The Case For (or Against) Our Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau: Activist and Visionary
Written by MWR Writer Elizabeth Hua
Politics is the breeding ground of corruption – a blatant reflection of mistrust, self-servitude, and attempted morality in justice and law. Justin Trudeau stood apart from this drab political climate by campaigning for the re-assertion of Canadians’ human rights, for a
stronger middle class, and for the protection of our shared environment. Though rarely seen without a gaggle of fangirls, our twenty-seventh prime minister is much more than just a pretty face.
An activist and world leader, Trudeau is a champion of gender equality. Indeed, not only has he partaken in numerous initiatives, notably the ONE Campaign for maternal and child health projects, but he has also publicly stated that “poverty is sexist” (Staff). The National Women’s Law Centre reveals that, in 2015, women were thirty-five percent more likely than men to live in extreme poverty (Tucker). The overwhelmingly patriarchal organization of society has long disadvantaged the mothers, daughters, and sisters of the world, but Trudeau is determined to change that. At a UN women’s conference, he vied for gender parity, insisting that feminism should be embraced as a “generational trend” rather than a media statement, and he continued to push the same ideals at the more recent Women in the World Summit (Panetta, McFarland). Under Trudeau, Canada is bound to become a pioneer of universal empowerment. Gone are the age-old chains of a conservative leader. Gone are the rusty fears of women in power. In Financial Times, a news journalist from The Globe and Mail confirms that Mr. Trudeau spearheads progressivity, multiculturalism, and idealism (Nicolaou). Most tellingly, Trudeau’s first act as prime minister was to create a gender-equal cabinet, setting an important
precedent to be emulated across the country.
Money makes the world go ‘round, but Trudeau knows a healthy, happy nation will best stimulate economic prosperity. To support the middle class, he increased taxes for the nation’s wealthiest one percent and reduced the personal income tax rate from 22 to 20.5 percent, putting thousands of dollars back in the pockets of hard-working Canadians (Canadian Press). This “fairness” initiative, despite major criticism, is set to tighten the reins on potential swindling and ensure that the majority thrives (Blatchford). Thoughtful and attentive, the Trudeau government is open to revising the plan in accordance to public concerns to avoid unintended consequences. Trudeau has even invested in sustaining the local market while ensuring NAFTA and similarly beneficial international trade agreements persist (Spectator). No wonder the nation rallied behind the young leader—he treats the people’s problems as his own!
Canadians have left their mark – their carbon footprint, that is. Indeed, with an economy dependent on fossil fuels, the Great White North has taken its share of abuse and contamination. Trudeau promises to change that. His proposal will pave the way to sustainability and the development of cleaner technology, establishing real solutions for an ever more interdependent global community. Already, Canada has adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change as well as the Oceans Protection Plan – all, of course, in consideration of Indigenous peoples (Trudeau). Environmental discussions are open and wildly transparent, ensuring collective strength and ingenuity. As well, the creation of an agency for regular and reliable communication between the energy sector and the public is currently in the works (De Souza). On World Environment Day, Trudeau issued a powerful statement: “Climate change does not recognize borders . . . . Our children’s future depends on our immediate and collective
response” (Trudeau). Solidarity, the Prime Minister knows, is key for lasting global change. Canadians are inspired by his compassion and firm sense of responsibility. Rallied under the flag of effective leadership, there is no limit to what our nation will achieve.
Justin Trudeau embodies Canadian values. His personable nature and progressive ideas have opened the conversations on social justice, human rights, Aboriginal reconciliation, and environmental protectionism. He invests in the leaders of both today and tomorrow through feasible action plans that bolster universal prosperity and well-being. Within his first term, Trudeau has proven himself to be much more than “just his father’s son” (Pearson).
Justin Trudeau: Campaign from the Left, Govern from the Right
Written by MWR Writer Samah Khandker
Justin Trudeau was elected as a so-called progressive, but he has shown that he is a fundamentally ineffective leader. His failings can most clearly be seen through his inauthentic feminism, his economic incompetence and his catastrophic environmental policies.
“Because it’s 2015!”; Ostentatious, Intangible, and Selective Feminism
While Justin Trudeau’s actions may appear to promote feminism, the reality is far from it. Choosing a gender-equal cabinet is an immense step forward; however, it is important to simultaneously note that only roughly 26% of the MPs elected in the last election were women (that’s even less than countries such as Uganda, Guyana and Laos). In fact, the Liberals were amongst those who voted against the Gender Equity Act, a bill which would have obliged parties to nominate a greater number of female candidates to Parliament. Furthermore, it is impossible to neglect the Prime Minister’s lack of a concrete plan when it comes to the 4000 Indigenous women who have gone missing or been murdered in the past few decades. Instead of resolving the issue, under Trudeau’s watch, the number of Indigenous women in prison has also greatly increased. Last of all, child care costs in the country rank among the highest in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), while Canada’s gender pay disparities rank among the worst. What is most frightening in all of this is the idea of a Prime Minister who identifies as a feminist, whereas his actions do close to nothing in order to combat the injustices that underlie gender inequality, particularly those faced by visible minority women, the most vulnerable citizens.
