After nearly 10 years in office, Stephen Harper was ousted as Canada's prime minister during the October 19 election by the young Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party. Many political pundits, on the basis of cross-country polls, saw it coming.
Harper, who raised the profile of the Conservative Party until he was finally elected in 2006, was walking on a thin rope by the end of his latest term. Sure, he lowered the federal tax to 5 per cent in his first term, steadied the economy during a worldwide recession, and was part of a government that lowered the interest rate to an all time Canadian low. Most people, however, will remember him as a polarizing figure; one that was transparent only when it served his purpose. And who could forget the countless scandals which rocked Parliament Hill in the nation's capital. From the Mike Duffy expense affair to the F-35 fighter jet scandal, Harper wasn't held accountable.
Like every incoming politician, Justin Trudeau has promised change - "real change" as his election slogan intimated. If Trudeau has his way, Canadians, rich and poor, will feel that change. Not only has he promised to ease the financial burdens placed upon Canada's middle class, but he plans to tax the richest 1 per cent to do so. Trudeau is also more progressive than his predecessor, promising to legalize marijuana and support gay marriage.
Here are 8 Reasons Why Canada's Justin Trudeau Will Be A Good Prime Minister.
8 Trudeau Shares A Connection With Canadians
First thing Justin Trudeau did the day after he won the Oct. 19 Canadian election – even though he probably didn’t sleep at all – was to greet people of his riding in Montreal directly in a subway station. It was his way of thanking people that voted for him.
Instead of staying in bed and savoring victory, he went out there to shake Montrealers' hands and take selfies with them - he even helped a person in a wheelchair get onto the escalators. Canada's 23rd prime minister talked to the voters, but also listened to them.
7 Trudeau Is A Generous person
The former high school teacher - he taught at the Sir Winston Churchill high school in Vancouver and at the West Point Grey Academy - actually dropped his life in B.C. to come back to Montreal in order to work in different youth organizations, like Katimavik. He also embraced different causes involving kids, but also the environment, poverty, and not too long ago, cancer.
He even got up in a ring and boxed against the-then Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau to raise money for the “Fight For the Cure” Foundation in Ottawa. One of his election promises was to bring back the Katimavik project, where kids went to learn life-changing skills through volunteer work.
6 Trudeau Is A Political Lover, Not A Fighter
The charismatic Trudeau promised that he would cancel his predecessor's F-35 fighter jet program - which would reportedly cost up to $1 billion to replace Canada's waning CF-18 jets. But more importantly, Justin Trudeau's first chat with US President Barack Obama was partly about the fact that Canada will end its fight against ISIS. No more bombing in Syria and Iraq, although the date hasn't been confirmed yet.
He also promised to welcome 25,000 additional Syrian refugees to Canada - all that after only 24 hours he was voted into office. We can surely expect other heartfelt decisions from Justin Trudeau in the next 4 years.
5 Trudeau Will Put Canada Back On The Map
No need to make presentations; Justin Trudeau is known throughout the world. Since his nomination, worldwide media have been talking about... his physical appearance. In a matter of minutes, the world's social media went nuts over his looks. But more than that, Justin Trudeau will rebuild Canada's tarnished image.
He knows that Canada's status around the world has declined over the years, and this is what he had to say about it during his first press conference on Parliament Hill: “Many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassion and constructive voice in the world over the last 10 years,” he said, in reference to international criticism of the Conservatives’ foreign policy over the past decade. “Well, I have a simple message for you. On behalf of 35 million Canadians, we’re back.”
From the US:
Twitter is trying to deal with how H-O-T the new Prime Minister of Canada is: 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/CflA9jQkxr— E! News (@enews) October 20, 2015
4 Leadership Runs In The Family
Justin Trudeau won't need too much time adjusting to his new life on 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. He was basically raised there while his father, Pierre-Elliott Trudeau, was Prime Minister of Canada in the 1980s. He will be returning to the house more than 30 years after he left it.
Now part of the first political dynasty ever in Canada, it is to be expected that Justin will be getting along just fine in his new role - leader of the country. He is used to being in the limelight, as a little boy, but also as an adult.
3 The Children Are Our Future
Justin Trudeau is a family man. He and his wife Sophie Grégoire have three kids: Xavier James, Ella-Grace Margaret, and Hadrien.
He believes in families and in Canadian values. He'll help citizens that have a family to strive. Trudeau promised that there will be a new Canada Child Benefit plan, which will replace existing child benefits. The news? It'll be adapted to income. Families with young kids that have incomes below $200,000 will get more tax-free money. That said, families earning more than that won't get anything. That's good news for future and present families in Canada that are worried about the cost of raising children.
2 Tax The Rich To Help The Middle Class
As previously mentioned, Trudeau promised Canadians across the country that he would ease their financial burden if elected. His promise to increase the tax to the nation's wealthiest 1 per cent for the betterment of the middle class Canadians became among his more notable election promises.
The idea isn't new. Throughout Canada's history, the Liberals have always championed itself as the voice for the middle class; such tax policies the foundation of their identity. There's no timeline for when Trudeau will indeed increase the federal income tax to the rich, but when it does, it sure will have an impact on the middle class.
1 He Wants Change, And So Do Canadians
In his victory speech, Trudeau said that he wanted to make politics a positive thing in Canada and that Canadians wanted "a change, a real change". And he promised a lot of changes: from the long census form that he wants to bring back, to the way Canada does politics - the way we vote - he has a long list of reforms, ideas and projects he wants to do.
Trudeau embodies a new - and younger - way of doing politics. His age was often brought up by his adversaries as a flaw - how could he run a country at only 43?
But he was able to make it in advantage to him, and Canadians trust that his young age means he'll be a more honest, human and passionate politicians. Now, he has 4 years to prove it.
Sources: CBC/Radio-Canada, La Presse, The Gazette, US Magazine, Huffington Post