10.28.2015 07:06 AM

Promises, promises

Prime Minister-to-be Justin Trudeau made not a few promises on the election trail, and he received a very clear mandate from Canadians to implement them.  He said what he was going to do, and he is still giving every indication he is going to do what he said.

In many cases, the Liberal leader indicated an ambitious timeline for when these promises would be implemented.  In most cases, he indicated real change would be coming within months, not years.

Thus, the unscientific poll below.  Looking at it, you will see – as I did – that the new Liberal government has a very crowded legislative agenda looming on the horizon.  Is it possible to do all of these things in the next few weeks? If you think so, say so in comments, and tell us how you would pull it off.  If you think that one promise is more important that the others, say which one in the little online poll, below.

Whatever comes first, on one point we can all agree: real change is indeed coming.


  1. Doug says:

    Long form census, I think he has to proceed very quickly for the 2016 one to run smoothly. I also think it might be one of the most popular of his proposals so would be a good start at showing a change in direction from his predecessor without ticking off too many people instantly.

    Eliminating the FPTP system is his idea that’s filled with the most potential landmines.

    • MF says:

      I will be shocked if he actually brings in true Proportional Representation. I’m expecting the Liberals to rig this with a new voting system that the Liberals see as favourable to them.

  2. William says:

    By Christmas:

    Middle class tax cut – Why? Because he said he would do this first and Parliament will sit in December to get it done.

    Then or at the same time:

    Syrian refugees – Why? Because he said he’ll do.
    Scrap F-35s – Why? Because it’s a decision that’s been in the making for years, and he’ll just make the one Harper couldn’t ever get himself to make.
    Inquiry into murdered and missing women Why? Because he said he would, and it’s an easy decision to make (implementation in 2016).
    Pull out of air combat mission Why? Because it’s already been announced and he’ll work to get everyone involved home for x-mas.
    Reinstate long-form census Why? Because it doesn’t need to go through parliament and it’s just right, and planning for 2016 census needs to start ASAP.

    The rest will be after x-mas in 2016 – why? Because he said he’ll consult stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcomes – and that takes time.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      -totally agree with this list. Refugees takes the most physical effort to accomplish, tax cut takes parliament, everything else here can be done or get the ball rolling for before year end with the stroke of a pen.

    • JH says:

      Thanks for the link Michael. I suspect this is going to provide us lots of political fun over the next 4 years and lead to some interesting discussions.

  3. Randy says:

    Don’t forget repealing the anti-union Bill C-377

    • DougM says:

      That bill isn’t anti-union, it simply makes union bosses accountable. Something I, as a member of one of Canada’s largest unions, am very much for. But I don’t control the PR dept of my union so you won’t here that from them.

  4. Christian says:

    Long form census. Its easy (relatively) low hanging fruit. Also Stats Can needs to get moving in order to get it ready for 2016.

  5. Elsie Marley says:

    OMG!! What fabulous problems to have – an embarrassment of riches compared to that blue barrenland of seething discontent that formerly brought this country to a standstill over the past decade. There is no “do first” – when you have all the personnel & resources at your fingertips that a PM can command you can kickstart a lot of activities simultaneously.

    Easy peasy (in no particular order):
    1. reinstate the long form census
    2. say “no” to F-35’s
    3. drop Canada Post plans
    4. pull out of air combat mission with ISIS
    5. launch inquiry into missing & murdered aboriginal women

    Short term pain for long term gain (in no particular order):
    1. mobilizing 25,000 Syrian refuges
    2. repeal parts of C-51 terror bill
    3. bring in middle class tax hike and tax increase for 1%
    4. boost CPP and/or provincial pension plans
    5. legalize marijuana

    Consultative and collaborative, therefore longer range implementation (in no particular order):
    1. eliminate first past the post federal elections
    2. ratify or reject the TPP trade deal
    3. develop framework for climate change after the Paris summit

    I’m grateful to finally have a PM who appears to focus on what can be done rather than on what cannot be done.

