(Ottawa) In case it wasn’t clear yet, Justin Trudeau confirmed it Thursday evening at the Liberal Party’s national convention: the election campaign has already begun, at least unofficially.

References to Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre were ubiquitous in the Prime Minister’s opening speech. Sometimes by name, sometimes indirectly, he attacked his opponent in anticipation of the next election, which will take place no later than the fall of 2025, but which could occur before.

Conservatives, he said, find Liberal politics “too woke,” betting on that catch-all term sure to grab attention.

“Too woke! ? Hey, Pierre Poilievre, it’s time for you to wake up,” exclaimed Justin Trudeau in English before listing some of these policies, including investments in green energy, the creation of a national program of services to early childhood and its joint cabinet, recently hailed by Joe Biden.

And Canada is “not broken”, contrary to what the Conservative leader claims, he hammered at the Shaw Center in Ottawa, where the room was obviously less hostile than the House of Commons is in this moment, while his government is entangled in the affairs of Chinese interference.

The Conservative alternative to the Liberal “positive vision” is “too dark”, Justin Trudeau insisted again before launching a new salvo of attacks, in a show of leadership aimed at whipping the proverbial Liberal troops.

Advising to invest in cryptocurrency, courting anti-women’s groups on YouTube, leading a party whose elected officials go to lunch with a “xenophobic” German politician, all of this is “the opposite of responsible leadership”. , continued the Liberal leader.

“Even Erin O’Toole knew that,” Justin Trudeau quipped of Pierre Poilievre’s predecessor, whom he beat in 2021.

Referring to this election as well as the precedents of 2019 and 2015, when Canadians “chose a positive vision for the future”, the Prime Minister set the table in anticipation of the next one. “Today we have that choice again. And that choice is now more important than ever,” he said.

The Prime Minister was preceded on stage by Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, who did not hesitate to shoot arrows at Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, accusing him of being ready to “do anything to satisfy the more extreme elements of its base.

“And those who thought he would calm down once he won the leadership race are now seeing it: he will not change. This is the exception that proves the rule: Pierre Poilievre, you never get to know him! she scoffed.

Minister Joly did not spare the Bloc Québécois either: “It is not the Bloc Québécois that is capable of defending our interests against the radical right and of making us progress within the country. We remember that when Stephen Harper cut funding to Radio-Canada, the Bloc had 49 members in the House.

Neither Justin Trudeau nor Mélanie Joly mentioned the NDP in their speech.

The biennial Liberal convention, which could be the last before the next federal election, opened Thursday in the federal capital, and it continues until Saturday. Justin Trudeau will leave the event before its conclusion to fly to London, where he will attend the coronation ceremony of Charles III.

Friday will be marked by the participation of former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The first will share the stage with Minister François-Philippe Champagne, and the second with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.