Has Justin Trudeau kept the promises he made in his campaign?
By Ashley Aalto, Staff Writer
It has now been one year since the Liberal Party was elected into office, and with former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s son now filling his father’s shoes, many have high expectations for him. Justin Trudeau has made many promises in his electoral campaign, but does his first year as Prime Minister display action consistent with these promises?
According to TrudeauMetre.com, a non-partisan, citizen run website committed to keeping record of Trudeau’s achievements with reference to his electoral platform, Trudeau made 219 promises in his electoral campaign. Of those, he has achieved 34, broken 26, 95 have not been started and 64 are still in progress.
A gender-equal cabinet was one of the first ways Trudeau stayed true to his word. In previous years, the cabinet has consisted of predominantly men – in fact, this is the first time in the country’s history the cabinet has had equal male and female representation. Furthermore, Trudeau has raised the number of Aboriginal and visible minority members in his cabinet in comparison to previous Prime Minister Stephen Harper, despite having fewer people in his cabinet. When asked why it was important to have a wide range of representation at the news conference following his swearing-in ceremony, Trudeau replied simply, “Because it’s 2015.”
Another promise Trudeau has kept is taking action on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. In the past 30 years, nearly 1,200 Indigenous women and girls were reported missing or found murdered, with that number growing at an alarming rate. Trudeau has initiated the first and second phases of the process, which included interviewing the families of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and discussing with Canadians how to best set an inquiry in motion.
Though Trudeau has managed to keep promises he has made in his electoral campaign, there are also promises he has broken. One promise Trudeau failed to keep was to guarantee a veto to First Nations communities regarding the natural resource development in their territories. This promise was broken when the liberal government granted two federal permits for a mega-dam project in British Columbia, despite opposition by local land owners, First Nations people, environmentalists and academics. The dam will submerge homes, farms, a highway and traditional Indigenous land.
One of Trudeau’s promises-in-progress that has many people talking is the federal legislation to legalize marijuana. Marijuana is planned to be legalized in Canada in the spring of 2017. Trudeau’s plan to legalize marijuana is meant to prevent minors from possessing the drug, to not provide illegal income to criminals, to reduce the amount of arrests based on marijuana possession, and to increase regulation practises.
In his first year in office, Trudeau has kept more promises than he has broken. With another three years to accomplish the goals that he and the liberal party have set out, many are optimistic for the future of Canada – but only time will tell.