Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday (local time) brushed aside the idea he might quit due to poor polling numbers, saying he still had plenty of work to do, but acknowledged public grumbling about the cost of living.
Polls show that after nine years in power, the left-leaning Liberals were badly trailing the official opposition Conservatives and would lose power if an election were held now.
Although Trudeau has a deal with the smaller left-of-centre New Democrats that will allow them to govern until October 2025, the agreement is non-binding and could collapse earlier.
“We’re two years away from the next election. I’m continuing to do my job,” Trudeau told reporters in London, Ontario, when asked whether he had considered stepping down.
“There’s a lot of important work to do … I remain enthusiastic and relentless when it comes to that work.”
The Conservatives accused Trudeau of fuelling inflation through what they called reckless government spending. They complained that housing was becoming increasingly unaffordable.
Liberal legislators have complained anonymously to domestic media that Trudeau’s team does not have a plan to rebut Conservative attacks that focus on the high cost of living.
“There is grumbling across the country. … the cost of living is causing enormous difficulties,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau, on the sidelines of a Liberal caucus meeting before Parliament resumes next week, said he and fellow legislators would be having frank conversations about how best to address the government’s challenges.