Premiership of Justin Trudeau

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Premiership of Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau in Lima, Peru - 2018 (41507133581) (cropped).jpg
Justin Trudeau, 23rd Prime Minister of Canada
In office
November 4, 2015 – present
Preceded byHarper premiership
Other information
SeatOffice of the Prime Minister
and Privy Council
, Ottawa, Ontario
Political partyLiberal

The premiership of Justin Trudeau began on November 4, 2015, when the first Cabinet headed by Justin Trudeau was sworn in by Governor General David Johnston.[1] Trudeau was invited to form the 29th Canadian Ministry and become Prime Minister of Canada following the 2015 election, where Trudeau's Liberal Party won a majority of the seats in the House of Commons of Canada, leading to the resignation of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Trudeau has promised to decentralize power from the Prime Minister's Office and give Cabinet a larger role in governing, stating "government by cabinet is back".[2]


In July 2016, Trudeau announced the formation of the first Prime Minister's Youth Council. Thirty Canadians aged 16 to 24 will comprise the board, which will advise the prime minister on education, economy, climate change and other issues affecting youth.[3]

Domestic policy[edit]


Trudeau received criticism when he provided a $372.5 million CAD bailout to Bombardier. The public was angered when it was revealed that Bombardier executives received $32 million USD of these funds in bonuses, while laying off 14,500 workers.[4]

Legalization of recreational cannabis[edit]

In their electoral platform, the Liberal party wanted to legalize the use of recreational cannabis in Canada. The ministers of Justice, Public Safety and the minister of Health would work on a legislation to legalize cannabis. Provinces asked many times for a delay in order to put the right structures in place. In an interview with Pierre Bruneau on TVA, Justin Trudeau said that July 1, 2018 is not necessarily the date of the legalization.[5]

Electoral reform[edit]

In the 2015 electoral campaign, Trudeau's liberals promised that the 2015 federal election would be the last one to be First-past-the-post. If elected, the Trudeau government would reform the electoral system to make it more representative. Soon after being elected, the government asked each member of the House of Commons to hold consultations in their riding to hear the citizens.[6] However, the government announced that the electoral reform would not be engaged because the prime minister doesn't want to see extremists entering the House of Commons.[7]


Soon after being elected, Prime minister Trudeau flew to Paris in order to attend the COP21 Summit. During the 2015 campaign, Trudeau stood up for more regulations for industries and wanted to go further on the battle against climate change. His Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna did work hard for pushing the most global accord in Paris. However, the Trudeau government pushes to build several pipelines across Canada in order to sell crude oil from Alberta's oil sands.[8] Whether it is in Quebec or in British Columbia, the opposition is very strong against those pipelines.[9] The opposition to new pipelines took a step forward when BC Premier, John Horgan said that no pipeline transporting oil from Alberta would pass through BC. Soon after, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said that no more BC wines would be sold in Alberta.[10]


As a well known self described feminist, Justin Trudeau nominated a gender balanced cabinet consisting of 15 men and 15 women. On November 4, 2015, a journalist asked him why it was a priority to have a cabinet that was gender balanced, to which Trudeau answered succinctly, "Because it's 2015".[11] In January 2018, in a speech at the World Economic Forum, Trudeau called for critical discussion on issues brought up by the Me Too, Time's Up, and Women's March movements.[12] Trudeau has also advocated a high standard and "zero tolerance for sexual assault, harassment or other forms of misconduct by his employees or caucus colleagues".[13] As leader of the Liberal party, Trudeau initiated investigations on several members of parliament resulting in the dismissal of cabinet minister Kent Hehr, the resignation of MP Darshan Kang, and the suspension and later expulsion of MPs Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti.[14] In an interview, Trudeau explained that the zero tolerance standard applied to himself as well, and stated that "I've been very, very careful all my life to be thoughtful, to be respectful of people's space and people's headspace as well."[15] However in 2018, after it was revealed by a woman that a 'groping' incident occurred in 2000, Trudeau said there was no need to conduct an investigation into the allegation.[16]


