Northern Canada Holds Promising Potential For Trudeau Government

During Justin Trudeau’s election campaign and his first 100 days in government, four themes have emerged – infrastructure investment, reconciliation with First Nations, Metis and the Inuit, climate change, and multilateral engagement in foreign policy – areas that converge in the North.

The first 100 days of the new Trudeau government have been heady. The prime minister burst out of the gate in a whirlwind of international activity, ministers received detailed mandate letters on how to implement the Liberal election platform, announcements have been made almost daily, and there is a very distinct change in style and tone from the previous government. The honeymoon has been prolonged and, if the polls are to be believed, it is not over yet.

While political rhetoric can soar, governing, to use the metaphor of Max Weber, is mostly the steady boring of hard wood. Speeches are poetry but implementation is prose. This is where the Arctic comes in: during the election campaign and the government’s first 100 days, four distinct themes or priorities have emerged – economic progress through infrastructure investment; reconciliation with First Nations, Metis and the Inuit; climate change; and multilateral engagement in foreign policy. These four areas converge especially well in the North, with the region having the potential to become the sweet spot of implementation of the Liberal government’s agenda. Linking these four themes together in a coordinated action plan for the Arctic could demonstrate to skeptics that the Trudeau administration is as serious and skilled at governing as it is at communicating.

In the 2015 campaign, the Liberals released a northern specific platform emphasizing climate change, affordable housing and additional investment in the Nutrition North food subsidy program. Beyond these specifics, the general themes articulated by Trudeau were tailor made for northern public opinion. In 2015, The Gordon Foundation released <a target="_blank" —> Read More