Justin Trudeau defends platform delay during Liberal caucus meetings in P.E.I.

Teresa Wright
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Justin Trudeau in Brudenell for the Liberal caucus meeting Wednesday.

ROSENEATH – Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is defending his choice to delay releasing his party's policy platform until 2015.

Trudeau and the entire federal Liberal caucus is in Prince Edward Island this week for their national caucus retreat.

During the meetings, MPs and senators shared the concern they've been hearing from Canadians in their ridings and across the country.

Trudeau says the discussions this week will be part of a long-term plan to elicit input and ideas from experts and all Canadians on what they believe the Liberal party's policies on key issues should be.

"People want answers, but people want to be part of generating those answers," Trudeau said.

Reporters pressed him on why he plans to wait two years before offering substantial policies for Canadians to examine, especially while, in the meantime, he throws stones at the Conservative government's policies and initiatives.

Trudeau pointed out he is the leader of a third party in the House of Commons and that he does not believe there is any rush to push out policy before engaging in meaningful dialogue and consultation.

"My responsibility is to put forward a comprehensive, robust, platform that is going to demonstrate to Canadians that the Liberal party is working hard for them and responding to their concerns," Trudeau said,

"I'm not going to shortcut that process, which is a serious and responsible process, just because people want to know right now and they're impatient to know."

"People want answers, but people want to be part of generating those answers," Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau

P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz, who addressed the caucus over lunch Wednesday, faced similar criticism when he was still leader of the Opposition in the provincial legislature and had not yet released a full platform.

Despite the pressure Trudeau is facing to come out with policy now, Ghiz said waiting is a good strategy.

"You don't want to be premature with your policies," Ghiz said.

"You don't want to go out all at once and say, 'Here's what we're going to do,' because that would be an indication that you didn't listen to Canadians, you didn't listen to the canidates that you're going to nominate."

He said he offered this advice to the national caucus as they work to make themselves appear a credible alternative to the Harper Tories moving toward the election in 2015.

The Liberals' national caucus meetings continue this afternoon and tomorrow morning. The politicians will get a break from their meetings this evening when they attend a barbeque at Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay's home. Hundreds of local party supporters are expected to attend.


Guardian reporter Teresa Wright is at the Rodd Brudenell Resort covering the Liberal caucus meetings today. Check  back to The Guardian's website throughout the day for updates. Full details and coverage online later today and in tomorrow's print and e-edtions. 





Organizations: House of Commons, Rodd Brudenell Resort, The Guardian

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • don
    August 28, 2013 - 22:19

    he got in the same way as ghiz on the coat tails of there dads. but to me after he admitted to smoking pot knowing it is ILLEGAL. what does that tell you about his feelings for the laws of Canada? he is better known now as the WEED man.

  • perspective
    August 28, 2013 - 21:28

    as of yesterday I was told that as far as EI and the next election are concerned as well as other issues, the changes that most would like to see will more than likely not happen at all. Prime Minister Harper has a boom going on out west and money talks if anyone can go out west and get a better paying job that will increase thier income why would'nt they. but not everyone can make the trip to the west, so I do not agree that to kill a seasonal industry that we have here in the Maritimes is politicaly right. I remember back in the 80's when mulrooney was convincing canadians that freetrade was a good idea for the future prosperity of canada at the same time John Turner tried to convince the people of the opposite effects it would have, but as I said money talks and at the Federal election then , Mulrooney won and left Turner in the dust. so, it is much the same for Harper and his Goverment to pour big tax cuts into the continued wealth of western canada, therefore enticing canadians to move on to a better standard of living. Justin Trudeau will have to somehow find a way to have equlity between the West and the East which means that those big tax revenues comoing from western canada will not result in a downturn for the oil industry of western canada. in closing i remember reading about this similer problem during the Late Pierre elliot Trudeau's time. oh, by the way when Premier ghiz commented today about our EI situation, he could start by giving the required hours to those in the seasonal industry but its a lack of money that is the problem.

  • Tim from Stratford
    August 28, 2013 - 18:35

    Give the guy a break... he doesn't have anything to say right now about his policy platform. You all know what happened when he spoke too soon about tokin and smokin pot...Vote Getting Policy ...that will be formed closer to election time and after the polling results are in...remember that a week is along time in politics. On this Island and in Cape Breton, all he needs to say is he is for more and easier unemployment insurance for everybody and he'll have support of the local MPs in Cartigan, Charlottetown and Prince... (and Cape Breton)....

  • Garth Staples
    August 28, 2013 - 18:05

    The heck with the platform . What values do you have? Is it all SMOKE and mirrors? Only the arrogant believe voters are stupid.

  • Anonymous
    August 28, 2013 - 15:54

    Typical politician, wait until last minute to see which way wind is blowing and then tell the people exactly what they want to hear. Call me crazy, but I think you should have some solid ideas well before you even intend to run for MP.

  • up in smoke
    August 28, 2013 - 15:41

    Great minds think alike.

  • I'm thinking
    August 28, 2013 - 15:25

    Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is defending his choice to delay releasing his party's policy platform until 2015. ROTFLMAO You don't have one iota of an idea of what platform you will have. As a third party leader you should let people know as soon as possible just what you will do, so you can start now to convince voters to actually vote for you in the next election. Because right now I'm also shaking my head.