(Ottawa) Justin Trudeau's Liberals, in the minority in Parliament, will reach out to the Conservatives this winter “to find common ground on a range of issues,” said Steven MacKinnon, newly sworn in as parliamentary leader , on Monday.
Published at 11:45 am. Updated at 12:51 p.m.
Michel Saba and Émilie Bergeron The Canadian Press
The Gatineau MP took on this role, replacing his colleague Karina Gould for the duration of her maternity leave.
“We're reaching out to them and I as leader am reaching out to them,” MacKinnon said of the Conservatives. He spoke to journalists outside the Governor General's official residence, Rideau Hall, where he took part in the traditional swearing-in ceremony.
When he assured that he was ready to “compromise” even on “fundamental decisions”, to pursue an “open door policy” and to be “open to everything”, the chairman of the House of Representatives did not mince his words Pierre Poilievre's Conservatives.
Shortly before the parliamentary recess, the official opposition forced an election marathon lasting around thirty hours, thereby preventing elected officials from sleeping.
“Those who covered the House of Commons see what is happening. There is nothing that the Conservatives seem to be able to support, even the most trivial things,” believes the Gatineau elected official.
The Conservatives did not respond to a request for comment from The Canadian Press at the time of publication.
When asked about a possible change in strategy to work around possible obstacles, Mr MacKinnon presented the approach already taken as one that is working and will continue.
“I think we have shown both in the committee and in the House that we are listening. We are always here to improve our suggestions. »
The man who until recently held the role of Liberal accused Mr Poilievre's troops of engaging in “obstruction without alternative”.
As for decorum, which is difficult to maintain in the House of Commons, Mr MacKinnon said the Liberals showed “a lot of respect” and “restraint”. In the same breath, he acknowledged with lip service that “we can do better” and that “it is a question of will.”
However, the new minister avoided two subsequent questions about what his team would change in terms of tone, saying instead that the Liberals “will always play by all the rules.”
Steven MacKinnon, MP for Gatineau since 2015, has been head of government since the last general election in 2021.
But in his opinion, January 8, 2024 is “historic” for Gatineau. “The riding, which is about a kilometer from here, has never been represented by a minister in the Canadian Parliament, which is a pretty incredible fact,” he said.
Mr MacKinnon announced on Monday that Brampton North MP Ruby Sahota would temporarily replace him in his usual duties as party representative.
Previously, the Gatineau elected official served as parliamentary secretary to several ministers responsible for public services and procurement.