Justin Trudeau's town hall meeting in Kamloops shows federal election campaign is already underway

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      Last night, B.C. was the site of another one of Justin Trudeau's trademark town-hall meetings.

      It took place in Kamloops, which has been a bellwether provincial riding for decades.

      The federal Liberals obviously see a chance of capturing the seat held Conservative MP Cathy McLeod.

      For many years, Kamloops was represented by moderate NDP MP Nelson Riis.

      The area has a growing Indigenous population and it could easily go Liberal in 2019.

      Last night's event was designed to further that objective.

      These town-hall meetings generate a great deal of media coverage, but they don't seriously elevate people's understanding of public policies.

      However, they allow Trudeau to go in with his sleeves rolled up and play the role of a teacher—something he's very comfortable doing.

      If he gets heckled, he can come off as the voice of reason on the national news.

      And he's unlikely to encounter a tough cross-examination on any specific issue because members of the audience usually get to ask only one question.

      It's pure theatre.

      The real danger for the Liberals is if Trudeau submits himself to a detailed interview on climate change by someone extremely knowledgeable about the Paris Agreement.

      Like Bill McKibben. Like Avi Lewis. Like David Suzuki. Or like Mike De Souza.

      That would reveal to the public how Trudeau's support for pipelines and an LNG facility in Kitimat makes it extremely difficult for Canada to meet its international obligations.

      He would also have to answer questions about the effectiveness of his carbon tax in driving down greenhouse gas emissions. He would have to respond to questions about the role that his government's climate policies are going to have on the number of letahl forest fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

      To date, Trudeau has preferred to be interviewed by journalists who aren't passionate about climate change, such as the CBC's Rosemary Barton, CTV's Lisa LaFlamme, and Breakfast Television hosts in Vancouver and Toronto.

      As a result, the prime minister has enjoyed a fairly free ride on the environmental file from the mainstream media.

      That's unlikely to change between now and election day on October 21, given the way the Liberals are likely to campaign.