  6. Jon Powers says:

    Here’s a thought – before Justin Trudeau brings a single Syrian refugee to this country, why not make first sure every single First Nations person in Canada is living above the poverty line.

    • Elsie Marley says:

      If reducing poverty is the objective – rather than fucking over Syrians – I suspect one would target all impoverished Canadians, not just one demographic.

      Here’s a thought: You can always identify Pavlov’s dogs when you ring the bell.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      … or let’s walk and chew gum at the same time, and not pretend things have to be either-or. Is this what cons mean by limited government? No wonder you lost.

    • Jack D says:

      While your thoughtfulness is admirable, thats an issue isn’t going to be fixed over night.

      Frankly, we have a better shot at pulling 25,000 Syrian refugees out before Christmas than we do of fixing more than a century’s worth of disproportioned suppression of the Aboriginal people within the next 4 years.

      The important thing is that the process starts now though. We can’t afford to keep pushing FN issues aside because frankly, we look like racist assholes on the world stage anytime the plight of aboriginals in Canada is brought up. I’m well aware that this whole matter is going to require a huge undertaking and diligent responsibility but we’ve essentially hit a point of eruption here where we can’t ignore the pretty atrocious circumstances these communities face and we need to make some meaningful efforts towards change.

      That said, it makes no sense for us to ignore the situation in Syria given its urgency.

      Honestly, Canada needs this. We need palpable action towards restoring our soul as Canadians after the “we’ll bring them in, but they need to Christians and not Muslims so they don’t bomb us” approach.

  7. Todd Robdon says:

    Wrap it all up into one big-assed omnibus bill. Ram it through and just chill for the next three years and six months?

  8. Cory says:

    While waiting for my ride in downtown Ottawa yesterday I over heard two people speaking rather loudly:

    ” Airlifts won’t happen before Jan 1st. We’re going to send him on the airwaves to explain that the most important things is that we begin the processes before the January…”

    Wish I could have followed them to keep listening.

  9. P Brenn says:

    Hi ..got to beleive poverty on reserves and in general should be dealt with but for many reasons it is never as easy as it seems ..maybe Justin and team can cut thruogh red tape and hold folks accountable at many levels.

    My own opinion is notwithstandnig all these other things he promised and should do – is healthcare – as we age, bring in refugees , fix poverty , first nations – we need to delvier more timely and solid healthcare….personally if I have to do without door to door delivery in order to improve the quality of life of seniors than I would gladly do it , same with other things on list..

    In ontario we are dropping spots in universities for doctors , laying off nurses , reducing items covered by ohip , weekly see youngsters and others fundraising to pay for treatments outside Canada, seeing increased awareness on mental health issues but not funds to deal with it , reducing amounts paid to doctors….

    The system is broken and underfunded ..there are thousands of folks working ministries of health , health Canada etc that do not help deliver services to Canada (yes I know they do much more and different things), there are specialists who makes triple of more what GP’s make and work much less, we are closing beds instead of creating new spots…

    that would be sweet spot for me (yes I also know much of this is provincial responsibility) – feds should take the lead…

    • P Brenn says:

      Further to my note ..again no GP’s ..this is every day news anymore …it is so common we just accept and carry on …

      The country’s military ombudsman has found that National Defence is reluctant to conduct regular health assessments on reservists because over one-third of them have no family doctor. And if they’re sick it would be the department’s responsibility to care for them. Gary Walbourne’s latest report shows only four of the military’s 18 field ambulance units are conducting exams and that the vast majority of them are not properly equipped to carry out the job.

  10. JH says:

    I really would like an honest estimate of how much a missing aboriginal women’s inquiry would cost. I’d also like to know how many other inquiries/Royal commissions on aboriginal issues have been held, their costs and the positive outcomes in policy, legislation etc. resulting from them, if any. I have no problem with having one done, but not simply to enrich lawyers and consultants and to make us all feel good. I may be wrong, but suspect this has been the sole result of many other similar multi-million dollar exercises, in the past.

