Party attack plan


(OTTAWA) What will their attack plans be? How do they sharpen their knives? What are they watching in their blind spots? Here are the answers of the strategists who will pull the strings this fall, while Canada will know the 43es general elections of its history.

Mélanie Marquis
Mélanie Marquis
The Press

Joël-Denis Bellavance
Joël-Denis Bellavance
The Press


In campaign with Sophie Grégoire to snatch a second term

Conscious of the importance of Quebec in their quest for a second majority mandate, Liberal strategists intend to use all the assets available to them to win seats for the other parties in the province. Sophie Grégoire, Justin Trudeau's wife, will spend most of the campaign crisscrossing Quebec, learned Press.


Sophie Grégoire and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The Liberals, who hold 40 of Quebec's 78 seats in the House of Commons, also intend to organize an auxiliary tour of Quebec ministers, especially when Justin Trudeau is in the other provinces.

François-Philippe Champagne, (Infrastructure and Communities), Mélanie Joly (Tourism), Pablo Rodriguez (Heritage), Marc Garneau (Transportation), Jean-Yves Duclos (Family, Children and Social Development), Marie-Claude Bibeau (Agriculture and Agri-Food) and Diane Lebouthillier (National Revenue) will each be called upon to assist Liberal candidates in the regions. It is also expected that two bilingual ministers from Ontario, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Finance Minister Bill Morneau will make an incursion into Quebec during the battle. These two ministers have a good rating in Quebec.

The Liberals are clear that they are counting on gains in Quebec at the expense of the NDP on October 21 to offset the expected loss of seats in the Atlantic Provinces and the West.

We will use all the assets at our disposal. Sophie Grégoire, it is certain that she is very popular with many voters, especially young voters. She is going to campaign a lot in Quebec.

A liberal source who requested anonymity

The winning recipe of 2015

Young people will be at the heart of the Liberal efforts, which, in many ways, will seek to replicate the winning recipe of 2015. "We want to once again have this positive message, unifying, which is very much for young people. Last time, young people voted overwhelmingly for Justin Trudeau; we want to do it again ", summarizes the one who co-chairs once again this year the campaign in Quebec, Pablo Rodriguez.


Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"Our message about the environment, climate change, is something that young people understand very well," he says, extolling the Liberal record. And this oil pipeline bought by the government? "I think that by explaining it properly, it brings another dimension," he pleads.


Katie Telford and Gerald Butts, behind Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Some of the ingredients of 2015 will be brought together. Prime Minister Katie Telford's chief of staff will be back. "It will have an important role," said a liberal source at Press. The same goes for Gerald Butts, Justin Trudeau's right-hand man who was swept away by the SNC-Lavalin affair. "It's a great thing, because he's absolutely brilliant," Pablo Rodriguez says.

(Gerald Butts) will be very influential with the team, with the leader of the party. He has a vision, this guy. He is able to anticipate things.

Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Co-Chair of the Liberal Campaign in Quebec

Mr. Rodriguez believes that the return of Gerald Butts will not be a double-edged sword, even if his name is associated with the SNC-Lavalin saga, which the Conservatives have promised to put back on the carpet.

Moreover, ethics "should not be" a campaign issue because "Canadians have turned the page," says the minister. "The Conservatives are politicizing it! if he exclaims. The Conservatives do not have that connection with Canadians that Justin Trudeau can have, so they will try to hurt his image. "

Recently, the Liberals hit Andrew Scheer, unearthing a video explaining his opposition to same-sex marriage. For months, MPs and Liberal ministers have said he will reopen the abortion debate. Officially, the liberal campaign will be under the slogan "Choose to move forward", it is said to want positive. "We do not want negative campaigns. I do not say at all that Andrew Scheer is going to reopen the abortion debate. But you have a leader who is surrounded by members who want to do it. There is a risk, "insists Pablo Rodriguez.

The latest polls put Liberals and Conservatives side-by-side. "In Quebec, I would say that we are a little better equipped than in 2015. We had six members and not a cent. There, we have 40 deputies and pennies. The national campaign will be led by Jeremy Broadhurst, a long-time Liberal, and co-directed by Olivier Duchesneau.

"They are going to get in"

The Liberals have a record "a priori enviable to put forward", as evidenced by the compilation of Polimètre Trudeau / PLC Laval University, which estimates at 92% the number of 353 promises made in 2015 that were held , points out the political scientist Thierry Giasson. "They should campaign on the Canada-US-Mexico Agreement, record job creation and how they have cared for people, especially families, to whom they have essentially spent their first term" , he notes. But they "are right" to say that the campaign will be punctuated with attacks, estimates the professor of the Laval University: "They will be getting in! On ethics, they will have to deal with the SNC-Lavalin report. And that's going to be very hard for them to handle, because they're not managing it well. Mr. Trudeau acknowledged that there were errors, but he declined to apologize. So there is something wrong with that. – Mélanie Marquis, The Press

Gerald Butts

Friend of Justin Trudeau since their meeting on the benches of McGill University, aged 48, he resigned from his position as Secretary General in the aftermath of the SNC-Lavalin affair. Prior to joining the federal arena, he worked in the Dalton McGuinty government in Ontario.


