Year in review
How the “selfie king” is failing to live up to campaign
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau celebrated his first year in office as the leader of a majority Liberal government on Oct. 19.
The Liberals won the majority of seats in the last federal election, and the party made a lot of promises to earn that position.
Some students see Trudeau as a stereo-typical left-winger.
“I feel like he has lived up to everything a liberal in the past has lived up to: spending a lot of money,” said Mitch Young, a first-year instrumentation engineering technology student at SAIT.
“He’s great at PR, but he’s wasting money on the world stage. He has raised us on the global stage, but he hasn’t accomplished a lot,” said Young. “If I had to vote today, it wouldn’t be for Justin Trudeau.
“[He’s] not focused spending on anything directly.”
Brenna Burwash, a library information technician student at SAIT, said her approval of Trudeau has gone up.
“I would have voted NDP, but they didn’t seem to have a chance. I’m pretty happy with his performance, even if he wasn’t my first choice when voting. His priorities seem to align with my priorities and beliefs,” said Burwash.
Trudeau has become known for his selfies and public relation stunts, and this has not been lost on the public.
“I find it hilarious that he keeps emerging shirtless from caves,” laughed Burwash.
But, public relations alone are not enough to make a good prime minister.
A statistic released by Global News said the Liberal party has achieved 15.5 per cent, 34 of 219, of their election promises in their first year of office.
One of Trudeau’s most important campaign promises was to overhaul Canada’s electoral system. The Liberal Government has been working towards electoral reform, but the movement has slowed.
Tom Mulcair, leader of the NDP party, told CBC that Trudeau thought our electoral system was broken until it elected him. Now, Trudeau is saying maybe it’s not so bad after all.
That’s a concern for Canadians who wanted a fairer electoral system, which is supposed to be what The Liberals were delivering. Mulcair said he guesses it will be another broken promise.
Trudeau has also been accused of what some politicians, including interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, have called reckless and uncontrolled spending.
The Liberal government has created a greater deficit than expected. The Trudeau government has also managed to exceed a federal deficit of over $10 billion, expecting to create a federal deficit of $29 billion in the next year alone.
Ambrose has gone as far as to call it a record of economic mismanagement, higher taxes and shocking entitlement.
Trudeau has stated that his top achievement has been making a dent in the middle class with Canadian child benefits and tax-relief, which was a major part of the Liberal election platform: this included introducing a new tax-free Canada child benefit, cutting income tax brackets and introducing a new bracket for those earning more than $200,000. These changes were promised to be revenue neutral, but are projected to cost $1.2 billion every year for five years.
Other broken promises include the welcoming of 25,000 Syrian refugees into the country by the end of 2015. However, this number was reached in February 2016.
Trudeau has also made a bid for Canada to gain a seat on the United Nations Security Council as a way to ensure that Canada’s voice can be heard around the world and to aid in elevating the world’s biggest conflicts.
“He focuses on the things that should be focused on. We are in Alberta and we need help, and he is just not aligning with that. I think that, right now, politics in Canada are not great. I feel apathetic now,” said Angel Karpio, who works at SAIT’s bookstore.
Trudeau has admitted that he has a difficult three years ahead of him, telling Anna Maria Tremonti, the host of CBC radio show The Current, that these kinds of balancing acts are ongoing, and the government will continue to work hard on them.
The Liberals want to say yes, they’re going to continue to invest in health care, as it’s important for Canadians’, but they want to ensure that the federal money invested in health care is actually spent on health care by the provinces.
Only time will tell if he will go down in history as a prime minister above others, or as simply the selfie king.