    • cgh says:

      You raise a good point. The problem with Royal Commissions in recent decades is that they tend to put issues into a political spotlight. Any worthwhile real issues and solutions get subsumed in partisan political shouting. In the end for far too many of them, the recommendations they produce are either facile or impossible to implement.

      • littlemissbliss says:

        I would like a line by line accounting of the 1.2 billion harper spent on the Toronto g20. what tony gazebo stole would easily pay for any inquiry. someone needs to go Elie Wiesel on their asses until the money is recovered or those responsible are in jail.

        • The Doctor says:

          Attempted deflection! You know, all of your bitching about Harper govt misconduct is not going to change the fact that these sorts of public inquiries are horrendously expensive, often wasteful and can turn into taxpayer-funded gong shows. Yes, some good can arise, but at what price? Furthermore, the prime financial beneficiaries tend to be the lawyers and other high-paid consultants and other experts who populate them. I have some personal experience with this having sat through some of the Dubin Inquiry back in the day.

          And we haven’t even mentioned the $7billion or so Kelowna Accord price tag, plus implementing all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Any idea what that will cost? Any guess at what Justin’s final score will be out of 94? I had a LOT of problems with Harper, but a lot of people out there have no idea of all of the stuff that JT promised while flitting about the country showing off his tattoo and his fall-down-the-stairs trick to rapturous applause.

          • cgh says:

            Of course she’s deflecting like mad. Royal commissions have by and large been nothing but gripe sessions against the government of the day for decades. Since they are mostly a public sounding board for the opposition, this is why it’s probably a safe bet that this past election is the last we will ever hear about an RC for aboriginal women from the federal Liberals.

            And if she wants to talk about paybacks to the taxpayer then maybe she can start with the billions filched from Ontario taxpayers over canceled gas plants.

  11. Matt says:

    Re First Past The Post.

    He has said the Liberals will consult with Canadians on a replacement for the FPTP voting system.

    Has anyone given any thought to what happens if Canadians DON’T like any of the other options better than the FPTP?

  12. Matt says:

    I’ll take a different tact – First promise Trudeau breaks – Enhancing CPP.

    Why? He needs all 10 province to agree.

    He’s already doing things that seem to acknowledge he can’t get them to.


    During the election Kathleen Wynne very publicly announced if Trudeau became PM then the Ontario Retirment Pension Plan would not be necessary if Trudeau kept his promise to enhance CPP.

    Yesterday Trudeau announced once he takes office he will order Finance and the CFRA to help administer the ORPP.

    Why would the feds be helping to administer a provincial program Wynne herself would not be needed if Trudeau’s promised CPP enhancement was done.

  13. Matt says:

    According to a CBC article yesterday a “senior Liberal” indicated they will ask the SCoC for a 6 month extension regarding the doctor assisted suicide legislation.

  14. lance mclean says:

    Well I think this government won’t be all that different then past governments. Promise the moon, change a few low hanging fruit items and then sit on the tough stuff as it will be hard to implement and hard to get elected again if done poorly. I know there was alot of hopey changy stuff going on but I fear this will be much more of the same, except this time Trudeau may give you a kiss and a smile before you are bent over, if that makes you feel any better that is.

  15. Reality.Bites says:

    I voted for “legalize marijuana.” If he does that one quickly enough no one will notice how long it takes him to do the others.

  16. PJ says:

    Perhaps its still premature to take it off the list, but he didn’t even have to act to get Canada Post to change their minds on stopping home delivery……though the community superboxes already in place will remain, I understand….

    • Matt says:

      Well, they have temporarily suspended moving people away from home delivery.

      But yes you are correct Trudeau’s promise was only to end the switch over. NOT to restore home delivery for those who have already lost it.

      If you’ve lost it, it ain’t coming back.

      The Dippers promised to restore it.

