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Canadians went to the polls Monday to pick a new government and while it may look a lot like the old government, there are some key differences between how things were before the electionand how things are now.
So, grab your Sunday coffee and settle in for a Bullet-style recap of what exactly went down this week and where our country goes from here.
The Liberal Party lost support in just about every region of the country but held onto one very important thing: power…just a lot less of it than they had before.
With 157 seats — a mere 13 shy of forming a majority — the Grits head into the 43rd Parliament with a reduced mandate to govern. Unlike the last four years, the Liberal’s minority status means it now needs other parties (we’re looking at you, NDP) to pass legislation in the House of Commons.
Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives didn’t get the result they were hoping for, but it wasn’t all bad news as the party grew its seat count and overall share of the popular vote. As the official opposition in a now-divided Parliament, they have more power than before to hold the government accountable and a louder voice to champion “Conservative values,” including free markets, balanced budgets and limited government.
So, there’s that.
You can call it a comeback.
The Bloc Québécois had a major moment Monday night as the separatist party claimed 32 seats across La Belle Province and regained official party status in the House of Commons. Under the leadership of Yves-François Blanchet, the Bloc is now the third party in Parliament ahead of the NDP with a pledge to promote Quebec’s interests and values on Parliament Hill. Sounds like we should buckle-up for some fireworks on this contentious issue and several others.
Who gives a victory speech after a major defeat? Jagmeet Singh, that’s who.
The charismatic NDP Leader, whose personal popularity surged during the campaign, spoke energetically to the party faithful Monday night about advocating for a progressive future. Despite finishing a disappointing fourth in the seat count, the election results put Singh and the NDP in a favourable negotiating position with the Liberals on policies ranging from trade to pharmacare.
COME WHAT MAY
Climate change should be a number-one issue everywhere and Canada is no exception. It’s little wonder, then, that expectations were high for Elizabeth May and the Green Party going into Monday’s vote. Ultimately, though, the party didn’t expand its gains beyond the two coasts, adding only one new seat for a total of three seats overall.
Questions remain about May’s future as Green Party leader given the underwhelming result, but she looks to be staying put for now.
The people have spoken and unfortunately for Maxime Bernier and his populist People’s Party of Canada, the answer was a resounding “NOPE.”
The embattled leader lost his own riding of Beauce, Quebec, which he’s held since 2006, falling to the Tory candidate by more than 6,000 votes. What’s more? The fledgling party failed to gain a single seat in any other riding and captured only 1.6% of the popular vote. Ouch.
There is one province with sovereignty on the brain and it isn’t the one you think.
Monday’s election result sparked a resurgence in separation chatter from Alberta, where many residents think its time for the conservative and oil-rich province (which didn’t elect a single Liberal to the House of Commons) to divorce itself from the rest of Canada and pursue its own economic interests.
But, there could be a thaw on the horizon if Trudeau lives up to his pledge from earlier this week to complete the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline “as quickly as possible” while still pursuing action on other priorities like climate change and affordability. Stay tuned for some major east-west jockeying in the future.
NOT GONNA HAPPEN
In case you’re wondering about all that coalition chatter that sent political heads spinning in the lead-up to election day, Trudeau has rejected that idea outright, saying there are no plans in the works — formally or informally — for the Liberals to join forces with any other party.
Instead, the PM-elect says he will seek support for passing his policies on a bill-by-bill basis. Put on your bargaining hats!
SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Monday’s election may have spelled an end to campaigning, but now the real work begins. Here’s a snapshot of what happens next now that Canada’s picked a new government.
Trudeau will unveil his new (but still gender-balanced) cabinet on Nov. 20. He will also consult with the governor general in coming weeks on a date to reconvene the House of Commons. At that point, lawmakers will elect a Speaker and proceed with the speech from the throne — a major address, delivered by the governor general, to outline the government’s priorities and officially open the new session of Parliament.
The speech from the throne requires support from a majority of lawmakers to pass, so watch for some goodies to be thrown in to attract some essential, non-Liberal votes.
This should be fun.