A source with close ties to the Office of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland tells The Chronicle that — despite public statements of confidence in Justin Trudeau — she fully expects to succeed him as early as this October, and has discussed as much with the Liberal Party of Canada’s principal financier, Charles Bronfman.
Their succession plan may require amending party rules to accelerate the timeline of a leadership election, premised on COVID-19 related protocols. One operative expects LPC staffers to call for remote digital balloting and automated vote counts in order to mitigate pandemic risks. They hope to dramatically shorten the length of the party leadership election to three weeks.
A percolating marital scandal threatens to collapse Trudeau’s minority coalition government in the House of Commons.
Trudeau’s tenure became even more tenuous late last month with the forced resignation of Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Morneau remains resentful and has been leaking damaging information to Canadian media outlets in recent days.
Freeland intends to welcome former Justice Minister and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould back into to the cabinet, though it is unclear in which ministerial position. Freeland intends to architect a cabinet shuffle upon becoming Prime Minister, and a number of senior portfolios are being considered including Foreign Affairs and Justice.
Worried that Western alienation, indigenous liberation movements, and a reinvigorated Bloc Quebecois threaten the stability of the Canadian confederation, Freeland had wanted to invite Wilson-Raybould back into the Cabinet Ministry months ago, following her reelection to the House of Commons as an Independent, but has been repeatedly rebuffed by Trudeau.
Wilson-Raybould’s supporters want Freeland to name her Deputy Prime Minister. Doing so would communicate to indigenous voters that the prospect of an indigenous Prime Minister is on the horizon.
“Welcoming Wilson-Raybould back into the Cabinet would be a masterful political move that departs from Trudeau’s leadership style,” explains an Ottawa-based political operative. “It could also pre-empt a leadership challenge from Wilson-Raybould, who remains a very popular figure across Canada.”