Trudeau says people are frustrated, but now is time for ‘doubling down’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits down for a year end interview with Global News' Mercedes Stephenson on Dec. 19, 2023. He says he knows Canadians are frustrated, but plans on doubling down on current work. © Luigi Della Penta / Global News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he knows people are frustrated with him, especially the same young voters who helped propel his party to a majority government in 2015.

“Those young people eight years later are having trouble paying the rent, worried about their future in ways that are just as tangible, if not more, because of the global context we’re in,” Trudeau told Global News Ottawa bureau chief Mercedes Stephenson in a year-end interview.

“I didn’t make a promise that I was going to make things better for them and then walk away after four years or even after eight years. I said I’d be there to fight for them every single day.”

The full interview airs on The West Block on Christmas Eve at 11 a.m. eastern.

Still, 69 per cent of Canadians believe Trudeau should step down as prime minister and leader of the Liberal Party, according to a recent poll from Ipsos. Its November poll saw 72 per cent of people sharing this view; both figures are within the pollster’s margin of error.

That same poll found 63 per cent of respondents think it’s unlikely Trudeau will step down, and he says he has no intention of leaving his post.

Video: 3 in 4 Canadians think Trudeau should step down now: poll

When asked if this is because there isn’t a clear successor as Liberal leader to take on Pierre Poilievre and the Conservative Party in the next election, Trudeau said his focus is on the existing team.

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“On the contrary. We’ve got a great team of amazing people who are putting forward the kinds of solutions that Canadians need, whether it’s on housing, whether it’s on paying for groceries, whether it’s on building strong careers for the future, fighting climate change, reconciliation,” Trudeau said.

“We have an amazing team and that’s why we’re going to keep going altogether.”

Video: As 2023 parliamentary sitting ends, can PM Trudeau turn slumping poll numbers around?

Despite the degree of frustration being directed at the federal government on issues like cost of living, Trudeau maintains he is leading the country in the right direction.

“First of all, it’s a really frustrating time. Full stop. There is so much going on around the world. There’s so much impacting us here at home,” Trudeau said.

“And to my mind, this is exactly not the time to be slowing down or to stop fighting for people. We have been focused on delivering for Canadians for eight years now and the context we’re in right now, where progress has become so fragile because of global and large macro events, is the time to be doubling down and rolling up our sleeves. And that’s what I’m here for.”

Source: Global News