BLUESKY BRIEF - Off to the Races - August 16, 2021

The first day of the Election 2021 started fairly quietly – with deliberately small gatherings in-person and on virtual - which could be a sign of things to come throughout this campaign as we deal with the fourth wave of COVID-19. Will this hinder or help the candidates and what do the parties need to do today to get Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast to take notice of this election?

Let’s find out…

From the desk of Susan Smith, Co-founder and Principal

Justin Trudeau’s opening remarks of the campaign did three things: they reminded Canadians that he is and continues to be the Prime Minister as he addresses the disintegrating situation in Afghanistan and the 20,000 refugees that Canada hopes to bring to Canada; they clearly outlined that Canadians should “choose how we finish the fight against COVID and build back better”; and importantly, they took direct aim at Erin O’Toole and his refusal to require his candidates to be vaccinated, and to mandate that domestic travellers on planes and trains should be fully vaccinated.

By framing this election as the “choice” Canadians have for the future direction of the country, Trudeau addressed head-on the question of “why now”. He reminded Canadians that it was the Liberal party that “had your back” when it came to COVID supports for families and businesses and that his party would present the best plan and continue to walk the talk for green economic recovery, combatting climate change, child care, seniors, addressing the housing crisis and reconciliation.

Watch for the Liberals to continue to emphasize proven leadership, and showcase the depth of their team. They’ll continue to wedge Erin O’Toole and demonstrate that he is pandering to the right-wing of the party on mandatory vaccines for federally regulated workers while asking Canadians for a renewed mandate to deliver economic recovery.

Thirty-five days from now, more Canadians will be double-vaxxed, kids will be back in schools and a summer with family and friends in the books. The timing and the launch of the campaign will be a faded memory, as Canadians focus on the issues that matter to them and they vote to choose the future direction of their county and who they trust to lead it.

From the desk of Neil Brodie, Vice President

Erin O’Toole broke with the long-standing tradition of kicking off the Conservative campaign in Cornwall, Ontario then heading to Québec. However, in a pandemic world, I expect a few traditions to drop off the table.

Mr. O’Toole’s made-for-TV event on Sunday ran after Mr. Trudeau’s made-for-TV event. And no, they weren’t selling the Slap Chop®. His messages were simple…there are two choices in this election, the Conservative party and the others. For all of Justin Trudeau’s efforts, COVID-19 is still spreading through the country and unsustainable public spending levels will continue by the ‘others’ and be a threat to you and your children’s economic future. The choice is clear, vote Conservative.

Mr. O’Toole looked calm, cool, and collected as he presented his message, a far cry from the ‘scary’ Conservatives the Liberals like to run against. I suspect Trudeau will be running against Jason Kenney, Doug Ford, and Stephen Harper in the weeks ahead.

Mr. O’Toole must keep that up to present an alternative to the Canadian public.

He will be back in the studio this morning for his first major announcement of the campaign.

Only 35 more days!!

From the desk of Cameron Holmstrom, Consultant

It’s been said that the most important steps one takes in a race are the first ones, as they can set the tone for the steps to come. When we look at that standard, the NDP had a great first day of the campaign, especially when compared to the launches for the Liberals and Conservatives. While Liberal Justin Trudeau struggled to justify calling this election and Conservative Erin O’Toole struggled to defend his unwillingness to mandate that his candidate be vaccinated against COVID-19, Jagmeet Singh’s launch was a bright, positive and confident event. His poise and happiness to be before the cameras shone through and he showed his natural ease on the campaign trail.

Singh not only pointed out why this election was unneeded and the number of Liberal promises calling this early election left on the vine to die, but he also presented a positive vision of his own. It all made for a strong contrast and showed a team that’s ready to step up if Canadians decide that the red and blue teams are not up to the job.

What was probably most striking though was that while both Mr. Singh and Mr. Trudeau campaigned in Montreal on Sunday, only Jagmeet showed up to march in the Montreal Pride Parade on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. It was oddly notable that Mr. Trudeau ceded the field to Mr. Singh, making him be the only national party leader to take part in one of the largest social events on Montreal’s summer calendar. It’s especially notable given that only Mr. Trudeau knew for sure when the election was coming, and surely could have planned to be there. On Day 1, it was Jagmeet who put the best foot forward & won the day. On Day 2, Singh needs to continue to have these solid events.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and his family attend a street party in his Papineau riding in Montreal.

The Conservative Party of Canada has released two ads – one in English that focuses on the plan the party has for the country.

And the other in French, that will air in Quebec and focuses on the values that the Party claims to have in common with Quebecers.

The NDP also released an ad that tells voters that Jagmeet Singh and his party know it’s not just what you say that matters, it’s what you do.”

Here is where you can expect the leaders to be today (all times are Eastern):

Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada at 10 amin Longueuil, QC, he will make an announcement to further support Canadian businesses and then make his way to Coburg, Ontario to visit a restaurant.

Erin O’Toole, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada – in Ottawa to make an announcement at 11 am and then conduct virtual townhalls with supporters in Newfoundland and Ontario..

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the NDP will stay in the GTA with an announcement at 10:30 am on “measures to make the ultra-rich pay their fair share.” He will then visit a local business in Brampton before a “family send-off” at a tarmac in Mississauga where he will then fly to Vancouver.

Annamie Paul, Leader of the Green Party of Canada will also remain in Toronto to canvas and where at 2"25 pm, she will “discuss the climate crisis.”

Yves Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Quebecois will be in Quebec City, where he will hold a press conference to introduce candidates at 10:30 a.m. Blanchet will then head to the Medicago headquarters at 2 p.m. for a press briefing on drug production and research and development in Quebec.

Here is where you can catch members of the Bluesky team today:

At 9 am, Consultant Camerson Holmstrom can be heard on Sirius XM’s Canada Talks and the Arlene Bynon Show

You can then see him on CTV News Channel at 11 am

About Bluesky Strategy Group Bluesky Strategy Group Inc. is a full-service public affairs firm with nearly two decades of extensive experience working with clients - from corporate, not-for-profit, and national associations, to governments, departments and agencies. We provide our clients with government relations, strategic communications and media relations advice and execution. Blueskys team can help you. Reply to this email to be connected with our team.

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