Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said while speaking at the Global Progress Action Summit in Montreal that there’s a growing tide of opposition to progressive political policies.
“What it comes down to is [citizens] are having trouble paying a mortgage, they can’t find an affordable apartment, grocery bills are going up,” Mr. Trudeau said during the Sept. 16 event.
“They’re worried about the future in general, and specifically for them and their kids. And progressives come and talk about, ‘Oh, we need to build a better world.’ If we’re not responding to what people are saying, then we’re not going to be connecting.”
Mr. Trudeau spoke on a panel that included Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr, Jacinda Ardern, and Sanna Marin, the former prime ministers of New Zealand and Finland, respectively.
Mr. Trudeau says growing Canada’s middle class—which was a cornerstone of the Liberal Party’s election campaign in 2015—remains a priority, and he championed his Liberal government’s economic policies, one of which is the Canada Child Benefit.
He also says his government’s commitment to reconciliation with indigenous groups isn’t solely for moral reasons.
“We knew that if we’re going to be able to get pipelines or new mines for lithium, or whatever, that we’re going to need as resources in the world built, we needed to do it in trust and in partnership with indigenous groups who no longer trust—with good reason—the Canadian government,” Mr. Trudeau said.
The 2023 Global Progress Action Summit was organized by Canada 2020 and involved political leaders, policy experts, and other stakeholders in the global political arena representing 15 countries.
Canada 2020 is a think-tank founded in 2006 that espouses politically progressive policy ideas and includes advisory board chair Mark Carney, a former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor.
Liberals under Mr. Trudeau have been embattled of late, with the Conservatives opening a double-digit lead in the polls. According to Abacus Data, if an election were held today, 41 percent of voters would support the Conservatives, followed by the Liberals at 26 percent, the NDP at 18 percent, and the Bloc Québécois at 6 percent.