Gerald Butts

Katie Telford

She is part of the inner circle that convinced Justin Trudeau to get into the leadership race. Considered one of the architects of the 2015 victory, the 40-year-old has been the Prime Minister's chief of staff from beginning to end. She started at Queen's Park.


Katie Telford

Jeremy Broadhurst

National Director of the Liberal Party from 2013 to 2015, he was Chief of Staff to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland from 2017 to 2019. At 44, he has been a senior advisor to all Liberal leaders since the interim leader Bill Graham.

Source: Liberal Party of Canada


Jeremy Broadhurst


Harper and Ford at a distance, Rayes highlighted in Quebec

Hamish Marshall and Marc-André Leclerc were part of the team of strategists who helped to elect – narrowly – Andrew Scheer to head the party in 2017. If they returned to service for the election campaign, it is in order to help him win a victory this time decisive. "We are targeting a majority government," says Marshall.

Lessons were learned from the 2015 campaign, where the Conservatives lost their majority. And because we are no longer in 2015, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not be around. "The people, what they want to see is Andrew Scheer," Leclerc argues – but that did not stop the CCP from broadcasting a video this week in which the former prime minister made a call to donations. Ontario leader Doug Ford, whose popularity rating has dropped as he announced budget cuts, will also stay home. "He will not get involved in the campaign. That's his decision, "says Marshall.


Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Conservative Party

The presence of the two conservative tenors could have given the Liberals ammunition. "It's fascinating that Trudeau wants to talk about Harper, Ford, but not Scheer," notes Hamish Marshall. It must be said that he too is in the liberals because of its links to the right website The Rebel, banned by politicians (including Andrew Scheer) for his complacent coverage of white supremacists in Charlottesville. "I provided technical services; I have never been involved in the content or the editorial section. If Liberal ministers want to spend their time attacking me on Twitter, let them do it, "he says.

In Quebec, Andrew Scheer's political lieutenant, Richmond-Arthabaska MP Alain Rayes, intends to carry the Conservative Party's message to the four corners of the province during the campaign. Mr. Rayes, who has already toured Quebec three times since he took over as lieutenant of the Conservative leader, will be criss-crossing the province again at the beginning of the electoral battle to help the many star candidates. he has recruited in several constituencies.

In our view, all ridings are winnable in Quebec. We have taken the means to be competitive everywhere in Quebec.

Alain Rayes, Conservative Member of Parliament for Richmond-Arthabaska and Political Party Leader in Quebec

Mr. Rayes will also accompany his chef when he is in Quebec. "We are just waiting for the election to come up with a credible alternative, an inspiring leader and a high-quality team to surround him," he says.

The key to ethics

There will be a lot of talk about the cost of living in the Conservative campaign. The slogan unveiled a few days ago – "More. For you. Right now. "- testifies. But the Conservatives will not hesitate to hit the nail of ethics. The elements of the "Trudeau II Report", in which the Prime Minister is severely blamed by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner for his management of the SNC-Lavalin affair, "will occupy a significant place", warn the strategists.

We will not hesitate to highlight the failures of Justin Trudeau and the way he was not the one he claimed to be (not as advertised) to Canadians.

Hamish Marshall

Does this mean that the Conservatives will be right in saying that the Prime Minister has been warning for a long time that the campaign will be negative? "People say they like positive campaigns, but they want to see clashes and they are waiting for debates for that. On the one hand, politicians are told to be positive, but on the other hand, we expect debates, and debates are not to be nice and to be compliments, "Marc suggests. -André Leclerc.

Cheaper to follow Scheer

If the campaigns cost a small fortune to the parties, it is also true for the media. The Conservatives have lowered the cost of passes because "it does not cost anything more if there is one more person on the plane," says Hamish Marshall – an argument that, it is noted, was just as valid before. "Yes, but before, we used that as a way to make money on the back of the media," he says. The conservative score will total $ 11,500 for five weeks. In 2015, only one week in Stephen Harper's caravan cost $ 12,500. The Liberal Party will be asking for $ 27,000 for the tour, and to follow the NDP caravan for a total of $ 45,000. – Mélanie Marquis, The Press

Hamish Marshall

A 41-year-old Vancouver native with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Oxford University, England, he is entering his third national Conservative campaign as a strategist after 2006 and of 2008.


