‘They should be nervous’: Liberals now focusing ‘completely’ on election readiness in regional, national caucus meetings

By Abbas Rana

The Liberals will be under attack from all sides in the next election campaign, but Liberals say they have a good story to tell and some say they need to sharpen up their communications strategy before it’s too late.

With only four months left before the fall election call and 75 per cent of the Grit caucus consisting of rookie MPs facing re-election for the first time, the Liberals have decided to focus “completely” on election readiness in all their weekly regional and national meetings until the House adjourns on June 21, MPs say.

“Now we’ll be focusing completely on the election,” said seven-term Liberal MP Judy Sgro (Humber River-Black Creek, Ont.), who won the last election with 66.9 per cent of the vote, in an interview with The Hill Times.

When the House is in session, all the political parties hold regional and national caucus meetings every Wednesday morning on the Hill. Held behind closed doors, the meetings are an opportunity for MPs to get together once a week at the same time and place, to discuss their political and policy issues. MPs share feedback from constituents with their colleagues and the caucus leadership.

On the government side, cabinet ministers update their colleagues on what their departments are doing on a variety of policy issues, while backbench MPs provide their opinions on these policies. Each regional caucus chair also provides a report to the national caucus on what policy and political issues are on the minds of Canadians and MPs from their specific region. National caucuses meet for two hours from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and before that, each regional caucus meets for one hour and 15 minutes. Because of the morning weekly caucus meetings, the House starts its regular proceedings at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays. In the remainder of the week, the House proceedings start at 10 a.m.

MPs will return back to Ottawa next week, and the House will stay in session for four straight weeks before its scheduled adjournment on June 21 for the summer. The election is expected to be called in the first or second week of September. Following the summer recess, Parliament will return only after the federal election scheduled for Oct. 21.


full story at https://www.hilltimes.com/2019/05/20/with-five-months-left-in-election-liberals-focus-completely-on-election-readiness-in-regional-and-national-caucus-meetings/200565

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