“Budgets balance themselves”: an optimist’s point of view
Let us refrain from getting into the details of Trudeau’s $ 215 000 trip to the Bahamas or even the accusation of conflict of interest against his finance minister, Bill Morneau. Our nation’s greatest economic failure is our skyrocketing deficits, and Trudeau’s total lack of a plan to do anything about it. For those of you who might not be aware, the government believes deficit spending (“investments” as they call it) is essential to a fruitful economy. Though the concept may sound appealing, the execution is nearly impossible. It has gotten to the point where Trudeau’s projected deficits for the four-year term of his government are now $78.2 billion higher than the $24.1 billion he predicted in 2015, that is, 224% higher than projected. When realizing how far off the Liberals were, it likely seemed like a good idea to assert that a weak economy was the reason why they were unable to keep their election promise. Yet, even now that the economy is stronger, they have chosen to announce billions in new spending. All in all, when Trudeau said that “the budget will balance itself”, it would have been nice if he’d mentioned that it was not going to balance itself under his watch. The Liberals’ party colour is red, and they certainly make full use of it in their budgets.
“No country would leave 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground”: pretending to be different from one’s predecessor
Trudeau has disastrous plans for our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. After a decade of a fossil-fuel friendly Conservative government, many Canadians, including myself, expected change from an environmental standpoint. Trudeau has talked a solid game with regards to climate change but his actions have been in massive clash with his rhetoric. The Prime Minister has approved two contentious pipeline projects to transport Alberta tar sands oil; one, the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline, would carry oil from Alberta to the United States whereas the other, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline, would move oil to ports in British Columbia for export. Ironically, at the United Nations climate talks in Paris in 2015, Trudeau committed the Canadian government to reducing GHG emissions by 30 percent within 2030. Presently, it is hard, even quasi-impossible, to see how the government is going to meet its targets. There also appears to be no clear attempt to transition us from our dependence on fossil fuels. Though things were not ideal with Harper, at least you knew what you were getting yourself into.
All this to say that Trudeau made a pledge for “Real Change,” and many Canadians believed him. However, when he got into power, it certainly became tougher for him to keep his promises. Though the Prime Minister has proven apt at running a campaign from the left, his actions definitely originate from the right. This is why Justin Trudeau is an ineffective leader.
Written by MWR writer Samah Khandker
Blatchford, Andy. “Justin Trudeau ‘will make no apologies’ for proposed tax changes that anger small business owners.” The Canadian Press, September 5, 2017 2:16 pm, https://globalnews.ca/news/3714143/justin-trudeau-no-apologies-tax-changes/.
Canadian Press, The. “What middle-class ‘tax-cut’? Your family is probably paying more under Trudeau.” Financial Post, September 27, 2017, http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/what-middle-class-tax-cut-your-family-is-probably-paying-more-under-trudeau.
De Souza, Mike. “Trudeau Liberals propose sweeping reforms to Harper-era environmental
laws.” National Observer, June 29, 2017, https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/06/29/news/trudeau-liberals-propose-sweeping-reforms-environmental-laws.
McFarland, Janet. “NAFTA must include gender equality protection, Trudeau says.” The Globe and Mail, September 11, 2017,
Nicolaou, Anna. “Justin Trudeau: passionate, personable prime minister.” Financial Times, October 20, 2015, https://www.ft.com/content/605e4940-76af-11e5-933d-efcdc3c11c89?mhq5j=e5.
Panetta, Alexander. “Justin Trudeau pushes for gender equality at UN women’s conference.”
Global News, March 16, 2016 9:15 pm, https://globalnews.ca/news/2581600/justin-trudeau-pushes-for-gender-equality-at-un-wo
Pearson, Glen. “Justin Trudeau’s Victory Trumps His Father’s.” Huffington Post, October 21, 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/glen-pearson/justin-pierre-trudeau_b_8341462.html.
Spectator, Hamilton. “Trudeau urges Canadian companies to seek fortune in China’s $5 trillion
market.” The Spec, September 26, 2017, https://www.thespec.com/news-story/7576382-trudeau-urges-canadian-companies-to-see
Staff, The. “Justin Trudeau joins gender inequality campaign, says ‘poverty is sexist’.” Global News, August 25, 2016 5:08 am,
Trudeau, Justin. “Statement by the Prime Minister on World Environmental Day.” Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, June 5, 2017, https://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2017/06/05/statement-prime-minister-world-environment-day.
Tucker, Jasmine and Caitlin Lowell. “National Snapshot: Poverty Among Women & Families, 2015.” National Women’s Law Centre, September 14, 2016, https://nwlc.org/resources/national-snapshot-poverty-among-women-families-2015/.