Hamish Marshall

Marc-André Leclerc

Born in Roberval, Lac-Saint-Jean, 36 years old, he has been a member of the party since July 2007, when he contributed to Denis Lebel's victory in a by-election. He has been Andrew Scheer's chief of staff since September 2018.


Marc-André Leclerc


"People are attracted to Singh"

"He's going to love that," predicts Jennifer Howard of Chief Jagmeet Singh and the campaign on the horizon. "He loves to talk to people, and people are naturally attracted to him," says the long-time New Democrat (NDP) activist who has been called on to lead a new leader's campaign. election at the head of the party did little move the needle in the polls.

Mélanie Marquis
Mélanie Marquis
The Press

The challenge will be significant: the majority of pollsters predict a dark future for the NDP, especially in Quebec, where the outgoing deputation could be reduced to a trickle. But Jennifer Howard saw snow. "The NDP often leaves the neglected," she notes in an interview. And I think that more and more people, especially the younger ones, do not like to be told that they have to vote for one party or another, Liberal or Conservative. "


Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the New Democratic Party

The NDP campaign will focus on the themes of the climate crisis, social inequalities and affordable housing. We will propose a tax increase for the super rich, and contrary to what Thomas Mulcair promised in 2015, the NDP will not commit to balancing the budget at a specific time, says Mme Howard.

We will record deficits and deal with them responsibly.

Jennifer Howard

However, we are far enough away from a scenario where the New Democrats take power in Ottawa. An observation that seemed to make Jagmeet Singh himself when he pointed out, after an old speech by Andrew Scheer on gay marriage surfaced, August 22, that he would never offer his support to a Conservative minority government. In doing so, in the opinion of some, he has already burned an electoral cartridge.

"There are just not enough points in common," justifies Mme Howard, citing the issue of abortion. In this regard, the leader of the NDP is in tune with Quebeckers. On the other hand, on the issue of the wearing of religious symbols, it is another story. And if this thorny issue, which sealed the NDP in Quebec in 2015, returned to the carpet in 2019? "Our position is clear. Our leader is wearing a turban and he is fighting to be elected prime minister. He is a model and a powerful symbol, "slice the strategist.

"The young people are crowing turban! "

The party's deputy leader, Alexandre Boulerice, does not hide the fact that in Quebec, the NDP will want to march on the paths of victory plowed by Quebec solidaire in the last Quebec election. The strategy could pay for the training, judges the political scientist Thierry Giasson. "It's going to be a big challenge for the NDP. We must get out the young people who voted for QS. Young people, they are crowned, turban! On this issue, in Quebec, there is an important generational division, "he said in an interview. Which does not mean that the chef should have all the space. "We must" franchise "the campaign, as we say in political marketing, that is to say, leave room for maneuver to provincial organizations to propose slogans, pubs," says the professor at the Department of Political Science of Laval University. Because in 2015, "many elected officials who lost their elections were furious against the party," which has too centralized operations, he concludes. – Mélanie Marquis, The Press

Jennifer Howard

Before heading to Ottawa, where her spouse's family lives, Tara, she was, among other things, a House Leader and Minister of Finance in the government of Greg Selinger, Manitoba. Aged 48, she is the mother of two children aged 4 and 7.


Jennifer Howard


"Very realistic" to elect at least 20 deputies

The Bloc Québécois wants to ride the popularity of the government of François Legault to woo the electorate – a sign that the party intends to play in the same flowerbeds as the Conservatives.

Mélanie Marquis
Mélanie Marquis
The Press

"Quebeckers have chosen a nationalist government, a government that claims things, and we have the pretension to think that we, we will come into continuity with that," the party's president, Yves Perron, said on the phone when asked. asks if the Bloc has learned from the thaw of the Parti Québécois on the provincial scene.


Yves-François Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Québécois

"We aim to rake really wide, to seek the vote of all nationalists, without hiding our independence orientation," he argued, arguing in passing that "long ago in Quebec we did not not seen that, a government that is positioning itself. And to defend in the Commons the interests of the National Assembly, the ideal would be to achieve – or even surpass – the magic number of 12 to gain access to recognized party status. "Up 20 MPs, it would be very realistic," Judge Yves Perron.

He rubs his hands at the idea that the theme of secularism is inviting itself into the countryside.

Law 21 (on the wearing of religious symbols), none of the major pan-Canadian parties wants to talk about it. They want to wait until October 22 (the day after the vote) to support court challenges. That's sure it'll be part of the campaign.

Yves Perron

The party had already signaled its intentions last April by buying a billboard in Ottawa that reads Quebec knows what's right for Quebec in the wake of the passage of Bill 21.

