Furey

Four things Trudeau will get right

By Anthony Furey, Postmedia Network

Liberal leader and Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, October 20, 2015. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Liberal leader and Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, October 20, 2015. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

We’re in this for the long haul. Well, at least for four years. While only 39.5% of the electorate voted for Liberal candidates, Justin Trudeau will be governing with a majority mandate.

It’s full steam ahead with his agenda. There will be plenty of time to critique his forthcoming missteps and gaffes. And make no mistake, they’re coming.

But let’s take a look at several upcoming issues that Trudeau will hopefully get right in a way that most Canadians should applaud him for:

1. He will likely approve the Trans Pacific Partnership. In their campaign release from early October, responding to the Conservatives' TPP announcement, the Liberals said they’d be “thoroughly examining” the deal but added free trade “is how we open markets to Canadian goods and services, grow Canadian businesses, create good-paying jobs, and provide choice and lower prices to Canadian consumers.”

The other 11 nations in the TPP represent almost 800 million customers and a combined GDP of nearly $13 trillion. Not only will Trudeau get behind this, but hopefully he’ll work on other trade deals.

2. The Liberal platform pledged to “legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.” Trudeau has said this will take anywhere from a few months to two years to come into effect.

An Ipsos poll from August showed that 65% of Canadians support decriminalization. Previous polls have shown similar majority support for legalization.

A Statistics Canada release from May showed 80% of the 73,000 police-reported cannabis offences in 2013 were for possession.

Also the numbers for “trafficking, importing, exporting and production” are on the decline. Once these are regulated, the black market will lose its grip on them.

A 2002 Senate report noted: “The cost of enforcing the drug laws is more likely to be closer to $1 billion to $1.5 billion per annum.” That figure has surely increased. Let’s stop spending so much money policing possession.

3. The signature pledge of the Liberal campaign was the “largest and longest federal infrastructure plan in our nation's history.” Liberals committed $125 billion for public transit and “social” and “green” infrastructure.

Their platform doesn't single out the projects they want to build. This is a problem because, as the Conservatives will tell them based on their own experiences from their post-recession stimulus spending, it’s actually harder than it sounds to identify worthy shovel-ready projects and get the money quickly out the door.

Plus if their “green” infrastructure spending is anything like it’s been in Ontario, the money is going up in smoke.

But if they spend the money mostly on much-needed key infrastructure – granted, that’s a big if – then we'll build things we need. Regardless of how sound Trudeau's deficit plans are, the beauty of infrastructure spending is at least you've got something to show for it.

4. Back in 2008 an auditor general’s report revealed 24 Sussex Dr. is in need of major renovations at an estimated cost of $10 million.

Many denounced Stephen Harper for not offering to move out. But, as any landlord will tell you, the best time to do maintenance is between tenants.

Margaret Trudeau let slip the other day that her son and family won’t move in right away, but stay elsewhere until the work is complete.

This is a minor but symbolic issue. It’s ultimately the incoming PM’s choice and he’s making the right one. The National Capital Commission – which manages the residence – owes it to the Trudeau family to get the renos done as fast as possible.

 



Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »