There were “Sunny Ways” in Justin Trudeau’s first year, and also some cloudy skies. One of Justin Trudeau’s biggest successes would have to be the gender-neutral cabinet. It sounds obvious; 2015, with that amount of MP’s, there should be equal representation. It should look like Canada; the people it represents. There’s an undeniable logic to that.
It did more than that. It started conversations in Parliament, and every other workplace in the country about women’s roles. It started people talking about the treatment of women in the workplace. It made it impossible for the next person holding the Prime Minister’s Office to return to the way it was before.
Canada would’ve increased its number of Syrian refugees no matter who won the 2015 election, it was only an issue of numbers. It’s the second major success of his first year in office. It was termed a “national project,” by some within Canada- it felt like we were all being asked to roll up our sleeves, and help our country with this. The Canadian success story was being applauded, worldwide. Somehow Canada had found the balance between helping people, and security.
So two huge successes, two “Sunny ways.” Where do the cloudy skies come in? Well let’s start with the Right-To-Die legislation. A Supreme Court imposed a deadline, and ended up being met. Despite a Senate that tried to adjust the wording to include people who have a grievous and irremediable condition, it became law by its June 6, deadline. A lot of critics want some mental illnesses included as well. There may be court challenges.
The economy has taken some hits as well. Wildfires in Fort McMurray took parts of Canadian oilfields offline at one point costing up to 1,000,000 barrels/ day. Energy continues to be an issue. President Obama denied the Keystone pipeline. Could it be revisited under a new Presidency? What of the Energy East pipeline? How does he deal with the consistent protests from city mayors like Denis Coderre?
Interest rates are still low. New mortgage rates requiring a higher down payment are aimed at cooling real estate in Toronto, and Vancouver. The long-term consequences of this move remain unknown. The deficit sits at around the $30 billion mark; a broken promise. Trudeau initially said the deficit would be that over three years instead of one.
Questions surround the government going into its second year. What happens with Democratic Reform? Is it going to be rolled back as Trudeau has indicated in a recent interview with Le Devoir? Is the door firmly shut against any kind of referendum on it?
What about C51? The Harper government passed the anti-terror legislation. The Liberals initially supported it. They have promised reforms. Will that happen in the second year?
Year one was the honeymoon; the sunny ways. It’ll take a lot of hard work to keep the clouds away in year 2.