The headlines made by the body of Alan Kurdi on a beach of Turkey in September 2015, made a significant turnover during the 2015 campaign. Then candidate Trudeau made a plea that under his premiership, Canada would accept 25,000 refugees in Canada.[17] Only one month after taking office, the first plane of refugees was landing at Pearson airport in Toronto. Prime minister Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne were there to welcome arriving refugees.[18]

Trudeau has also advocated and supported open border immigration that starkly contrasts President Trump, publicly announcing “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,” one day after Trump's executive order banning refugees and visitors from Muslim-majority countries Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.[19] In winter 2017, soon after President Trump took office in Washington, many Haitians who were in the United States due to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti decided to pass through the border in upstate New York to cross into Quebec. Afraid of being deported to Haiti, many decided to come illegally to Canada in hope of a better life. The RCMP, the Custom Agency and the Army set up a temporary camp in Lacolle, Quebec, in order to regulate the influx of people trying to come into Canada. As the Canadian government recognized the United States as a safe country for immigrants, they would not be taken as refugees if they arrived at a custom border from the United States. As a result, they needed to pass through illegally to be able to request refugee status. Both the Conservatives and NDP oppositions asked the government, both for different reasons, to stop the influx of Haitians from Roxham Road in Lacolle.[20]

Trudeau's government has also objected to the term 'illegal border crossers'.[21] There has been an influx of overland illegal border crossings, and conflict between the Federal government and the Ontario government over how to provide housing for the incoming migrants.[22][23]


On 2017 the Liberal government announced Canada will welcome nearly one million immigrants over the next three years. The number of migrants will climb to 310,000 in 2018, up from 300,000 this year. That number will rise to 330,000 in 2019 then 340,000 in 2020.[24][25][26]

Quebec City mosque attack[edit]

On the night of January 29, 2017, Alexandre Bissonnette, a young Quebec City citizen, opened fire in a Mosque in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood of Quebec City. Six people were killed and 19 others were seriously injured. The Prime minister said in the House of Commons "This was a group of innocents targeted for practising their faith. Make no mistake, this was a terrorist act.[27]Following the massacre Trudeau attended and gave a speech at religious ceremonies with Premier of Québec Philippe Couillard.[28] Trudeau has also criticized La Meute (a small far right group), condemning them as "racists … these ‘nonos’ who wear dog paws on their T-shirts."[29]

Vegreville Processing Centre[edit]

In 2017, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada decided to close the processing centre in Vegreville, Alberta, and to relocate the centre to Edmonton. The community of 5,000 people, located about 100 km east of Edmonton, decided to fight back against the decision. 280 people work at the centre, and according to Global News, 2/3 of the workers would quit instead of moving west to Edmonton.[30] The battle against the closure of the Vegreville Processing Centre is supported by the Rural Canada Matters movement.[31] It's causing a lot of noise in Rural Alberta, a community far from being for the liberals. (See : Western Alienation)

Phoenix Pay system[edit]

Foreign policy[edit]

Death of Fidel Castro[edit]

After the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in November 2016, Trudeau released a statement that described Castro as a "remarkable leader" and a "larger than life leader who served his people."[32] Trudeau was criticized by political observers in Canada and the United States for the statement.[33] United States Senator Marco Rubio called the statement "shameful and embarrassing," while Canadian MP Maxime Bernier called his remarks "repugnant."[33] The Washington Post questioned many of the claims made in Trudeau's statements, saying that Trudeau "appears to accept outdated Cuban government spin as current fact."[34]


