Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to the podium to speak at the end of a cabinet retreat in Nanaimo last week. NICHOLAS PESCOD/The News Bulletin

Editorial: Government has to work for Nanaimo and Canada

Cabinet meetings in the Harbour City could help the region’s profile with politicians

This time, the prime minister didn’t engage with pipeline protesters. Instead, he presumably got other work done. It will be up to Canadians to decide whether his cabinet’s work will turn out to have been productive.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his federal Liberal cabinet held a retreat in Nanaimo on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week, meeting with one another and with members of the B.C. government at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

It’s hard to know exactly what the topics of conversation might have been last week. Before the event, the Prime Minister’s Office offered a vague agenda around economic growth and middle-class job creation, and at his closing press conference, Trudeau wasn’t much more specific, repeating those themes.

Various environmental groups lobbed criticism at the government for not specifically stating that climate change would be a topic at the cabinet retreat, and those groups backed up their stance with a raucous protest presence outside the conference centre. From what we could tell, there wasn’t the sort of civil disobedience that happened at Trudeau’s town hall in Nanaimo this past winter, for example, and it’s hard to measure whether a peaceful protest or a rowdy one is likelier to grasp the attention of a government.

We’ll generally side with those who speak out for causes they believe in, and whether the feds care about Nanaimo’s opinion on pipeline politics, we hope the climate was on their radar as they held meetings under smoky skies.

When the federal government books the conference centre for private meetings, ministers are entitled to set their agenda how they see fit. It stands to reason that the meetings in Nanaimo and the time spent here will help, in some ways, for our city and region to register with cabinet ministers nationally and we should anticipate announcements about ways the government wishes to help people here.

We hope the work that was done in Nanaimo will work for Nanaimo.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: Vulnerability to global disasters is our own making

For many, needs of the moment take precedence over concerns about sustainability, notes columnist

House burns in Harewood, three people displaced

Dog unaccounted for after house fire Sunday evening

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No need to wait to enforce new speed limit in the north end

If safety is the goal, why is there a ‘grace period’ for motorists to adjust, asks letter writer

COVID-19: Uptick in calls to Haven Society crisis line as restrictions ease

Organization reminds people of their range of services

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

UPDATE: B.C.’s Central Kootenay issues evacuation orders for hundreds of residents due to flooding

An evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Number of students returning is a wild card as B.C. schools reopen Monday

A common model will see other teachers work four days a week in class then the fifth remotely,

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Most Read