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Liberals win minority in federal election — here’s a look at promises Trudeau made

Global News with Angela Carter 22 October 2019


The Liberal Party of Canada is slated to form a minority government after winning Monday’s election.

As of 1 a.m. ET, Liberals had 155 out of 338 seats in the House of Commons. This will be the second mandate for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, but the party will face a set of new challenges, namely working with other parties in a minority situation.

Here’s a look at the promises the party made to help them get re-elected — and the ones that will be the most difficult to keep.

Climate change

One of the biggest challenges the Liberals will face, Angela Carter, an associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo, told Global News, is fulfilling promises on climate change.

Carter explained that the Liberals are still far from fulfilling the Paris climate change agreement pledge to reduce its emissions by 2030 to 30 per cent of 2005 levels.

“Based on what I’m seeing, in terms of policies that have been revealed during the campaign period, I just don’t see how they’re going to be able to make that 2030 target,” Carter said.

Along with the 2030 target, Trudeau promised during the campaign to make Canada’s carbon emissions net-zero by 2050. The party did not include details of how they plan to do that or if penalties would be put in place.

While noting that some of the Liberals’ commitments, such as making climate targets legally-binding, are promising, she said there is one key issue the party has not addressed.

Carter noted that the Liberals’ commitment to pipeline projects indicate they are not serious about reducing emissions enough to reach their climate targets.


The Liberals have also made some other ambitious promises, including pharmacare.

The party’s platform stated the government would “take the critical steps” to implement national universal pharmacare.

The platform does not provide a specific cost, but Trudeau has said his party would adhere to a pharmacare report conducted by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins, who estimated the cost would run at $15.3 billion a year by 2027.

Stéphanie Plante, a former Elections Canada official, told Global News that promise may be tough to fulfill.

Plante said the party will face several challenges, one of the main ones being how to negotiate with other key players, such as insurance companies and provincial governments.

“We’re kind of jumping into something that’s a provincial/private company/insurance company jurisdiction,” she said.

“How would that be implemented?” she asked, noting that Liberals haven’t provided details on how they will make it happen.

Angela Carter is a political science professor at the University of Waterloo.