By-election and interest rate decision may just seal Trudeau’s fate this summer

Down in the polls already and with potential leadership candidates waiting in the wings, Trudeau may just fall victim to a disgruntled caucus. Pictured: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo Credit: Justin Trudeau/X.

What will the summer hold for the Prime Minister? The dog days of summer are on the horizon and finger-pointing and name-calling in the House of Commons will soon be traded for barbecues, community get-togethers and summer fairs.

While MPs utilize the months between July and September to reconnect with their constituents and clock kilometres traversing their ridings, Justin Trudeau doesn’t get the luxury of resting on his laurels this year.

Barring a snap election or a breakdown in ongoing discussions between the Liberals and the NDP over the supply and confidence agreement, the next federal election is set to take place on October 25th, 2025. This means it’s likely to be the last summer of normalcy before Canadians are subjected to the pre-election blitz of political advertisements and campaign stops. 

But before Trudeau can start thinking about the impending general election, some key milestones this summer will either allow him to get his narrative back on track or conversely, further derail the Liberal government’s electoral fate.

First on the list is the upcoming by-election in Toronto–St. Paul’s. Historically a Liberal stronghold, this would have been a slam dunk, pickup seat during any other point of Trudeau’s tenure as Liberal leader. 

The riding isn’t expected to flip but the margins by which the Liberals hang on to it could further solidify the fact that nothing they are doing or saying is resonating in the minds of Canadians. Even if there is no loss, all eyes will be on Trudeau to explain exactly why the Liberals are performing worse in the heart of Toronto than at any point during the previous three general elections. 

Moreover, sitting caucus members will likely have questions about their own electability under the Liberal banner if the numbers prove to be less than stellar, particularly those in suburban ridings.

By-election results aside, Trudeau must also be holding his breath for the next Bank of Canada rate announcement at the end of July. As affordability concerns remain top of mind for Canadians, 13 per cent of mortgage holders find themselves up for renewal this year. Unless rates continue to go down and pressure is eased, it will be hard for the Trudeau government to maintain confidence as stewards of the public purse. 

Assuming Trudeau makes it past these markers and polling numbers improve, there are still summer cabinet and caucus retreats to deal with. In an ideal scenario, the gathering of MPs is meant to act as an unofficial reset before everyone makes their back to Ottawa for the resumption of parliament. Those tasked with portfolios are meant to listen to their fellow caucus members and translate the concerns heard at the doorstep into public policy solutions.

Oftentimes, the party leader is meant to issue a rallying cry to his team. In this case, however, Trudeau must hope that he is not derailed by by-election results and interest rate decisions. 

Down in the polls already and with potential leadership candidates waiting in the wings, Trudeau may just fall victim to a disgruntled caucus. He will need more than hope and a prayer to escape the summer unscathed.

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