Monday night marked Canada’s 42nd federal election and voters took to the polls to usher in a new era of leadership in Canada.
Justin Trudeau has been elected as Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister and will lead a Liberal majority government.
In the local riding of Brantford-Brant, incumbent MP Phil McColeman will return to work at the House of Commons after winning his third consecutive federal election in the riding.
67 per cent of eligible voters went to the polls in this election, the highest turnout since 1997.
After an overwhelming defeat by the Liberal party, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Monday night that he would step down as the Conservative Party leader. “During the past nine years, it has been an unbelievable honour to serve as your Prime Minister,” Harper stated to supporters during his post-election rally on Monday night.
Despite a massive defeat, with the party winning 44 seats, Tom Mulcair remains leader of the NDP.
Trudeau’s Promises to students
With a Liberal majority in power, Justin Trudeau is promising that his leadership will launch Canada into an era of change.
During the 78-day campaign leading up to Monday night’s election Trudeau’s platform was rooted in promises, the campaign slogan being, “Together, with hard work and the right plan, we can bring Real Change to Canada.” With the election resulting in a Liberal claim to a majority of seats in the House of Commons, the Liberal government has the potential to honour these promises without the opposition that would be met with a minority government.
During a town hall interview with Vice on Oct. 5, Trudeau promised to raise the debt repayment salary that one needs to make before they are to begin paying back their student debt to $25,000 a year, implying the system would support graduates garnering a steady job before they have to start paying back their loans. Trudeau also stated that the Liberal Party would significantly increase the Canada Student Grants in order to help relieve the burden of student debt.
The Liberal online platform cites this example to explain their approach to student aid, “Seema’s parents earn $65,000 each year. Under our plan, she would be eligible for an annual grant of $2,000 instead of the $800 she is eligible for today.”
During the Vice town hall, Trudeau also stated, “Youth unemployment is stubbornly high, we need to invest now in the kinds of things that are going to create opportunities and jobs,” promising to develop more youth employment opportunities, as well as more permanent job opportunities through the creation of a more stable, growing, national economy.
During the campaign trail, Trudeau also promised that a Liberal government will work to legalize marijuana, launch an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, provide accessible and clean drinking water to all First Nation communities within five years, and create a more transparent government.
Trudeau has also promised an equal number of men and women in his ministry.
The NDP planned an event at the Piston Broke with the hope of celebrating a victory. Early polls distributed by CBC predicted that the riding of Brantford-Brant would vote to elect an NDP MP, but the party ended the election with 25 per cent of the local votes.
Marc Laferriere joined the party has the end of the results were being announced. Although a victory was expected the crowd remained positive and gave Laferriere a loud round of applause as he entered. In his speech to the crowd of over 40 supporters, Laferriere encouraged them to stay positive and continue to spread their message.
First time Liberal candidate Danielle Takacs took 31 per cent of the local vote. Despite the fact Takacs did not win her Brantford-Brant riding, she and her supporters still celebrated a victory with the federal Liberals winning a majority government.
Having a new prime minister and a new government that has “four years to make changes that this country wants is fabulous,” said Takacs.
It will be an important four years for the Brantford-Brant Liberals regardless of their loss.
“We have four years to show what we can give back locally,” said Takacs. “We will continue to grown and earn the trust of out constituents.”
“We are the ones to watch now,” she concluded to a round of applause.
Takacs is very happy to see Justin Trudeau become the next prime minister of Canada.
“Justin Trudeau inspired me to run,” she said. “He represents a new generation that will tackle problems from a new perspective.”
Takacs thanked her family and her volunteers and said that the Liberals ran an “excellent, amazing and perfect campaign locally as well as nationally.”
Takacs also congratulated Conservative incumbent Phil McColeman on his win, saying that she knows he’ll work with Justin and will fight for the people of Brantford.
The Liberal government may have won a majority, but Brantford-Brant winner is Conservative Phil McColeman, with 41 per cent of the local votes. The Liberals knocked the Conservatives right into official opposition on Election Day 2015.
All of the campaigning and goal planning has paid off for McColeman’s third win as a Member of Parliament in Ottawa. In the past, he has restored Mohawk Lake and participated in the cleanup of Greenwich-Mohawk brownfield. McColeman hopes to continue advocating for priorities of the First Nations and to push the communities needs into parliament.
McColeman has bittersweet feelings for the winning of the Liberal majority government. He feels that many highly tenement people will not be returning to parliament but he is thankful for his return.
In an interview with The Sputnik in September, McColeman promised to, “continue to support the growth of Laurier locally.”