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Toronto Star Editorial: Liberals are the best choice for Canada

By Star Editorial Board
Wednesday October 16, 2019

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau campaigns in Windsor, Ont.  SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau campaigns in Windsor, Ont. SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Four years ago, almost to the day, we enthusiastically urged voters to back Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. It was high time, we said, to choose a “strong, hopeful alternative” after almost 10 years of regressive Conservative rule. It was an easy choice.

Today, we make the same recommendation for Monday’s election. Trudeau and the Liberals have accomplished important things since 2015. And they offer the best program for continuing in that positive direction over the next four years.

But we say this in full knowledge that the Liberals of 2019, and their leader in particular, have fallen short of the bright shiny promise they held out in the last campaign.

The Liberals promised an awful lot back then, too much in fact. They created huge expectations for change and it’s no surprise that they disappointed a lot of people. Some will never forgive them, for example, for backing off on electoral reform.

And then of course there’s the leader himself. Trudeau stumbled badly at times — notably in his dress-up tour of India and in his shaky handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair. His brownface/blackface admissions cast serious doubt on his personal judgment.

Yet, despite the failings of the Liberals, this is the time to focus on what’s truly important in the long run.

And there, the Liberal government can legitimately boast that it has a solid track record on the key issues of our time: making sure more people share in prosperity, defending Canada’s interests, and putting the country on the right road to dealing with climate change.

Begin with the Liberals’ stewardship of the economy. Overall, Canada is booming, with robust growth, the lowest unemployment in 40 years and rising wages. The Liberals would surely get the blame if we were in recession; they deserve credit for good times.