The Conservative Party of Canada opted for a less-than-conciliatory tone for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he shuffled his cabinet on Tuesday.
Candice Bergen, the Opposition House leader issued a statement shortly after a swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, calling the announcement a desperate attempt by Trudeau to “change the channel” from a string of winter controversies.
“Changing the faces of the cabinet will not change the Prime Minister’s bad judgment and fundamentally flawed direction for the country,” she said in the release.
Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen stand in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Nov. 18, 2016. (Photo: The Canadian Press)
Bergen made no mention of the six MPs awarded new portfolios.
The Tory MP criticized Trudeau for hobnobbing with the rich instead of dedicating himself to “real work.” She claimed Liberal government decisions have “made life more expensive and are killing jobs.”
She added, “We know that the Prime Minister desperately wants to change the channel on his cash-for-access dinners, outlandish holidays and out-of-control spending. However shuffling the cabinet deck by replacing a few ministers simply won't do it.”
Bergen acknowledged the incoming Donald Trump administration and the possibility Canada may face increased U.S. protectionist measures with change in power.
She called it a “new reality” that Trudeau should take seriously.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Jan. 10. (Photo: Chris Wattie/Reuters)
So far, the Trudeau government has struck a diplomatic tone with Trump, despite the president-elect’s increased rhetoric related to a threat to implement “big” border taxes to protect the U.S. economy.
While the House has been on winter break, the Conservative Party has been busy attacking Trudeau for his high-profile lifestyle as prime minister, calling him out for his “abuse of tax dollars.”
The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed last week that Trudeau would reimburse airfare for himself and his family for a trip they took over the holidays to the Aga Khan’s private Bahamian island.
Tory leadership candidate Andrew Scheer has asked the ethics watchdog to investigate if the trip broke conflict rules.
Last month, the prime minister riled opposition parties after he admitted that he’s lobbied on government-related business during some private Liberal party fundraisers.
“I listen to people as I will in any given situation, but the decisions I take in government are ones based on what is right for Canadians and not on what an individual in a fundraiser might say,” he said at a year-end news conference.
Trudeau and his ministers faced weeks of pressure before the break over their participation at so-called "cash for access" events where wealthy business people pay up to $1,500 for face time.