LILLEY: Canadians give Trudeau a lump of coal for Christmas

As PM celebrates Christmas and his birthday, hundreds of thousands of Canadians tell him it’s time to go.

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Hundreds of thousands of Canadians gave Justin Trudeau a lump of coal in his Christmas stocking and they definitely weren’t wishing him a happy birthday.

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As the Prime Minister celebrated his 52nd birthday on Christmas Day, an electronic petition on Parliament’s website came to a close.

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In total, 386,698 people signed the petition calling for Trudeau to be removed from office.

“We the citizens of Canada have lost confidence in Justin Trudeau and the Liberal/NDP coalition,” the online petition reads.

“We call on the house for a vote of no confidence. We ask for an election 45 days after the vote if won.”

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The petition – launched by Melissa Outwater from Peterborough, Ont., and sponsored by Peterborough-Kawartha Conservative MP Michelle Ferreri – stated that the government isn’t acting in the best interests of Canadians.

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“The policies of this government aren’t aligning with the crisis Canada is facing: housing costs, infringement of civil liberties, highest inflation in history, unbalanced immigration policies, taxation to the point of poverty, weakening of our economy by importing natural resources that Canada already has and under-utilizes,” the petition states.

Despite being promoted heavily on social media as an “important” document and something “all Canadians must sign” the petition actually carries no weight. Having received as many signatures as it has, the government is required to present an official response to the House of Commons withing 45 sitting days but that’s about it.

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The petition cannot and will not force a vote of non-confidence in the House. Even if the petition were able to force a vote in the Commons, the Trudeau Liberals would still win it thanks to the support of the NDP and perhaps the Bloc Quebecois.

MPs engaged in a marathon voting session lasting more than 30 hours that included several votes of non-confidence in the government and the Liberals survived every single one.

“The numbers are symbolic in many ways, but they are very valuable because they elevate your voice and they send a message that you are unhappy,” Ferreri said in an online video posted earlier this month.

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When it closed at midnight on Christmas Eve, e-petition 4701 became the most signed e-petition in Canadian history. The previous record holder on that front was 4649, which garnered 286,719 signatures calling for Canada to demand an immediate ceasefire in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

It’s not the kind of news Trudeau would want to ponder on Christmas Day, his birthday, but its par for the course as we close out 2023.

The Trudeau Liberals haven’t had a good year, especially not the tail end of 2023 where polls have consistently put the Liberals well behind Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives. Trudeau’s Liberals haven’t held a lead in a national poll since May 29 when Leger had them at 33% voter support to 31% for the Conservatives.

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The most recent Leger poll, released two weeks ago, had the Conservatives at 38% voter support to 28% for the Liberals. That’s one of the more generous polls of late for Trudeau and his team.

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Despite the Liberals continually claiming over the past several weeks that Poilievre is having a bad week or turning voters off, the polls don’t back that up. Polling aggregator 338 Canada puts the average of the all the national polls at 39% for the Conservatives, 27% for the Liberals and 19% for the NDP.

If an election were held today, 338 Canada’s Philippe J. Fournier projects that the Conservatives would win 191 seats, the Liberals 83, the Bloc 34, the NDP 28 and the Greens two.

Those numbers show that it’s more than just those Canadians who signed the petition who want Trudeau gone.

Still, in several year-end interviews, Trudeau made it clear he has no plans to step down and, in fact, says he has unfinished business in his job as prime minister.

Unless something changes soon, Trudeau may regret not taking that walk in the snow over Christmas.

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