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Canadians chose hope over fear and anger in 2015 and they will be faced with that choice again the next time they go to the polls, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday as he delivered an opening night keynote speech to Liberal faithful at the party's policy convention in Ottawa.

The next election could still be more than two years away but Trudeau left no doubt that we are already hurtling toward it, that he intends to run in it, and that he knows who poses the biggest threat to his hold on power.

"Pierre Poilievre’s populism, his slogans and buzzwords, are not serious solutions to the serious challenges we’re facing," Trudeau said.

Conservatives, he said, call Liberals "too woke" for investing in people, in economic growth, in families and in climate change.

"Too woke?" Trudeau hissed. "Hey, Pierre Poilievre, it’s time for you to wake up."

And the crowd roared to life, leaping to their feet, chanting his name.

Then he launched into a list of Conservative actions the Liberals are clearly planning to use as ammunition. Poilievre's advice last year to invest in cryptocurrencies to "opt out of inflation" just before the market for many of the biggest crypto companies flopped.

His dalliance with the "Freedom Convoy" and his recent meme exchange online with Tesla billionaire and new Twitter owner Elon Musk, making fun of the CBC.

And his caucus being chastised by President Joe Biden in the House of Commons for failing to stand up when Biden applauded the gender-equal cabinets in both Canada and the United States.

@JustinTrudeau blasts @PierrePoilievre as angry and unserious at Liberal party convention. #CDNPoli #LiberalsConvention

"Wake up to the fact that a gender-balanced cabinet is a good thing," Trudeau thundered.

He also heavily promoted the Liberals' child tax benefit increase that helped pull thousands of Canadian children out of poverty, and the recent national child-care program to reduce fees to as little as $10 a day.

It's a program still in progress, but is proving popular enough conservative premiers in at least four provinces have, or are, campaigning on it.

"By the way, when we see that women’s participation in the economy has reached an all-time high, let me tell you something — $10-a-day child care is not 'woke' policy, it’s economic policy," Trudeau said.

There was, however, no mention of the current headache plaguing his government: foreign interference.

He could not escape it entirely, peppered with questions from reporters trying to get his latest explanation to allegations that senior officials in his government were briefed two years ago about threats to Conservative MP Michael Chong by the Chinese government. Trudeau said Wednesday he only learned about it on Monday.

He had no comment.

Leading into the event, Liberal MPs and supporters said they saw the three days as a chance to regroup and recharge after an exhausting and difficult couple of years, and there was certainly more fatigue than fire around the hall during the cabinet minister panel prior to Trudeau.

But the room erupted as he walked in, the clearest indication that they have no designs on pushing him out.

"Did you see when he came into this room? He's got the energy," said Liam Olsen, 23, who is running for chair of Young Liberals.

"I think everyone understands that Trudeau is the reason that this party is where it is today. The progress that we're all building on is his progress."

The convention comes 10 years exactly after Trudeau won the party leadership in a landslide victory at the hotel right next door. Less than three years later, he led the party to a majority government.

He made crystal clear again Thursday that he will lead the party into the next election too.

"My friends, when the election comes, when Canadians need to make a consequential choice in this consequential moment, it will be the honour of my life to lead us through it and continue building a better future."

The Trudeaumania 2.0 that surrounded him in 2015 has faded somewhat, and the party has struggled in recent national polls. Poilievre, the third Conservative leader Trudeau has faced as prime minister, is hammering into the cracks in the Liberal brand, screaming that "Canada is broken" and Trudeau and his government are "incompetent."

The Liberals have trailed the Conservatives in the polls for months, the most recent party fundraising numbers saw Poilievre's party outraise the Liberals by more than $5 million in just the first three months of 2023.

Beating back Poilievre's message won't be simple, Associate Finance Minister Randy Boissonnault acknowledged as he spoke to a room of young Liberals earlier Friday.

"Pierre Poilievre believes that the angrier and the more hopeless he can make Canadians, the better his poll numbers will be," he said. "And you know what? He might be right.

"But anger is no plan to build the future and no one ever improves things by making people believe that they are hopeless. So it is our job to give Canadians hope. It is our fundamental purpose to build that better future."

