Potential and Promise of Justin Trudeau
This past Monday, Canadians took to the polls in record numbers to have their voices heard. The result was a resounding call for change when the Liberal party captured majority of the 338 seats in our Parliament. This win is historic for several reasons, the results of which will affect Canadians for years to come.
So how will our country begin to change after nearly a decade of Stephen Harper’s Conservative leadership? Here are five party undertakings that will change our political landscape:
The Keystone XL Pipeline
Though this point was not one of the key debate topics, it is very certainly an issue which will affect future generations. Prime Minister Elect Trudeau is very much in favor of building the Keystone XL pipeline which would be used to carry crude oil from the oil sands of Alberta though to the Gulf Coast.
Now though this stance is in alignment with Harper’s position, it differs directly from American powerhouses Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. With an upcoming Presidential change in America, time will tell whether or not this conflict will affect economic relations. We do know however, that if the pipeline proceeds, environmental consequences will follow.
The Mysterious T.P.P
An increasingly emergent issue is the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. This free trade deal would involve Canada, Mexico, the U.S as well as nine other countries and is set to be brought before Parliament in spring of 2016. It will also face a U.S Congressional vote around the same time. Though it is not yet a definite project, the implications of such a huge undertaking are not to be ignored.
The fact that mainstream media has not highlighted the proposed deal in combination with Stephen Harper’s hesitation to readily disclose the exact details of the T.P.P causes a concern for many. From what has been released, we know that the plan touches key areas of Canadian life including public health, access to medications, environment and privacy and as Trudeau is decisively pro-trade, we can only expect that he and his team will vote favorably for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women
This is a heavy issue for Canadians as it is one of basic human rights. At current time, there are over one thousand cases of missing and/or murdered indigenous women across our country and for many years, Stephen Harper has continually pushed the issue aside by making promises that were never to be filled and when asked for a national inquiry, the Tories flat out rebuffed the idea.
This is a vital issue that has now been noted but the First Nation Community as well is the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and as such, Mr. Trudeau has pledged that he will be addressing these serious claims immediately.
The Acceptance of Refugees
In the past few weeks, reports have started to leak that the current Prime Minister’s Office had ordered that officials no longer process applications starting last spring until the files could be inspected but Stephen Harper’s staff; a claim he denies. Meanwhile, the refugee crisis continues to escalate and families are in dire need of help.
In response, the Liberals have vowed to accept over 20,000 refugees from Syria and will spend approximately $100 million to the refugee settlement cause, with another $100 million for further refugee programs in partnership with the United Nations. Though there are potential pitfalls to this decision, such as security and the labor market, overall, the humanitarian need cannot be denied and doing our part will undoubtedly raise Canada’s role as a global contributor.
The Liberal Stance on the Legalization of Marijuana
It has been known for some time that Justin Trudeau is in favor of legalizing pot so that it may be regulated and taxed. This would increase government revenue as well as reduce the current influence of criminal activity. It is also important to note that of the three major political parties, Mr.Trudeau was the only candidate whose financial plan included running a deficit with the idea that it is time to expand rather than cut services and infrastructure so a tax influx from pot may help the bottom line. Again, this stance is in stark contrast to the current Conservative government.
Trudeau’s honest admission that he himself had previously smoked the drug, even during his time as a Member of Parliament, has drawn major criticism and was certainly used against him while the respective parties were campaigning. The message was often targeted to minority groups under the vaguely implied threat that our children would reap the negative rewards should marijuana be legalized.
Trudeau plans include researching and emulating other areas of the world who have already legalized marijuana and the Liberals have stated that the intention will be to pursue this potential new revenue stream “right away”.
In the end, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals will have next four years shape a new future for Canada and her citizens. Not only is Justin Trudeau a new, young fresh face, but he is also one in a line of Canadian political royalty. I don't imagine that growing up along side of Canada's 15th Prime Minister hurts his chances of making political gains. Now that the ballots are cast and counted, we can only hope that the influence of his upbringing will benefit the outlook of our future.