It's never easy being a federal NDP candidate in B.C. when the Liberals are in power in Ottawa and your party is in control of the provincial government.
That became abundantly clear in the 1997 and 2000 federal campaigns when the NDP had a majority government in Victoria. In the 1997 federal election, the NDP won only three of the 34 seats up for grabs in B.C.
Three years later, the NDP only captured two of the 34 seats in B.C.
It was a similar story back in 1974—the NDP had a majority government in Victoria, yet only won two of the 23 seats in the federal campaign.
This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in B.C. making campaign-style announcements, even though the election hasn't been called yet.
On July 8, he and Premier John Horgan announced a $10-a-day childcare program.
Trudeau was seen on TV newscasts across the province jovially gobbling down fast food with Horgan, the provincial NDP leader, at a picnic table.
Today, Trudeau's in Surrey—once a hotbed of NDP support—to make a rapid-transit announcement.
Imagine how exasperating this is for NDP candidates who've put their lives on hold to run for Parliament.
In the 2019 federal election, the NDP won 11 of the 42 seats while Horgan was overseeing a minority government in Victoria.
The Liberals also won 11 seats in B.C. in 2019, with 17 going to the Conservatives, two to the Greens, and one to independent Jody Wilson-Raybould.
After the 2019 results were tallied, the Liberals were 13 seats shy of a majority.
If they can take a few of those NDP seats this time—including Jagmeet Singh's Burnaby South—as well as some other seats in the rest of Canada, it could give Trudeau his second majority government.
Horgan and his B.C. NDP colleagues weren't going to turn down federal dollars to deliver $10-a-day childcare, which will help young families across the province.
But it's coming at a high price for his federal counterparts.
In fact, it just might help Trudeau eat Jagmeet Singh's lunch in B.C. in the next federal election.