Trudeau, Scheer look ahead to 2019 election

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Justin Trudeau says his government has a “thoughtful” plan for the upcoming 2019 federal election. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says the prime minister’s approach is “divisive.”

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CAPTION: Justin Trudeau says his government has a “thoughtful” plan for the upcoming 2019 federal election. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says the prime minister’s approach is “divisive.” (Dec. 21, 2018)

  1. SOUNDBITE: Justin Trudeau, prime minister
  2. SOUNDBITE: Andrew Scheer, Conservative leader

STORYLINE: Justin Trudeau says he’s confident he’ll win re-election next fall by sticking to a positive, thoughtful approach to difficult issues, in contrast to the Conservatives whom he accuses of resorting to bumper sticker slogans that prey on voters’ fears and prejudices.
Although recent provincial elections suggest Canada is not immune to the anti-immigrant sentiment or nationalist populist sloganeering that has swept through the U.S. and other countries around the globe, the prime minister argues that Canadians are getting wise to political leaders who promise easy, simplistic solutions to complex issues.
I think one of the big distinctions that we see around the world right now is folks who want to exacerbate, amplify and exaggerate those fears for short-term political gain versus those who are trying to thoughtfully allay those fears,'' Trudeau said in a year-end roundtable with the Ottawa bureau of The Canadian Press. Obviously, it’s easier to spook someone than it is to explain a complex answer,” he said. But I fundamentally believe in trusting citizens' capacity to be thoughtful about where we're going ... and that is what I am going to be putting forward as a vision for our politics, for our country and, by extension, I think for the whole world.'' In that sense, Trudeau is drawing much the same battle lines that propelled the Liberals to a come-from-behind victory in 2015. In that campaign, he points out that Stephen Harper's Conservatives adopted a strategy withIslamaphobic undertones,” including vowing to ban Muslim women from wearing the face-covering niqab during citizenship ceremonies and proposing creation of a “snitch line” to tip police to culturally barbaric practices.