Liberals won big Monday, lifting the son of a former prime minister to lead Canada in the most costly election in the nation’s history.
Justin Trudeau, 43, is Canada’s prime minister-elect after his Liberal Party won 184 seats in the nation’s parliament. The sweeping victory was by a wider margin than predicted and ended the 10-year run of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
As of 12:30 p.m. local time behind the Liberal Party’s 184 seats, Conservatives won 102 seats, New Democrats 41, Bloc Québécois 10 and the Green Party 1 seat.
Liberals promised they would take on short-term budget deficits in order to rebuild public infrastructure. Conservatives promised fiscal responsibility and various tax breaks.
Liberals vow to end Canada’s combat mission in Iraq and Syria
Trudeau’s party did not support joining the U.S.-led bombing mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But Liberals do believe Canada has a role to play in combating ISIS…
Rather than dropping bombs, the Liberal leader said in his stump speeches, Canada should be helping to train local forces to defeat ISIS on the ground. He has also pledged to increase humanitarian aid.
A more generous approach to refugees
The refugee crisis in Syria — and a Canadian connection to that heartbreaking photo of a little boy’s lifeless body on a Turkish beach — prompted reflection on Canada’s role as a generous global partner.
At a September debate that was supposed to focus on economic matters, Trudeau accused Harper of shirking his responsibilities on refugee resettlement..
Liberals have pledged to immediately accept 25,000 government-sponsored refugees from Syria — a larger commitment than the one made by the more left-wing New Democratic Party (NDP) to welcome 10,000 before the end of the year. Liberals say they will spend $100 million this fiscal year to increase refugee settlement in Canada, and another $100 million for United Nations refugee programs.
Yes, Trudeau wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline
In what may come as a surprise to American progressives, Trudeau is doggedly in favour of building a pipeline to carry crude from Alberta oilsands to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It’s a position that puts him offside with the likes of Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders…
Support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (most likely)
The massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal was reached roughly two weeks before Canadians voted.
Although the deal was lauded by Tories and opposed by the NDP, the Liberals held their cards close to the vest, saying they wanted to see the fine print of the deal before weighing in either way. That marked a shift away from Trudeau’s early and vocal support of the Canada-European Union free trade deal.
But Trudeau often repeated that his party is “resolutely pro-trade” and that he would make the case as prime minister that Canada has resources and goods to share with the world…
Liberals aim to make Canada the latest country to legalize pot
One of the earliest policies associated with Trudeau was his pledge to legalize marijuana so that it can be regulated and taxed. He’s said current laws make it easier for kids to access the drug, enriching only gangs and criminals.
That commitment, made shortly after he became Liberal leader in 2013, sparked near-constant derision from the Tories, who continue to favour prohibition…
A fresh face at the Paris climate conference
Canada’s recent reputation as a climate-change laggard is a sore spot for many who care deeply about the issue. With a global climate conference in Paris approaching in mere weeks, Liberals have committed to putting a price on carbon and ending the practice of setting — and ultimately missing — arbitrary emissions-reductions targets…
Of course, the Liberals’ commitment to resource development conflicts with research suggesting most oilsands crude should remain in the ground to truly combat climate change.
An inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women
The estimated 1,200 cases of missing and slain indigenous women in Canada is this country’s national disgrace, and the international community has taken notice.
For years, Harper’s Tories have rejected demands to hold a national inquiry into the matter. Those calls grew louder in 2013 when a United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples endorsed an inquiry to address what he called a “disturbing phenomenon.”