Is Justin Trudeau ready for his walk in the snow?
Ever since his father resigned as Liberal leader in February 1984, the term “walk in the snow” has been used as shorthand for stepping down. Despite Trudeau having just won the federal election last September, there are rumblings in the ranks showing his spot at the top may not be secure.
Trudeau was elected Liberal leader in April 2013, the third leader for the party after they lost power to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in 2006.
As he entered the 2015 election, Trudeau had improved the Liberal Party’s position after their humiliating 2011 results, but they still sat in third place in opinion polls. The come from behind win wasn’t something that had been expected at the beginning of the campaign.
After winning a majority in that election, Trudeau’s government has faced scandals such as lavish and illegal vacations, the SNC-Lavalin affair, blackface and more. The party dropped from 39% voter support in 2015 to just 33% in 2019 and 32% in 2020.
This has many in the party questioning whether Trudeau is the man to lead them into the next campaign.
But who would replace him?
Most of the chatter has focused on his Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, but other names are being bandied about.
Defence Minister Anita Anand is being courted by some while Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly is considering a run.
Also under discussion is Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne. Even Navdeep Bains, who held industry before leaving politics in 2021, is said to be interested in a return to politics when the top Liberal job opens up.