Reported by Jessica Purver
One year after the Liberal government won a majority in the federal election, some voters have mixed feelings about the future of Canada’s political landscape.
Of the 219 promises made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet in their first year in power, only 34 have been achieved. While he has made gains in welcoming Syrian refugees and advocating for women’s rights, implementing imported gun regulations and other promises have been forgotten.
For Langara pre-med biology student and NDP voter Jessica Adamson, the scope of these broken promises hits home.
“I wanted Harper out,” she said. “The promises that Trudeau and his government were making were something that I thought he believed in.”
Adamson said she no longer trusts the current Liberal government. In addition to moving forward with construction of Site C in northeastern B.C., she said Trudeau hasn’t addressed issues like the diesel oil spill in the Heiltsuk Nation, recent protests for an LNG injunction filing in Vancouver, or the lack of funding for First Nations health and education initiatives.
“At least when Harper was in government people were very critical and paid attention to what he was doing,” she said. “But with Justin, people dismiss it and don’t look above the surface.”
Christine Fedusiak, a Liberal voter and aboriginal studies student at Langara, was initially attracted to Trudeau’s progressive standpoint.
“It’s supposed to be the people’s government,” she said. “And it seems like people aren’t happy.”
When it came to indigenous rights and pipelines, Fedusiak would like to see professional mediation involved.
“These are broken treaties and broken promises and the government is trying to reconcile with aboriginal people, and they’re doing the opposite,” she said.
Despite this, Fedusiak believes Trudeau’s advocacy of feminism and health care funding is a step in the right direction.
“I think Canada takes a long time to move [and] everything is slow,” she said. “But changes happen.”
Langara grad Matthew Houben is ambivalent.
“We live in a lesser-of-two-evils system,” he said. “Anyone of Liberal leanings criticizing Trudeau should just remember how they felt two years ago as a kind of balm, [but] that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be criticized.”