12.21.2016 10:54 AM

Oil and hydro: the bane of Trudeau’s existence

Oil is way down in Alberta, hydro is way up in Ontario. Justin Trudeau isn’t responsible for either, but he’s apparently being blamed for both. 

From our buddies at Abacus:

And, in their words:

As 2016 winds down, approval of the performance of the Trudeau government sagged a bit to 50%, in line with the numbers achieved at this point last year, but down from the levels seen earlier in the year. 32% disapprove of how the government is doing.

The sliding approval rating is largely attributable to opinion shifts in Ontario and Alberta, and among Conservative voters. Liberal and NDP voters remain about as satisfied as they have been with the performance of Mr. Trudeau’s government. Quebec and BC show considerably less fluctuation.

Trudeau’s guys must be a bit frustrated by all this, because they don’t control how expensive hydro is or how inexpensive oil is. But he’s taking a hit for both, just the same. 

He needs oil to go up, which I think it will do in Q2 2017. He needs hydro rates in Ontario to go down, or some dramatic political changes, in Q1 2017. I think the latter is more likely than the former. 

We shall see. In the meantime, I – for one – feel for Justin Trudeau. He’s being blamed for crap that is in no way his fault. 

Politics is a cruel mistress, etc. 


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    Heric says:

    Adding a Carbon Tax will increase both, which will impact everything.. The next election won’t be about the goodness of a carbon tax because he passed all the pain to the Provinces and those governments will need to get reelected.

    Also Power company rates are already accounting for the new infrastructure to cover the carbon tax.

    He should be held to account for the cost increases since he will be responsible for 10 to 15% increase in fuel and power and shipping due to an overreach by the feds in provincial taxation.

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    Tim says:

    I am not sure there is anyone who can fix the hydro situation in Ontario whether it be Wynne, the opposition parties, or Trudeau unless they want to break some very big power purchase contracts or put the Ontario hydro system into bankruptcy protection. The later isn’t actually such a bad idea in New Hampshire the main electricity went into bankruptcy back in the 1990s to get out from under the ballooning cost of building the Seabrook Nuclear Power plant while at no point during bankruptcy did the lights ever go out. I am not sure though anyone in Ontario is bold enough to suggest such a solution.

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    The Doctor says:

    It also reflects the fact that for an insurgent or opposition politician, campaigning is a lot easier than governing. Trudeau is now discovering that, and Trump is about to.

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    Kevin says:

    To be associated in any way with the Wynne government of Ontario is a disaster. Surely the WORST by a wide margin of any government ever in Ontario

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    Kevin (the Dutch one) says:

    You’re right about being tarred by another government’s reputation, and if the feds were unpopular it would impact at the provincial level too. Not sure whether the opposite holds true though – would the shine of one level of government boost the popularity of another?

    I agree that Ontario’s prices are way too high to justify convincingly. We’re paying far more than other jurisdictions in Canada. But the European average is almost double what we pay, so even as I curse while paying the hydro bill I repeat to myself “thank God I’m not in Berlin”.

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    monkey says:

    Alberta is naturally a conservative province so not surprised he is unpopular there. 60% voted Conservative last federal election and his approval rating amongst conservative voters has always been low. As for Ontario, it’s true its not his fault, but Kathleen Wynne definitely has a fair bit of responsibility and being closely associated with her is bringing him down. In BC and Quebec by contrast, they have provincial Liberal governments in name at least, but neither is seen as being associated with Trudeau thus he is unaffected by their popularity or unpopularity. In the case of Ontario, I suspect a fair number of federal Liberals probably would be happy to see the OLP lose knowing they will be an albatross around their neck never mind Ontario has a long history of splitting its support so if the PCs win the next Ontario election that is probably good news for the federal Liberals and vice versa.

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    Mulletaur says:

    There’s no way around it for Ontario Liberals: Wynne has to go. If she is being stubborn about it, she’ll have to be removed by the party. At least that way they will avoid third party status in 2018.

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    Hugh Whalen says:

    True, but he will also get credit for anything good that happens even if he had nothing to do with it…

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    The Wynne brain trust have to come up with the mother of whoppers to save their political bacon. Now we will truly see the cloth that her strategists are made of.

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    MississaugaPeter says:

    Maybe the pollsters are telling you it is because of his Liberal provincial cousins. But maybe the reason is some of his Ministers and his failure to keep his promises.

    Feling sorry for him? He has had no Opposition for over a year. In my lifetime, I have never seen anything like it. Plenty of other folk around more deserving of your empathy.

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    Cath says:

    The longer Wynne hangs around the worse it’s going to get for Trudeau. There are ALL those lovely photos too of their political closeness.
    None of it may be his doing but it’s still his watch now and he’s in charge. Governing is hard.

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      Cath says:

      Forgot to mention also that the more Justin digs-in on the cash-for-access thing the more Wynne-like he becomes.
      What THAT looks like is not good either way.

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    P. Brenn says:

    yup when people dont have jobs , cant pay hydro bills they vote against everything and everyone in power, fair or not – careful what you wish for though….I have no idea how any government can dig its way out of the fiscal hole Ontario is in with heavy health care (and other) requirements it faces.

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