses administered. Despite the distinction of being a net global vaccine donor, we suffer the shame of taking from COVAX, the vaccine-sharing initiative meant to assist developing nations.

Little wonder that recent weeks saw certainty in the federal government’s ability to secure and distribute precious vaccine plummet. Since December, and Trudeau’s much-ballyhooed announcement that jabs were coming soon, the number of Canadians who say his government has done a “bad job” of securing vaccines has nearly doubled. Over the same period, confidence in that same body’s ability to effectively distribute doses to the provinces dropped from 58 to 45 per cent.

Yet the prime minister’s political fortunes barely suffer. His own personal approval remains at 50 per cent, which, after five years in the bruising political arena, is no small feat. His party continues to lead in vote intention polls. The Angus Reid Institute recently found the federal Liberals five points ahead of the opposition Conservatives. Other polls have been even more bullish.

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