  17. twitmadin says:

    “Eliminate first-past-the-post federal elections” will take the first bullet.

  18. RogerX says:

    Re: 25,000 Syrian refugees. I recall hearing on TV recently that the Atlantic provinces were in desperate need of new immigrants because of their aging population, low birth rate and loss of youth to the ROC.

    25,000 Syrian refugees would be a Godsend for all those Maritimers who voted so overwhelmingly for Justin. I dug up this G&M article on the population decline:


    I hope these new refugees aren’t resettled in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver… all having an overflow of new Canadians…. particularly Toronto. They should be resettled in the Atlantic provinces and they should pledge to stay there for at least 5 years.

    Call your local Liberal MP and tell them your feelings on refugee settlement in the Atlantic provinces.

    • Wayne says:

      I can’t tell if this is tongue-in-cheek type stuff or not but in case you are serious…we have enough of the population down east on the dole, thank you very much

  19. Maps Onburt says:

    No way in hell he can bring in 25,000 Syrians by end of year without dragging along a bunch of terrorists. Even the normal refugee community were all over CBC yesterday saying it couldn’t be done that fast because we already have 10 month waits on language training, don’t have spots to put them all, don’t have the airlift capacity to do it, etc. I suspect he’ll make some moves on that front but we’ll be no where near 25,000 by year end (and nobody will hold his feet to the fire on it).

    I can’t think of a single thing on that list I actually want him to do except ratifying the TPP.

    • Justin says:

      The Liberals claim the 25000 will be coming from camps in Jordan and Turkey, places where they have already cleared background checks. I would like to believe them but my instincts say otherwise. Remember now, we finally got rid of Canada’s version of ‘Satan’ and have elected the second coming! So no grumpy faces now! Justin says hugs and kisses are the way to deal with terrorism!

  20. MF says:

    Should we do more to prevent indigenous women from going missing or being murdered? Yup.

    But I don’t think a public inquiry is going to accomplish anything. A public inquiry hardly ever accomplishes anything. Can anybody explain to me how this would be helpful in any way?

  21. de udder guy says:

    Ha ha, how does he indicate he is going to going to do what he said? By saying “I’m going to do what I said”? Terrifically funny!

  22. e.a.f. says:

    In my opinion the things which need to be changed first are the issues regarding our Constitution, that includes Bill C-51, the Citizenship Act, etc.

    This can be done at the same time they bring 25k refugees into Canada and yes I believe it can be done by years end. People are just going to have to work a tad harder and some staff might have to be hired. All they have to do is send teams to the refugee camps in Jordon, Turkey where people have already been deemed refugees under the U.N. Just start sending them. The military can help build the temporary housing as can volunteers. Those with family in Canada could simply be asked to have their family members get in touch with officials and get that rolling.

    The tax breaks are nice, but really no one is going to die and no constitution is going to be violated.

    scraping the jets, is no big deal. just appoint a new minister of defense and he can take care of it.

    A lot of what needs to be done can be done by Cabinet Ministers and its just people are going to have to work and work fast. Given the federal service has been down sized, the government might want to consider brining some of them back quickly to get some of that work done quickly.

    The m.j. and right to die, let the cabinet ministers responsible get to work in those areas. A lot of this work which needs to be done, can be handled by cabinet ministers. Not all work has to be done at the PMO.

    Try to think Marshal Plan. it got done because some one wanted it done.

  23. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Ah, the joys of government. Essential that he hits the ground running. But also has to regard each promise as guns turned inward and firing like machine guns. That reveals the urgency of prioritizing and yes, perhaps dropping one or a few after seeing the books over at Finance.

    A wonderful balancing act based on instinct — glad it’s him and not me that has to decide!

  24. patrick says:

    inquiry into missing aboriginals
    Isis bombing withdrawal
    can be done immediately.
    The rest logistically, legally, properly will take time, unless they have been preparing in advance and they will be given time as long as they show that they are working on the issues.

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