Amid His Biggest Scandal Yet, Justin Trudeau Goes on Climate Change Offensive

Trudeau, who is facing calls for his resignation, is attacking Conservative leader Andrew Scheer for his lack of a climate change plan.

|
05 March 2019, 8:30am

Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer. 

This article originally appeared on VICE CA.

In the wake of the SNC-Lavalin scandal that has rocked Justin Trudeau’s government, it seems the embattled prime minister is hoping to switch the conversation to something that casts him in a better light.

On Monday evening, Trudeau will be launching a series of climate change ads with a rally in Toronto, the Canadian Press reports. The radio ads focus on the available carbon tax rebates and will air in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Ontario starting Tuesday.

"Climate change is a real and serious problem," Trudeau says in the ads, according to the Canadian Press . "We have a strong plan to fight it, one that leading scientists and economists support. It makes polluters pay and gives the money back to people."

The rally and ads are part of a cross-Canada tour where Trudeau, environment minister Catherine McKenna, and other MPs will speak on the issue.

While a Liberal spokesperson told the Canadian Press the ads have been planned for months, it’s obvious this is a battleground where Trudeau will fare better than he has with the SNC-Lavalin affair. The last few weeks—in which the prime minister has been accused of improperly pressuring former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to interfere in the criminal prosecution of the Quebec company and demoting her to veterans affairs after she didn’t comply—has been the worst period of Trudeau’s time as leader. Trudeau’s right-hand man, Gerald Butts, resigned but denied he improperly pressured Wilson-Raybould on the file.

The scandal has cast Trudeau in a new light for many, given his promises of a modern, transparent government, and will likely be the main attack used by the Conservatives leading into this year’s elections.

“Justin Trudeau simply cannot continue to govern this great nation now that Canadians know what he has done,” reads the statement Scheer issued after Wilson-Raybould’s explosive testimony at the justice committee last week.

Not surprisingly, Trudeau used his ads as an opportunity to attack Conservative leader Andrew Scheer for his weak stance on climate change, saying, “some politicians want to go back to the Harper years when pollution was free.

“We have to do better than that. Our kids are counting on us.“

Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.