One year of promises: Has Justin Trudeau lived up to his word?

Oct 19 2016, 1:27 pm

Promises, promises.

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Justin Trudeau made many of those leading up to the federal election on October 19, 2015, and after he was elected as prime minister.

But one year later, how many of those promises has Justin Trudeau kept and how many has he broken?

Let’s take a look at if Trudeau has kept his word to the Canadian people.

Promises Trudeau has kept

1. Achieved a gender-equal Cabinet

In November 2015, Trudeau announced his gender-equal Cabinet because “it’s 2015.”

2. Reversed eligibility for Old Age Security from 67 to 65

Trudeau announced in March 2016 that he would be changing the eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS).

3. Welcomed 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada (later than expected)

Achieving this promise took several months longer than expected. The 25,000 target was officially met on March 1, 2016, two months later than the original promise. Only 15,000 of the refugees were government assisted.

4. Unmuzzled scientists

“Our government values science and will treat scientists with respect. That is why government scientists and experts will be able to speak freely about their work to the media and the public,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development in November 2015.

5. Withdrew Canadian fighter jets from Syria and Iraq

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan announced the end of the air strikes against ISIS militants in February 2016.

6. Launched a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women

“I am pleased to announce that the government of Canada is launching its first phase of the inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls,” Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said in December 2015.

7. Eliminated Harper-era tax credits

The Liberal government’s first budget eliminated many of the former Conservative government’s personal tax credits.

8. Created a Prime Minister’s Youth Advisory Council

In July 2016, the federal government announced it was looking for Canadians ages 16 to 24 to be part of a Youth Council to advise the prime minister on national issues, such as employment, education, and climate change. Justin Trudeau announced the 15 new members of his youth council in September.

9. Reopened nine Veterans Affairs offices closed by the former Conservative government

The Liberals announced the reopening of the offices in November 2015.

10. Restored the mandatory long-form census

One day after taking office, the Liberal government announced that the 61-question census would be sent out in 2016.

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Promises Trudeau has broken

1. Run deficits of less than $10 billion in each of the next two fiscal years (2016 and 2017)

In March 2016, it was announced that Ottawa planned to spend nearly $30 billion more than expected in this coming fiscal year.

2. Reduce the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%

In the 2016 budget, the Liberals backed out on their campaign promise to reduce the tax by 2019.

3. Provide $100 million each year to provinces and territories to support guns and gangs police task forces

In the 2016 federal budget, there is a section designated to “Taking Action Against Drugs and Gangs” but no money has been designated to the issue.

4. Maintain current National Defence spending levels

The 2016 Budget proposed to push funding of approximately $3.7 billion for new equipment to 2020.

5. Phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry

A Liberal campaign promise to “phase out subsidies to the fossil fuel industry over the medium-term” did not make their first budget.

6. Invest $6 billion in green infrastructure over the next four years

The 2016 federal budget allocated $5 billion over the next five years to green infrastructure, short of the $6 billion they promised.

7. Guarantee First Nations communities have a veto over natural resource  development in their communities

The Trudeau Liberal Government granted two federal permits for the Site C dam in northern BC.

8. Invest $775 million per year on jobs and skills training

The Liberal government fell short by $200 million in this year’s budget to fulfil their $775 million annual goal.

9. Promised not to purchase the $44-billion F-35 stealth fighter jets

Despite pre-election promises the Liberals have failed to launch an open and transparent competition to replace the old CF-18 fighter jets

10. Ensure every new policy and law would meet the standards of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

An example of breaching this promise includes the federal government’s permits for the Site C dam.

11. Backed out of electoral reform promise

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that he was backing away from his promise to reform Canada’s electoral system. Last November, Trudeau pledged to get rid of Canada’s first-past-the-post system. However, he has now changed his mind after his opponents accused him of trying to rig to electoral system to his benefit.