Deputy prime minister says 'vast, vast majority' of Liberal caucus supports Trudeau

  • Canadian Press

Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers remarks during Canada Day celebrations at LeBreton Flats in Ottawa, on Monday, July 1, 2024. Freeland says the "vast, vast majority" of Liberal MPs continue to support their leader. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

MILTON, ONTARIO -- The "vast, vast majority" of Liberal MPs continue to support their leader, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland insisted Thursday.

Her comments came as questions continued to swirl about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's leadership -- and whether he has the full support of a caucus he has not met with since last week's shocking byelection upset in Toronto last week.

"The prime minister has my full support. I know he has the full support of cabinet and I know he has the full support of the vast, vast majority of Liberal MPs," she said.

Freeland said a group Toronto-area MPs met in her backyard on Wednesday evening to talk about what the results in Toronto-St. Paul's mean.

The meeting was chaired by Liberal MP John McKay, she told reporters at an unrelated announcement in Milton, Ont., adding that she offered her place because of its central location.

"I think it was a really, really valuable opportunity for us to talk with each other, to talk about the results of the byelection, to talk about what they mean, to talk about hearing what Canadians are telling us," she said.

Freeland said voters sent the Liberals a strong message when they delivered the Conservatives a surprise victory last Monday in a riding the Liberals had held for more than 30 years.

"It is absolutely incumbent upon us to hear that message. That message was, 'Things are hard. Life is really challenging right now,'" she said.

"'And you, our government, need to do a better job delivering for us on the things that matter in our lives. You need to do a better job making life easier for us.'"

Freeland said the Liberals are collectively "absolutely committed to doing that."

Trudeau wouldn't say on Wednesday whether or not he would hold a national caucus meeting to discuss the fallout from the byelection loss. He has met with a smaller group of caucus leaders, but currently there is no plan for the entire Liberal caucus to meet until September.

Some Liberal MPs have privately demanded a full caucus meeting now and others also want a cabinet shuffle.

Trudeau and his office have stayed mum on both ideas.

This report by was first published July 4, 2024.