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« I&rsquo ;I'm not finished, says Justin Trudeau

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The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, granted a end of year interview at Radio-Canada.

  • Rania Massoud (View profile)Rania Massoud

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The year 2023 was “rough for Justin Trudeau, by his own admission, but the Prime Minister of Canada does not intend to “back down” for all that, quite the contrary. In an end-of-year interview with Patrice Roy, he affirms that he will be there in the next elections which, he says, will not take place before 2025.

After eight years in power, Justin Trudeau is not about to give up. Despite a drop in the polls, a year marked by an unprecedented housing crisis, persistent inflation and a slowing economy, the Prime Minister says he intends to stay in his post. The job is not finished, he assures.

I understand that there are people who think [about change], but not me. The reality is that I got elected in 2015 with commitments to fight climate change […], to work on reconciliation [with indigenous peoples], to help the middle class […] ], to fight inequity and protect people's rights.

A quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

More than that, says Justin Trudeau, he wants to obtain a new mandate to keep his promises to young people who voted for the first time in 2015. These young people are now almost 30 years old and find themselves in a very, very difficult situation, explains- he said, referring to the housing crisis. I'm not going to give up, I'm going to continue to fight for them.

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Justin Trudeau in interview with Patrice Roy near the rink at Esplanade Tranquille , in downtown Montreal.

The desire for change is real, concedes Mr. Trudeau. But we have change, he says, evoking a series of concerns, notably the digital transition, climate change and the decline in women's rights, particularly in the United States during and since the presidency of Donald Trump. .

People are going to see change in the next elections. The question is who can be there to create opportunities, who can […] help Canadians in these moments of change. Justin Trudeau says the Liberal Party of Canada (PLC) is the party with the vision, responsibility and ability to carry out these changes.

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It accuses its opponent, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (PCC), Pierre Poilievre, to offer Canadians alternative solutions […] that go in the wrong direction.

According to him, we must redouble our efforts to deal with the growing problems in the world. However, he maintains, the alternative offered by Mr. Poilievre and the others is to go back, to do less […] or to do nothing on issues such as the environment, the economy, inclusion or human rights.

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The Prime Minister of Canada had his photo taken in downtown Montreal.

Will there be a federal election in 2024? Mr. Trudeau pulls no punches in answering: Absolutely not. Not if I have any say in it.

I intend to continue to ensure that we can govern in a solid and progressive manner in these difficult times.

And if the elections take place, as planned, in 2025, does he intend to run again as leader of the PLC? But yes, [it will be] with me as leader, he replies straight away.

It's not that I'm essential, but I'm not finished. I have not finished my work, I have not completed the responsibilities that I gave myself when I entered politics many years ago.

A quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada< /blockquote>

The Prime Minister, however, confides that he had moments of doubt and that he questioned himself. Is he still the right person for the position he occupies? It's a questioning that we have to ask ourselves almost every day, he says.

Yes, there were times when I said to myself: "Maybe not." […] There were times when I had to make this reflection, but I did it and I am here.

Several other issues were discussed during this nearly 25-minute interview, including the housing crisis which is hitting Canada hard.

This crisis has notably been aggravated by a surge in inflation and by mortgage rates that deprive a large number of Canadians of healthy and affordable housing. Many simply no longer have a place to stay and are forced into homelessness.

In its latest report on the housing shortage, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said it estimated that at least 3.5 million more housing units would have to be built by 2030 to restore affordability in the country.

Mr. Trudeau explains that his government has been working on this issue since 2017 with a national housing strategy to re-engage the federal government in this issue, claiming to have accelerated investments at the end of the pandemic.

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The housing shortage has been hitting Canada for several months.

He accuses the Conservatives in particular of having disinvested from this issue when they were in power, before his arrival in 2015. Yes, it's been eight years, but [ …] this has echoes for a long time, he explains.

Unfortunately, it takes time to build new units, but we are there and we are seeing a big change in the country, he said again, welcoming in particular the collaboration of Quebec, the only provincial government which has committed to matching the same sum of $900 million advanced by the federal government.

What about the increase in the number of immigrants arriving in the country? Is there a link to the housing crisis? Yes, certainly, replies Mr. Trudeau. However, this mainly concerns temporary immigrants, he specifies, citing asylum seekers, foreign students and seasonal workers.

According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, the country currently has 2.2 million non-permanent residents out of a population of 40.1 million people. This means that approximately 1 in 20 residents of Canada is a temporary immigrant, not counting undocumented people.

< p class="Text-sc-2357a233-1 imohSo">One of the advantages of Canada is that we remain a country open to immigration. […] The trust that people have in our system allows us to welcome [immigrants] and have an economic advantage.

A quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

According to Mr. Trudeau, Canada will not be closed to illegal immigrants, but it must be responsible.

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The crossing point near Roxham Road is now permanently closed.

Regarding carbon pricing, the Prime Minister defended his decision to suspend it for three years for Canadians who heat their homes with oil. This measure will apply in particular in the Atlantic provinces, where nearly 30% of households depend on this means of heating.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has already challenged Justin Trudeau to make the carbon tax the key issue in the next election while calling on the Liberals to exempt all means of domestic heating from this pricing, not just fuel oil.

Asked if he plans further setbacks on this issue, he says his government has not backed down and will never back down again. Indeed, he explains, what is costly is inaction, and Mr. Poilievre offers no plan to fight climate change and therefore no plan for the economy, he says.< /p>Open in full screen mode

Palestinians gather at the site of an Israeli strike on a house in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, December 20, 2023.

On the international scene, the Israeli war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip was also discussed during this interview. The Prime Minister says Ottawa's position has evolved since the start of the conflict on October 7, but Canada continues to support Israel's right to defend itself.

According to Mr. Trudeau, there can be no ceasefire in the Middle East if Hamas does not abandon its weapons, release the hostages and cede power in the Gaza Strip. Without these conditions […], we cannot speak of peace, he said.

He explains that Canada finally voted at the United Nations General Assembly in favor of a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip due to the humanitarian crisis […] which is appalling .

Support for the State of Israel – which I will support forever – was starting to be at risk because the world was starting to turn return against Israel, he said again. The Israelis can, according to him, win battles on the ground, but they will lose the war in the years to come if they do not change their approach.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has given rise to divisions within the PLC, with several MPs expressing their disagreement with Canada's position in this war. However, according to Mr. Trudeau, the challenges facing his party reflect those of Canadian society.

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Several hundred people demonstrate in Tel Aviv to demand the release of hostages held by Hamas.

We are the caucus [with] the largest number of Muslims and Jews at the same time. It is a reflection of Canada, it is both the strength and the challenge of the Liberal Party, he assures. We deal with that and we remain anchored in our values.

The Prime Minister also said he was open to this that Canada participate in a possible international force whose mission would be to ensure an end to the violence in the Gaza Strip.

About the Ukraine, he says Canada's support will not change, even if international support appears to be waning. I have always said that we don't even have a political debate on this in Canada, said Mr. Trudeau. Unfortunately, the Conservatives have backed off a little on their defense of Ukraine, but I am confident that Canada will [stay] with Ukraine.

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