On October 19th, 2015, Canadians voted for change by choosing more of the same.
Yes, Justin Trudeau is Prime Minister of Canada. In spite of the youthful, hungry-for-change image crafted by campaign staff, Justin Trudeau becomes the 13th Liberal leader in Canadian history to form a mandate in the House of Commons and the first-ever son of a Prime Minister to takeover the mantle. In those respects, Canada really did vote for change by choosing more of the same. A slightly different more of the same, but more of the same in a broad, historical sense. O Canada, you are so adorable. Too cautious and polite to choose real change, i.e. the first-ever NDP government. Not that anyone’s blaming you, Canada, because Tom Mulcair and the NDP really botched their approach.
Whether you like the concept of change through more of the same or not, here are some things you need to know about the new Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau.
1. Tax changes
Hikes for the highest earners, cuts for middle-income Canadians within the first 100 days is what Trudeau has promised. He also promised to reverse the Conservative government’s doubling of tax-free savings account limits and the income splitting they introduced for families with young children.
Reserving judgement on this promise until I get to see every single rich person’s tax return.
2. Inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women
Trudeau pledged to build a “renewed relationship” with Canada’s indigenous peoples as well as open an inquiry into the 1,000s of missing and murdered First Nations women. Unfortunately, there is no information on how Trudeau plans to build said “renewed relationship.” Fingers crossed that he’s not hoping that opening an inquiry is more than enough to repair the relationship.
I would like to think that the Haida tattoo on his shoulder binds him to this promise but if history has taught us anything, this will be the first promise to be jettisoned.
3. Revamped child benefits
Families with young kids and household incomes below $200,000 will get more tax-free money under Justin Trudeau’s Canada Child Benefit set to replace all existing federal child benefit programs. Any families earning more than $200,000 will get nothing.
Let’s hope that the plan gets amended to give families earning more than $200,000 some contraception.
Justin Trudeau promised to “amend” C-51, however the details of how he plans to amend the controversial privacy-ending security bill are not currently known. Our advice: learn to love C-51 because it is here to stay.
5. Infrastructure infusion
If you have been on a bridge or highway in Canada recently and noticed that the sh*t is one wet winter away from being completely turned to rubble. Trudeau’s promised to invest big money in infrastructure but how will he divide that money up among the many provincial and local governments trying to get that money?
While that remains to be seen, the infrastructure investment was touted as a job creator and economy stimulator. Will it be? I can guarantee that in Montreal, Trudeau’s infrastructure plan will create a ton of no-show jobs because that’s how we do things.
At least, he said he would. Given the amount of tax revenue legal weed has generated in Colorado, it seems crazy not to give ending pot prohibition a try. Especially when one consider’s that Canada’s weed is world-renown. Wine and cheese ain’t illegal in France, is it? It’s time to embrace the fact that we are a nation with great weed and profit off it. The fine print of how legal Canadian weed will be regulated and taxed is still unknown but you can get an image of what legalizing marijuana will look like for Canada here.
7. Long-form census
Long-form census is coming back! So if you love stats…
8. Electoral reform
Justin Trudeau promised this would be Canada’s last plurality-based election. His government, he said during the campaign, will consult Canadians on a new electoral system with an aim to adopt proportional representation.
Then again, given the election’s results, Trudeau is probably going to take a “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”-approach to electoral reform now.
9. Climate change
Trudeau has pledged to attend the upcoming climate change conference in Paris. The awkward thing about this, of course, is that while Trudeau’s pledged to set ambitious emission-reduction targets for Canada, he hasn’t yet said what those will be and probably won’t know by the time he flies to France. He has promised to hammer out some kind of climate change policy within 90 days of the summit, however.
In other words, Justin Trudeau’s climate change plan is to cram?
10. Pipeline projects
Trudeau and Mulcair both promised to revamp Canada’s energy project approval process. How would he revamp it? We still don’t know. But he’ll have to decide soon, and determine how that applies to projects already in the regulatory pipeline.
11. Right to die
Physician-assisted death gets deleted from Canada’s Criminal Code on Feb. 7. Trudeau’s promised to consult with Canadians on how to approach this issue, but he’ll have to work with the provinces to figure out how they approach the deadline without creating a legally murky patchwork of regulations across the country.
12. ISIS and terrorism
Trudeau has said he’d end Canada’s combat mission fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and stick to training Iraqi troops instead. But that may not be such a good idea ever since Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has come under fire for human rights abuses.
You know what? I’m starting to notice a common theme with all these promises: THERE ARE A LOT OF F*CKING UNKNOWNS.
Did we just get sweet-talked and knocked up by a dude that’s all smile and no substance? Are you telling me that last night we had a one night’s stand with Justin Trudeau and now we are having a baby and going to have try and make it work for the next four years?
It could have been worse though. This could have never happened: