A little over a year ago, a wave of red swept the country. Justin Trudeau and his Liberals triumphed over Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Despite conservative cries of “he’s just not ready”, the general consensus was Canadians wanted change and felt it would happen under Trudeau’s governance.
Canada allowed itself to fall in love with its new leader, for a short period of time. The honeymoon is now over.
Promises are partly how elections are won and Justin Trudeau’s campaign was full of them. Trudeau made promises he has yet to fulfill. Granted, it takes time to implement ideas and strategies, but many Canadians see their PM as a man who spends a lot of time travelling and attending public events, and not enough running the country. One only need look at the Prime Minister’s Twitter account to notice the numerous places he visits: Washington, China and Ukraine among others.
In between travels, Trudeau has made assisted death legal, brought 31, 000 Syrian refugees to Canada and raised taxes for the rich to ease the burden on the middle-class and low-income families.
A significant change to government has been the creation of an equal gender cabinet. Trudeau’s 31-member cabinet is comprised of 16 men and 15 women.
When pressed by the media about the equality in his cabinet, Trudeau said, “It’s 2015.”
Some changes by the Trudeau administration haven’t been positive, however. For instance, senior citizens have seen their pensions cut, making it more difficult for them to get by. Many promises have yet to be fulfilled, such as the legalization of marijuana and changes to the veteran charter.
The PM has been criticized for spending large sums of money, which from day one he made clear would happen. He has spent $69 million for First Nations mental health issues here, $64.5 million for future humanitarian crises there. It all adds up quickly. We have yet to see results on the infrastructure and job front.
During the 2015 campaign, Trudeau announced he was going to create jobs and infrastructure to boost the country’s economy by creating a deficit. And create a deficit he did. As expressed during the campaign, Trudeau and his Liberals aren’t expecting the budget to be balanced until 2019-2020.
Nonetheless, in the public’s eye, the PM is certainly personable. He isn’t afraid to embrace traditions and heritage, even when they’re not his own. Trudeau has taken part in pride parades, prayed with Muslims in mosques and worn aboriginal regalia when he met with First Nations.
“Sunny ways my friends,” said Trudeau upon being elected Canada’s new PM. “Sunny ways.” The clouds have set in.
While competent on the surface, the Trudeau government has so far lacked production. It’s too early to tell how effective Trudeau has been or will be. Seeds have been planted, money has been spent and ideas have been thrown around. But Trudeau would be well-advised to put in a little more work at home and spend a little less time on the international scene.
Oh and Justin, please be mindful of where the nation’s money goes. Thanks.