In Canada’s recent federal election, Justin Trudeau held onto the post of Prime Minister, despite being dogged by controversy over his appearance in blackface and a scandal in which he pressured his Justice Minister to go easy on a corrupt construction company. His Liberal party lost the popular vote but ended up with the most seats, defeating their closest rival, the Conservative Party, led by Andrew Scheer. The Liberal and Conservative parties finished close as expected but the separatist Bloc Quebecois made its way up the rankings finishing in a surprising third place, beating out the left wing NDP and Green parties.
Although he won, our Prime Minister has a lot of work to do to regain our trust.
The Liberals secured a minority government, which will require them to negotiate support from another party in order to get through any legislation while in office. The Liberal party is now going to have to look for partners in a way they never needed to before.
Trudeau does not have as many supporters as the first time he ran for prime minister. Andrew Scheer’s Conservative party received 230,000 more votes than Trudeau’s Liberals, but the Conservative party were hoping for a better performance after a rocky few months for Trudeau. Eyebrows were raised, to put it mildly, when the photos were published showing him in blackface at a school event when he was a high school teacher, as well as on other occasions.
Like a good Canadian, he was quick to apologize, upfront and profusely, for his terrible judgement.
He also alienated supporters by fighting for the Trans Mountain Pipeline and purchasing it in order to ensure the project’s success. However, neither of those issues were likely to lead voters to the Conservatives, but might instead favour the NDP.
Still, he is spending a lot of political capital on the left, forcing an unwanted pipeline through the indigenous land and then making taxpayers pay for it so that something as simple as the oilsands can bring in more production. Giving in to the Kinder Morgan Pipeline expansion to make transportation between vessels more efficient, is still not the safest for our environment. If Trudeau wants to gain more supporters he needs to start putting our environment first and the oil tankers that run in our inlet second. If a major spill were to happen, our inlet sea life would ingest the oil and become sick or eventually die, it would also affect the residents that live on top of Burnaby Mountain.
Still, the Prime Minister’s re-election shows that Canadians are sticking with a guy that failed to legislate an end to the use of omnibus bills, restore home delivery for mail, or institute electoral reform — all things he promised when he initially got elected four years ago.
Going forward, Trudeau now needs to find better ways to solve problems like climate change, poverty or even narcotic and drug problems. Trudeau has already stated that he and the Liberal government will implement a national pharmacare program. In Vancouver, on average, one person dies every day due to the ongoing opioid crisis. Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Trudeau along with many other mayors have desperately been trying to find ways to stop this epidemic or at least slow it down.
He will need to be more active in visiting places that want to express their word or opinion to him more. That goes a long way and shows that he wants what’s best for the people of Canada. When CBC conducted a live episode of undecided voters asking the candidates some hard questions about poverty, the drug crisis or even being off work and laid off, one man from Prince Edward Island was simply asking Trudeu to be more involved and see for himself in person how some of these towns and cities are dealing with budding problems. In that case the resident from Prince Edward Island had since being laid off and with a big family at home, was just wondering how he is going to care for them.
As is common after an election, a cabinet minister shakeup brought new faces to prominence: Anita Anand, Mona Fortier, Steven Guilbeault, Marco Mendicino, Marc Miller, Deb Schuldt and Dan Vandal round out the seven new inductees. All bring fresh new ideas into the cabinet. This is a very diverse team that is representing Canadians in every part of the country. Trudeau was quoted saying, “Today, I can introduce the strong, diverse, and experienced team that will work together to tackle the big issues that matter to people from coast to coast to coast. Whether it’s making life more affordable for the middle class, taking action on climate change, or keeping our communities safe, I will continue working tirelessly for all Canadians.”
Trudeau has shown that despite the Conversative 2015 line that he was “just not ready,” he in fact does have the knowledge and skill to be a prime minister that is able to make fair decisions that are right for this country, also known as competent. Trudeau has done a great job keeping a close relationship with the United States and Trump, despite missteps like getting caught on camera criticizing Trump with other leaders, he has not created enemies on the other side of the water as Trump most definitely has.
But problems are still ahead. Trudeau has promised climate action, with a stated goal of reducing our country’s emissions by 30 percent before 2030. Yet, contradicting that goal, he would also like to complete the Trans Mountain Pipeline, despite the backlash towards it.
Although Trudeau has made some wrong decisions, he remains a well-rounded leader who presents a clear vision, strong opinions and integrity… usually. These are important characteristics to have during these turbulent times. Like most Canadians, I’m hopeful to see what Trudeau might accomplish in developing his vision for our country.