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Trudeau Confident in Leadership Role, Believes He Still Has Much to Contribute: Report

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’ll remain as leader of the Liberal Party, despite his government facing an uphill battle, according to an interview given to Quebec media.

“There is no doubt for me that yes, I continue, I have to keep going, and I still have a lot to offer,” Mr. Trudeau told online media La Presse on Dec. 7. “I still have a place in politics.”
Questions about the prime minister’s future have grown louder in recent months with polls showing Conservatives building a solid lead. The latest Abacus Data poll has the Tories 19 points ahead of the Liberals, clearly in majority territory.

“For sure there is a certain momentum, an interest, for Conservatives,” said Mr. Trudeau, adding that the party is “taking a lot of space right now.”

The prime minister added that “everything is difficult currently” and that it’s understandable that people ascribe responsibility for those difficulties to the government.

Mr. Trudeau said he expects to see through his minority term, which is bolstered by the supply-and-confidence agreement with the NDP. This would take him to 2025. The election at that time will offer a “choice similar to the one in 2015,” said the prime minister.

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Mr. Trudeau was referencing the choice voters must make about which direction the country should go. One of those choices will be continuing to pursue actions meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or reducing cost-of-living pressures.

Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre has already pledged the next election would be on carbon pricing, a measure meant to encourage Canadians to reduce their use of hydrocarbons, despite the 16 percent inflation the Bank of Canada says the tax has caused.

Meanwhile the Liberals are dedicated to accomplishing their climate change agenda, having announced new emissions cap on the oil and gas sector this week at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

And after implementing a three-year pause on the carbon tax applying to heating oil, an affordability measure that mostly applies to the Atlantic provinces, Mr. Trudeau said other exemptions are out of the question.

This explains the current showdown in the House of Commons, with Conservatives forcing marathon voting in retaliation for their carbon tax exemption bill for farmers being blocked in the Senate.

The Tories are also targeting what they say are the Liberal’s inflationary deficits, with the government’s latest budget update not aiming for balance any time soon.

Mr. Trudeau defended to La Presse his fiscal record, saying he always tables “responsible” budgets.

“We understand that this is what allows us to help people during difficult times,” the prime minister said, adding that “a balanced budget is not an end in itself.”

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