McGuinty says Trudeau government just finding its footing

Former Ontario premier says fledgling government will be judged by its progress

OTTAWA — Dalton McGuinty says the rough patch Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has been going through lately is normal for a fledgling administration.

The former Ontario premier says it takes time for a new government to find its footing.

While Trudeau’s Liberals remain popular, they’ve encountered a series of bumps in the road over the past few weeks.

Their assisted dying bill has been widely panned; the launch of their promised electoral reform initiative has been denounced as a blatant bid to stack the deck in their favour; they’ve infuriated opposition parties by limiting debate; and Trudeau himself was forced to apologize for grabbing a Conservative MP and accidentally elbowing a New Democrat in the Commons.

And now Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo has quit the cabinet and the Liberal caucus to deal with “addiction issues.”

McGuinty ascribes the difficulties to growing pains.

“I think you’ve got a government that’s growing stronger, learning in a very public forum,” McGuinty said Wednesday during a visit to Parliament to meet several of his former staffers who are now MPs.

“I think we owe them some time and some patience as they grow stronger and get their sea legs under them.”

McGuinty suggested voters will forgive hiccups as long as the government delivers progress.

“Every government is made up exclusively of human beings, with all their noble strengths and their human frailties. I don’t think Canadians expect perfection but they do demand progress. I’m convinced this government will bring us progress.”