POLITICAL CORNER: Trudeau is not the progressive Prime Minister for whom we hoped

Photo Courtesy of Maclean's

Written by Liam Wilson, Peak Associate

Remember Justin Trudeau in 2015? The hero we elected because he was in tune with women, Indigenous people, and young Canadians? The man who was going to dig Canada out of the Stephen Harper hole? Yeah, what happened to him?

Thinking back to 2015, I remember a country that felt divided, with minorities calling for the government to hear their voices, protests erupting over pipelines, citizens appealing for electoral reform, and young people remaining distrustful of their political system. Fast forward to now and not much has changed.

Despite Trudeau’s bold claim before the election that Indigenous peoples would be able to have a voice in vetoing pipelines planned that crossed their territory, we’ve obviously seen him backpedal on that hard. Indigenous voices certainly weren’t considered when the Liberals announced last week that they would purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline in order to ensure that it was built.

As for electoral reform, Trudeau championed it in his election platform, but suddenly when the Liberals won a majority government, first-past-the-post didn’t seem so bad anymore. They wavered, and then suddenly electoral reform was dead, citing a lack of support from Canadians for changing the electoral system. Just a heads up Trudeau: I don’t think electoral reform would’ve been such a hot topic in 2015, and an integral part of your platform, if Canadians weren’t interested in it.

Finally, despite increasing the maximum Canada Student Grant and establishing a Youth Advisory Council, Trudeau still fell short on promises to increase the amount of jobs available for youth, to increase funding for co-op programs, and to provide incentives for companies to hire young people. Thanks, Trudeau.

Will Canada ever elect the hero they so desperately want? Only time will tell I suppose. Canada took a gamble on Trudeau, and three years in, it doesn’t look like we won.