Canada Re-elects Trudeau
Away from the cauldron of Brexit, if only for a while, other key events are happening. One such event was the general election in Canada, held on Monday.
Canada has a population of just under 36 million people in a nation slightly smaller than Europe (the European Union has a population of approximately 500 million people). The nation has the 10th largest economy in the world (GDP) basis. Unemployment stands at 5.5% whereas inflation is running at 1.9%. The Bank of Canada currently has a base interest rate of 1.75%.
The results of Monday’s poll saw the Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, returned to office, but whilst his party remains the largest, it has lost its overall majority. His Liberal party lost 20 seats, from 177 to 157, leaving it 13 seats short of an overall majority. The second largest party was the Conservatives on 121 seats.
Mr Trudeau has ruled out forming a coalition government with opposition parties, but will consult with other party leaders aiming to win support for his minority administration.
Trudeau sought to strike a conciliatory note over what was a divisive election suggesting that people “regret the tone” of the election campaign. He suggested that the issue of climate change and the cost of living will be focuses for his new administration, but re-empathised his support for a controversial oil pipeline expansion project, the Trans Mountain project.
The Trudeau administration will need to build consensus to get its bills through. The Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer stated:
"We have a divided country. It is essential for Justin Trudeau to take this seriously, to try to find common ground."
The leader of NDP would not be drawn on the price for his party’s support of the new government:
"We're not going to negotiate any of those things today, and we're certainly not going to negotiate any of those in the media”.