Bob Mok’s article is the third one in his series to explore the newly elected Prime Minister’s list of campaign promises. It also provides an assessment of their status and chances of completion.
For the previous articles in this series, please go to the following link:
1) Infusion of Infrastructure:
It was declared that huge sums of monies will be devoted to infrastructures covering high speed rail, highway repairs, commuter rail and municipal water and sewers.
There will be problems in dividing that money up among the many provincial and local governments seeking that cash. While this sort of policy will certainly create short term jobs, it remains to be seen how it will continue to generate long-term economic growth once the projects are completed.
2) Electoral Reform:
Trudeau promised that 2015 will be the last Federal Election run by the plurality (first past the post) system. The Liberals will consult Canadians on a new proportional representation electoral system. Such a system will “allocate” the proportional number of seats in Parliament to each party in accordance with the percentage of votes they get.
The new system will favour fringe parties and booster their total number of seats as compared to the “First Past the post” system currently in use.
My guess is that this promise will not happen in 2019. The system will be too complicated for most voters to understand. Ontario had an electoral reform study and referendum in 2007 but was rejected by 63% of voters. That system proposed two votes for each voter – one for the local candidate and one for the political party of choice.
3) Dealing with “Climate Change”:
The promise was to attend the upcoming conference in Paris relating to this issue and to commit Canada to deal with climate changes. There are no detailed plans at present but a policy is to be prepared within 90 days of the summit.
It is easy to set targets but Liberal Governments did not meet the old targets so what confidence do we have that we can meet the new ones now?
4) ISIS and Terrorism – reduction in commitments:
Canadian planes are to stop their combat missions and Canadian Arm forces will restrict to training Iraqi troops only.
An easy promise to fulfill as Trudeau claimed to have advised the US President on this matter directly shortly after his election.
5) Revamp Pipeline project approval process:
自由党政府对此也没有具体计划。特鲁多不久就必须决定如何处理需要制定政策的管道项目——Energy East管道计划和Northern Gateway管道计划。
Again, no detail plans are available. Trudeau will have to decide very soon on how to deal with projects already in the regulatory pipeline – Energy East and Northern Gateway.
6) Rights to die legislation:
The physician-assisted death was deleted from Canada’s criminal code on Feb 7, 2015. Trudeau promised to consult with Canadians on how to approach this issue. There is a deadline to be met and he must seek co-operation from provinces to avoid creating a legally murky patchwork of regulations across the country.
The Federal Election is now over. It is now time to walk the talk and deliver to Canadians campaign promises made in the heat of battle. Many of the promises are easy to keep but some are very tricky and difficult. The honeymoon period with the voters will be over soon. If the government wants to find excuses not to deal with their promises, they have better start looking for them soon.
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