BLUESKY BRIEF - September 7th

We hope you had a lovely long weekend. If there is one thing that everyone can agree on in this election, is the fact that the campaign is almost over and there are less than two weeks left until voting day. That means there isn’t much time left for the parties to get their message across to undecided voters.

So how do they do that? What strategies do they now need to consider?

Let’s find out what our team of political observers would recommend.

From the desk of the Honourable Joe Jordan, Senior Associate

We have made it through the election timing discussions, the major party platforms are in the public domain, and we are working our way through the inevitable series of public gaffes by candidates. In other words, we are halfway through the process!

As Canadians get increasingly engaged on the very real differences in policy objectives, the Liberals will need to remain focused on strong, clear narratives that illustrate and reinforce their request for another mandate.

At the riding level, voter identification efforts will be ramping up and campaigns will need to be creative in dealing with both the emotional and logistical barriers that the various pandemic protocols present. At the end of the day, I suspect that the election day voter lists will end up being a hybrid between 2021 information and the data from the previous election, certainly not an ideal scenario. It will be important that the central party supports their local candidates in a way that instills confidence and invigorates their efforts through the home stretch of the campaign. In close elections, the ground game matters and motivated, passionate candidates that can transfer that to their volunteer base will be much more effective.

While political parties are very good at explaining what happened, we are very much still in the “happening” stage. The Liberals need to resist the temptation to publicly rationalize their errors and double down with an enthusiastic, focused campaign that projects confidence and competency. The communications around the platform rollout will need to resonate with Canadians and the prime minister will need strong performances during the national debates, both in terms of presentation and driving the agenda.

At this point in the process, it is all about getting and maintaining momentum, the candidates need it, and the people will respond to it.

From the desk of Cameron Holmstrom, Consultant

In any election, the “two weeks remaining” mark of the campaign is a point where you can truly assess how your campaign is going. If it’s going well, you’re still in a position to achieve your goals, make gains and seal the deal…maybe win the whole thing. If it’s not, you finding yourself scrapping, fighting a fight that you didn’t want.

All three major parties are still in a position to achieve their wins, but that doesn’t mean they are all feeling like they’ve succeeded to this point. The Liberals are definitely in a fight they didn’t want, even though they’re the ones that called this election. They’re scrapping to maintain government and trying to recapture ground lost to both the Conservatives and NDP. Those efforts haven’t worked but if they are going to win, they must reverse that trend over the next two weeks.

Right now, the Conservatives are the front runners, a position that many didn’t expect. But now that they’re the focus of Liberal attacks, their rise has stalled, and the question remains if they can stop any backsliding in the polls. Regardless of the Liberal attacks, their fate is in their own hands. If they can ease peoples’ legitimate fears of an O’Toole government, they could be the next government. For the NDP, sitting at an average of 20% in the polls, there’s a chance for even greater growth. That revolves around sticking to the message of the campaign…continuing to deliver for Canadians. That must continue to be their focus. If they can stick to it, they will be in a good position come election day.

Two weeks can be an eternity in politics, and we’ll see what the major parties can do with this eternity remaining.

On Labour Day, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, along with Finance Minister, and candidate for the Toronto riding of University-Rosedale, Chrystia Freeland announced that a re-elected Liberal government would move forward with more support for Canadian workers and businesses which would include:

  • Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to March 31, 2022, so businesses can hire more workers and Canadians can get back on the job;

  • Continue to expand the Canada Workers Benefit to support 1 million additional Canadians in low wage jobs, helping them return to work, and increasing benefits for Canada’s most vulnerable;

  • Introduce a new Labour Mobility Tax Credit to allow workers in the building and construction trades to deduct up to $4,000 in eligible expenses when they need to travel or temporarily relocate for a job, for a tax credit of up to $600 a year;

  • Double the Union Training and Innovation program to $50 million a year to support more apprenticeship and training opportunities across Canada;

  • Tackle Canada’s growing labour shortage by expanding pathways for talented workers to immigrate to Canada, increasing labour participation with targeted incentives for low-income workers and seniors, and increasing supports for reskilling programs and for Canadians entering the trades; and

  • Table legislation to ensure that every business and organization that decides to require proof of vaccination from employees and customers can do so without fear of a legal challenge.

Speaking in Ottawa, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole released his party’s plan to “lift up Canadians by doubling the Canada Workers Benefit.”

Click here for details on the announcements made by the Conservatives on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was in Hamilton, Ontario to announce his party’s plan to help Canadian workers get through the pandemic and into recovery. If elected, a NDP government would:

· Universal child care for $10 a day;

· A $20 federal minimum wage;

· Changes to EI to cover more people; and

· Protections for pensions

Click here for details of the NDP announcements made on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

ATTACKING & BEING ATTACKED - The Liberal Party released another attack ad and then find the leader being hit by gravel as protesters surround his campaign bus in London, Ontario.

GUN LEGISLATION - Erin O’Toole reverses course on guns, will maintain Liberal ban during review of classifications

LOOKING FOR ALLIES - NDP leader Jagmeet Singh issues a letter to the other leaders looking for a unified vaccination message to Canadians and Trudeau says he’s in

NAME THAT TUNE - And Singh then went to ask his 498.4K Twitter followers to text him with their favourite music choices to update his playlist.

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

Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada is in Montreal today and will make an announcement at 830 am. In the evening, he will return to Ottawa to take part in a virtual town hall.

Erin O’Toole, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is in Ottawa, where he will make an announcement at 1030 am and then in the evening, he will hold a virtual town hall meeting with Ontario residents.

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the NDP is in Toronto, where he will make an announcement on climate action in the Distillery streetcar loop at 830 am.

Annamie Paul, Leader of the Green Party of Canada is travelling to Ottawa, where she will observe Rosh Hashanah and will not be holding any events.

Yves Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Quebecois is also in Ottawa, where he will hold a press conference on freedom of expression at the University of Ottawa and then he will spend the rest of the day back in Quebec campaigning.

About Bluesky Strategy Group

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