PM touring to escape 'concentric circles' in Ottawa
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes questions at a town hall meeting in Calgary, Alta. on Tues., Jan. 24, 2017. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, December 19, 2017 10:35AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 19, 2017 11:41AM EST
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning to embark on a cross-Canada town hall tour next month, in an effort to keep from getting "government-itis," he said.
Trudeau will be travelling across Canada in January to hold a series of town hall meetings, he said in an interview with Mornings Rock on CHOM 97.7 FM in Montreal Tuesday morning.
The prime minister said the tour is part of his effort to stay connected to Canadians and avoid getting what he calls "toxic” “government-itis."
"It’s easy to surround yourself with really, really smart people… the top advisers, the top ministers. You can surround yourself with concentric circles of really qualified people and completely disconnect from the folks you’re actually supposed to serve," he said.
The town halls will be in such places as small town gymnasiums, and feature an hour and a half of questions, from locals, on whatever topics they want.
Trudeau has held similar town hall tours in the past, and said it’s helpful to hear what’s on people's minds. The House of Commons is adjourned until late January, leaving about four weeks open for the prime minister to be away from Ottawa.
He described it as: "bringing our democracy and our political institutions into their lives instead of expecting them to come meet you on the floor of question period, metaphorically."
"It’s the challenge of meeting people where they are, and if you’re a politician these days and you’re expecting people to discover you through reading political articles in the political section of a given newspaper or magazine, you’re really limiting your space in terms of actually reaching people who are quite frankly, busy with their regular lives," Trudeau said.