This is the first time since 1997 that the Bloc campaigned without Gilles Duceppe at its head. When elections are called, Chief Yves-François Blanchet will have eight months of experience behind the tie. But he is ready. And he has all the qualities required, Judge Yves Perron: "He is, I believe, the best leader possible to represent Quebeckers. He is an extraordinary spokesperson; he has a clear and precise speech and he is able to carry his message very, very firmly, but without being aggressive. "

In the chef's coach

As in 2015, the journalists who will follow the leader will board his bus, an unusual cohabitation. "We will take into account that in the way of arranging the interior," says France Amyot, director of communications campaign. "I made an approach in May, June, and I saw that the media would work with their regional offices," she says. Since "we can not rely solely on the traditional media", we will focus a lot on social networks. "We will definitely push that; Yves-François is comfortable with that, small video clips that we can do ourselves and publish on the networks, "notes the strategist. We will also favor this medium on television, says Mme Amyot: "Our financial resources are not bigger than in 2015. There will be choices to make. For example, are we going to do TV commercials? No, we will not do it. – Mélanie Marquis, Press

Yves Perron

A 51-year-old humanities teacher, he is at the same time president of the Bloc Québécois (since August 2018) and candidate for training. He returns to the riding of Berthier-Maskinongé, where he came second in 2015.


Yves Perron (on the right)

France Amyot

The 62-year-old niece of former Premier René Lévesque is at her 12th birthday.e election campaign (six at the provincial level, six at the federal level). She assures that she will not go to 13. "I make a Dominique Michel of myself: it's my last," she laughs.


France Amyot


Goal: 5 to 12 seats

The Green Party caused some surprise this summer in the Ottawa bubble by entrusting Warren Kinsella, the ruthless ex-Liberal strategist who proclaimed himself "prince of darkness," the mandate to set up his "war room" "- research cell where we dig up information that can harm opponents, and that is called" rapid response unit "in the Greens, says Jonathan Dickie, campaign manager.

Mélanie Marquis
Mélanie Marquis
The Press

And if the formation of Elizabeth May has used heavy artillery, it is because its recent breakthroughs and encouraging results in the polls are now a target, says the 40-year-old strategist.

It has been noted that the NDP and the PLC spend a little more time attacking us because we are losing support. And we realized that we did not have this expertise within the party.

Warren Kinsella

He swears that the Greens do not intend to launch hostilities, but to "better prepare to defend themselves quickly" if the opponents decide to go on the offensive. "Elizabeth May wants the team to respond to attacks, not to attack," Warren Kinsella, who handed over the unit's keys to an employee at his Toronto consulting firm, said in an email.


Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party

But what is clear is that in light of the successes achieved in some provinces and at the federal level with the victory of MP Paul Manly in a by-election in British Columbia, Elizabeth May's greens have expansionist aims. "We do not expect a major wave," said Jonathan Dickie. We think we can win in 5 to 12 constituencies. We are a very small party, and our resources are very limited, so you have to be very strategic about how to deploy those resources. "

Jonathan Dickie

Married with a 5-year-old boy, he was the campaign director for the first Green Member of Parliament in the House of Commons in 2011 – Elizabeth May. He has been with the party for over a decade.


Jonathan Dickie

Warren Kinsella

Author and political columnist, he was an advisor to former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and worked as a strategist in several federal and Ontario Liberal campaigns. He is known for his harsh criticism of Justin Trudeau.


Warren Kinsella


Battle against "political correctness"

The campaign is not launched that already, the People's Party of Canada considers that its leader will have to fight against the censorship and the political correctness. This was manifested by the removal of billboards on "mass immigration" and the exclusion – preliminary – Maxime Bernier of the two major national debates.

Mélanie Marquis
Mélanie Marquis
The Press

"We want to prevent us from having platforms where we can express our positions by saying that they do not have the right of city," regrets the chief collaborator of the leader, Martin Masse, talking about the debates, saying that if the The leader is excluded, we will find a way to show that the "establishment" has tried to ostracize the People's Party, whether by simultaneously holding an event or by broadcasting a video.

Immigration is one of the party's themes that is receiving the most attention, as evidenced by the recent purchase, by a group of interest, of panels inviting people to vote "NO to mass immigration". Their disappearance, decided by the display company, gives reason to the "leftists" who judge the expression racist or xenophobic, plague strategist.

In 2015, then Conservative candidate, Maxime Bernier had only to focus on his re-election in Beauce. His team produced a jingle that became an ear worm. Once again he had been elected with an overwhelming majority. Now party leader, "he will spend two or three days in his riding of Beauce, and the rest of the week elsewhere, in different parts of the country," said Mr. Masse. For lack of means, the party will have neither bus nor plane.

Martin Masse

The man who is considered the eminence grise Maxime Bernier was sovereignist until 1994. Aged 54, long linked to the Montreal Economic Institute, he had presented in 1996 for the Reform Party on the island from Montreal. He had collected 1.1% of the vote.


Martin Masse (left) with Maxime Bernier, Leader of the Popular Party of Canada

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