A look at each party’s approach to environmental issues
By Craig Allan, Business Manager
Evidence shows that Jagmeet Singh may be getting a bit hot under the collar when it comes to his party’s standing in the country.
On August 15, 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau officially dissolved Parliament and sent Canadians back to the polls in a snap election. Canada enters a federal election less than two years after the previous election on October 19, 2019.
One would be forgiven in thinking that the previous election was more than two years ago as a lot has changed in Canada since that day. The debut of COVID-19 in March 2020 subjected the government to one of the biggest crises the nation has faced in recent years. Other events, like the killing of George Floyd and the discovery of unmarked graves at former residential schools, have made racism a hotly discussed topic for the Canadian government to prioritize in their plans. And the need to provide support for businesses and people during COVID-19 is a current and fiercely debated issue that can’t be ignored.
There have also been changes in the parties looking to take down Trudeau’s Liberal minority government. After falling short in 2019, the Progressive Conservatives replaced Andrew Scheer with Erin O’Toole, and the Green Party has replaced their long-time leader Elizabeth May with Annamie Paul who is the first black woman to be elected as a major party leader.
These transitions have not been smooth though, as Paul has had to deal with infighting and a possible insurrection amongst her own party. This occurred after party member and the first MP for the party to come outside of Vancouver Island, Jenica Atwin of the New Brunswick riding of Frederickton, defected from the party to join the Liberals. This led to a crisis within the party with rumours that many wanted to remove Paul from her position of Green Party leader even with an imminent election being predicted. Paul has managed to stay on as leader, but her future remains uncertain. As for the Conservatives, O’Toole has had trouble connecting with Canadians, and some are criticizing his flip-flop mentality and policy thoughts like eliminating the CBC and the carbon tax.
As for the longest serving leader of the Liberal Party, Prime Minister and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is being criticized for calling this election in the midst of a potential fourth wave of COVID-19 infections which could be brought on by the Delta variant. There is also criticism for calling this election in the midst of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, which has led to thousands of Afghan people who helped the Canadian government during the war in Afghanistan stranded in a country with a militant group. Many party leaders are also saying that Trudeau is calling this election as a power grab to gain a majority government.
Evidence shows that Jagmeet Singh may be getting a bit hot under the collar when it comes to his party’s standing in the country. The New Democratic Party (NDP) has lost seats in the last two elections. Any more bleeding of seats could severely inhibit the party’s ability to remain relevant and could lead to a confidence vote on Singh’s leadership.
For this election, both New Westminster NDP representative Peter Julian and Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam Liberal representative Ron McKinnon (who represents the ridings where Douglas College’s New West and Coquitlam campuses are located) will be running again for their prospective seats. Julian is likely to win his seat, and if he does for the seventh time with a majority government in place, Julian will make it past the 20-year mark representing New Westminster. McKinnon is running for a third term, but he may have a tougher time as he won his seat by just 390 votes in the previous election after winning by less than 2000 votes in 2015.
The future of Canadian government needs to be filled with concrete action to solve the problems pressing voters. This September the Canadian voter will choose whether Trudeau is still the right person to tackle these issues, or if another party and another leader is better suited.