The job for the Liberals in the convention hall, Trudeau said, is to carry the message back out to their hometowns, to the people who would never join a political party or attend a convention, why the party's optimistic pitch to address climate change and inequality is the one to back.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2023.

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How come we have the highest food bank use in 40 years. Regular people in the finance minister's own riding are lining up to food banks. We are a G7 nation. Why does the government have to pay it's citizens to buy food. Crime is up 37%. Our police officers are being slaughtered on the street by criminals that have been released on bail 30 times. China interferes in our elections but Trudeau will do nothing to stop them. We have the highest debt in Canadian history yet Trudeau insists on spending $9000 per night on hotel rooms because he believes he is our supreme ruler. I really can't understand why Canadians continue to vote to diminish the economic prospects and democratic freedoms of their own country!

It comes down to the Liberals are the lesser evil compared to the conservative party (no policies, no climate change platform, just buzz words and slogans).

China interference is a nothing burger and nothing new. Russia constantly meddles with elections globally, yet nothing is said there. None of which has changed the outcome to elections to this point. The misinformation being spewed by the Pierre has done more damage to Canada than what China or Russia have done.

When it comes to hotel room costs, don't drink Pierre's Kool-Aide, look at what makes up the cost, it is not just a room. Information is freely available on government spending. Our PM's don't travel alone, there are many others involved that inflate the cost.

If we're going to talk about interference in elections globally, I think it's kind of irresponsible to ignore the hegemon in the room: The US has been for decades and remains the all time grand champion of interference in elections, whether with propaganda, money, various kinds of dirty tricks, all the way up to assassinations and sponsored coups.

World wide inflation, caused partly by excessive fossil fuel company profits. Gun laws still too lax and CPC won't support them. The bail system was in desperate need of reform and judges make judgement calls. Russia openly interferes in elections and CPC aren't saying boo about it. The pandemic hit every country's economy. People demand services and benefits and in the needs are wide and varied and deep. You exaggerate Trudeau's travel expenses, but then the new CPC tv commercials probably led you to believe anything (their "out of the country again and you are paying for it" when he attended the KIng's coronation, met with the British PM, and held a press conference, all in a very small window of time is good value for our money). Do you know who played footsie, brought coffee and took selfies with the convoy folks who were ready to hijack democracy in Canada? Mr. Poilievre of course.

There's a simple reason for all that stuff (except hotel rooms, which, whatever): Not enough socialism. The bottom line is, if you look at the countries of the world, people in them are better off the more social democratic they are, unless they're getting sanctioned. People in Cuba are better off than people in the rest of the Caribbean even though there's a massive economic war on against them!

"Pierre Poilievre’s populism, his slogans and buzzwords, are not serious solutions to the serious challenges we’re facing," Trudeau said.

That is all the conservative party has to offer Canadians, buzz words and slogans. When Pierre is challenged on his policies or even around climate change, he is very evasive, instead throws more nonsense at Canadians. It doesn't take the sharpest tool in the shed to see that the CPC has nothing to offer Canadians beside funding cuts, eroded healthcare and education.

What I like in the accompanying photo is that the Liberal sign looks distinctly ORANGE. Wouldn't it be awesome if that was the subliminal sign to remind us of how we could all just relax (the colour has that effect compared to alarming red) and be able to completely TRUST that our federal government was actually doing their job for us, the progressive majority. You know, the ones who are responsible for us being regarded by the world as nice, polite and reasonable people, not the rabid, driven cons who bring fire and brimstone preachers to mind OR snake oil salesmen (same difference) and are furthermore utterly derivative of the noxious, purely obstructionist American Republicans.
I'd also like to see far more talk about the worthy and stirring concept of Canada as a country, with all that that conjures, something the conservatives are apparently oblivious to, being stubbornly and stupidly context-free at all times.
Petty dividing and conquering is ultimately all they've got to offer.

I see it as a subliminal sign that we should elect New Democrats. Let's face it, all the things Liberals talk about, the NDP are significantly more likely to actually do.

Well, I gotta say . . . Justin Trudeau is wrong about and/or lies about a lot of things, many of them important. But he's certainly not wrong about Pierre Poilievre.