In 2016, Trudeau visited China and attended the G-20 summit in Hangzhou where he was affectionately nicknamed “xiao tudou” (小土豆) meaning little potato by the Chinese public.[35] Trudeau visited China again in December 2017 to launch trade negotiations.[36] Before agreeing to formally start talks, Trudeau wanted China to agree to a broad framework included collective bargaining and occupational health and safety standards as part of a progressive trade agenda, but this was not acceptable to Premier Li Keqiang, while this also "raises obvious questions about the advice the Prime Minister’s Office was getting from its embassy in Beijing, and in particular from its ambassador, former Liberal cabinet minister John McCallum".[37][38][39]


Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Washington D.C., 1 April 2016

Trudeau drew criticism for his trip to India in February 2018, as the official schedule had few business meetings while having numerous photo ops at tourist stops. The BBC wrote that Trudeau was "jet-setting around the country to take part in what appears to be a series of photo ops cunningly designed to showcase his family's elaborate traditional wardrobe" and suggested that "Trudeau Family’s Attire Too Flashy Even For An Indian".[40][41] In addition, Liberal MP Randeep Sarai originally invited convicted attempted murder Jaspal Atwal to an event (Atwal posed with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau at an event in India), although the invite was later rescinded.[42][43] The Atwal invite controversy also led to fears from Indian prime minister Narendra Modi that Trudeau was appealing to Sikh fundamentalists; while Sikhs make up a major part of Trudeau's political support in Canada, Sikh separatists have had a long history of violence in India.[44]

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Trudeau has been urged to stop the $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia – believed to be the largest arms sale in Canadian history.[45] The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen has been criticized for "indiscriminately targeting civilians". Saudi Arabia is also accused of massive human rights violations.[46] Trudeau has defended the Harper-negotiated arms deal with Saudi Arabia as "a matter of principle." He said: "It’s important that people know that when they sign a deal with Canada, a change of government isn’t going to lead to the contract being ripped up."[47]


  1. ^ Justin Trudeau and his cabinet sworn in at Rideau Hall Nov 04, 2015
  2. ^ Justin Trudeau begins his bold experiment in 'government by cabinet'
  3. ^ "Trudeau announces new youth advisory council". Metro News. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  4. ^ source=citeweb|url= Trudeau, Couillard defend Bombardier bailout after execs take home millions in raises|publisher=Global News|accessdate=04 March 2018
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  11. ^ "Trudeau's 'Because it's 2015' retort draws international attention". Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  12. ^ "Justin Trudeau's Davos address in full". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  13. ^ "Change in Canadian society on sexual harassment 'not fast enough,' Trudeau says | The Star". Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  14. ^ "Trudeau says Liberals 'doing the best that we can' amid sexual harassment allegations | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  15. ^ "Trudeau says zero tolerance on misconduct toward women applies to him as well | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
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  19. ^ "Trudeau tweet caused influx of refugee inquiries, confusion within government, emails reveal". National Post. 2018-04-03. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
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  21. ^ "Trudeau's Immigration Minister Objects To Calling Illegals 'Illegal Border Crossers'". Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  22. ^ "Trudeau defends asylum seeker policy". BBC News. 2018-07-06. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  23. ^ "Trudeau, Ford clash over asylum seekers in first official meeting". Global News. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
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  32. ^ CNN, Madison Park. "O Canada: Trudeau's Castro tribute raises eyebrows". CNN. Archived from the original on 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  33. ^ a b Stack, Liam (26 November 2016). "Justin Trudeau Criticized for Praising Fidel Castro as 'Remarkable Leader'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  34. ^ "Justin Trudeau's claim that Castro made 'significant improvements' to Cuban health care and education". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  35. ^ "Justin Trudeau earns nickname 'little potato' during trip to China". Global News. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  36. ^ "Justin Trudeau earns nickname 'little potato' during trip to China". Global News. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
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  45. ^ "Canada's Mistaken Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia". Epoch Times. April 25, 2016.
  46. ^ "Human rights groups ask Trudeau to end 'immoral' arms deal with Saudi Arabia". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. April 27, 2016.
  47. ^ "Trudeau won't back off Saudi arms sale despite warning from Amnesty". Toronto Star . April 14, 2016.

See also[edit]