Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has rejected the notion of stepping down from his position despite a decrease in his support and the growing strength of the Conservative opposition.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday (Sept. 13), Trudeau told reporters he had ‘more work to do.’
“The next elections are two years away. I’m continuing to do my job. There’s a lot of important work to do, to deliver for Canadians in these difficult moments. I remain enthusiastic and relentless with regards to this work,” he said in French.
His comments come hot on the heels of his disastrous trip to India in the wake of the G20 summit, which saw host India deliver a stern message to Ottawa on the issue of so-called Khalistan, a separate homeland demanded by Sikh extremists in the north Indian state of Punjab.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly scolded him for his tacit support to anti-India violent elements back home.
Since then, he has been at the receiving end of severe criticism both from Canadian media and conservative opposition. He has been accused of jeopardising Canada’s ties with one of the world’s largest economies only to score political points at home.
Trudeau successfully led the Liberal Party to victory in the 2015 federal elections, putting an end to nearly a decade of Conservative-led governments. However, his popularity has since waned due to increasing concerns about factors like high inflation, skyrocketing housing expenses, and other pressing issues.
Moreover, Trudeau faced significant public backlash regarding his management of COVID-19 lockdown measures and other public health policies throughout Canada. He became a frequent target of anti-vaccine demonstrators and right-wing politicians.
According to a late August Abacus Data poll, 56 per cent of Canadians believed that Trudeau should step aside and allow someone else to assume leadership of the party, while only 27 per cent supported the idea of him running for office again.
Trudeau under attack in Canada
Canada’s leading newspaper, The Toronto Sun, on September 10 published a front page with the headline ‘This Way Out’, featuring Modi gesturing for Trudeau to move ahead after a handshake at Bharat Mandapam, the G20 venue. The newspaper also reported that Trudeau is finding few friends at the G20 summit in India.
Conservative Canadian Media Rebel News reported that PM “Justin Trudeau has embarrassed Canada in India a second time after becoming the centre of attention, but for all the wrong reasons.”