OTTAWA: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will again head a minority government after getting enough seats in Canada’s 44th general election to become the largest party in parliament.
After a hectic, 36-day campaign by the major party leaders crisscrossing the country and costing Canadians a whopping $600 million to conduct the election, the House of Commons does not look very different from the one that was dissolved by Trudeau in August – with the intention and the hope of getting a full majority to push forward the Liberal agenda.
Analysts have said that the election actually created. more divisions in Canadian society thanhelping to unify it.
However, during a victory speech in Montreal, Trudeau said the result suggests Canadians are “sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic and to brighter days ahead. The moment we face demands real, important change, and you have given this Parliament and this government clear direction” Just like in 2015 and in 2019, he also stopped by the metro on Tuesday morning to say thanks to Montrealers.
He later tweeted:”Now it’s back to Ottawa where the work to build a better Canada for everyone continues. “Thank you, Canada — for casting your vote, for putting your trust in the Liberal team, for choosing a brighter future. We’re going to finish the fight against COVID. And we’re going to move Canada forward. For everyone.”
Voters turned up at the ballot box at the lowest rate in more than a decade to participate in according to data from Elections Canada. Across the country, turnout was only about 59 per cent.
Trudeau got just 32.2 per cent of the popular vote (which means that 67.8 per cent of Canadians did not vote for him say analysts). Trudeau said during the campaign that it was for Canadians to decide on who should finish the war against COVID-19 and lead the country into economic recovery.
He wooed the voters with an over-generous plan for child care – promising $10 a day for care spaces in many provinces, a more aggressive climate action which is one of the Liberals’ main plank and a solution to solve Canada’s chronic housing shortage.
Although the Liberals began the campaign with a sizeable lead in the opinion polls over the Conservatives, the lead narrowed considerably as the campaign progressed – as voters and other parties attacked the call for elections during the pandemic. It was also said that Trudeau could have implemented many policies announced in his campaign without holding a general election.
Lacklustre debates also added to Liberal woes and saw their public standing take a steep dive. On the last leg of the campaign, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh blamed the Liberals and Justin Trudeau for the 4.1% spike in inflation in August compared with the same month a year earlier, fuelled by rising consumer demand and supply-chain constraints for many goods.
Both said Trudeau’s inaction on multiple fronts, including the housing sector, are driving Canadians to despair. Speaking to his supporters in Oshawa after the election, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said he had no plans to resign. His party showed very little growth under his leadership, but he said he would stay on and fight Trudeau in the next election.
O’Toole reiterated his commitment to take the party to the centre of the political spectrum even as it faces challenges on its right flank from Maxine Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada (PPC) and on the left from the NDP “We must continue this journey of welcoming more Canadians to take another look at this party,” he said.
Observers believe that another election could take place in 2023. It was also not a happy outcome for the NDP and its leader Jagmeet Singh, with the NDP likely to get only one additional seat that it had in parliament earlier, However, the NDP may get more say in the government affairs, if the Liberals want their support to pass any legislation. Singh also said that he had no intention of stepping down as leader of the party .
Jagmeet said: “ What an incredible campaign. Thank you to everyone who helped out. Voters, volunteers, staff, supporters. You all helped make this something unforgettable that we can all be proud of. I can’t put into words how deeply I appreciate that. There are so many seats where our support has grown – and, others where we have to wait until every vote is counted to see how many more New Democrats have been elected.”
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister has sent the following message: Congratulations Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on your victory in the elections! I look forward to continue working with you to further strengthen IndiaCanada relations, as well as our cooperation on global and multilateral issues.”
Trudeau spoke with the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, who congratulated him on his re-election. The Prime Minister and President reiterated the importance of the mutually beneficial CanadaU.S. partnership for the security and prosperity of both countries.
The two leaders committed to getting together in person soon to discuss bilateral cooperation on a range of important files. These include bilateral economic and trade issues such as Buy America provisions; close collaboration on fighting climate change and promoting a green economic recovery, including at the upcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow; and the response to COVID-19, which includes the management of the Canada-U.S. land border.
The Prime Minister and President discussed China’s arbitrary detention of Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. Prime Minister Trudeau also confirmed his intention to participate in the virtual Global COVID-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better Health Security to Prepare for the Next, which will be hosted by President Biden on September 22.The two leaders looked forward to staying in touch.