It's not easy to carry the high expectations of a nation on your shoulders. Just ask Barack Obama. That is the task facing Justin Trudeau. He's made a lot of promises -- and it will take time to implement them. Take the Inquiry Into Murdered Indigenous Women. Michael Harris writes:
The new minister for Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, has already felt the pressure to call a public inquiry into 1,200 missing and murdered native women that Stephen Harper refused to call. In the first scrum of the new cabinet, Bennett had to point out that you just don’t just ‘announce’ inquiries.
There is a great deal of groundwork that must be done, including soliciting input from indigenous groups and other departments of government. How much should be budgeted? How long should hearings take? How broad should the scope of the inquiry be? When will Parliament get its report? Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould obviously will be a key player in helping define those parameters. The right commissioners also will have to be found.
And, then there's the problem of crafting policy to deal with climate change:
Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna will be going to the Paris climate meetings, along with the prime minister, other federal party leaders and any premiers not tied up in elections. The idea behind this grand delegation is to announce to the world we are no longer the country that walked away from Kyoto and failed for ten years to regulate our energy industry.
That’s all to the good; Canadians don’t want to add to the national collection of Fossil Awards earned by Harper’s environment ministers. Neither do they want Canada to agree to climate change goals too ambitious to be realized — or too puny to be meaningful. McKenna will be heading into whitewater just weeks into her job — and the redoubtable Elizabeth May will be there to mark the government’s report card.
And there is the problem of restoring services for Canada's veterans:
Now it will be up to Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr — who knows a thing or two about the reality many of these veterans face — to make good on Trudeau’s promise to re-open those nine Veterans Affairs centers shuttered in a venal attempt to “balance” the budget.
The VAC centers looked after urgent needs, and it will be a matter of urgency to re-open them. And will the Liberals proceed with or drop the court case in British Columbia pitting Ottawa against military veterans who believe they are owed a duty of care that transcends the niggardly terms of the New Veterans Charter?
There is much to be done. And it will take time -- probably too much time. But, if Trudeau keeps his pledge to lead an open government, I suspect most Canadians will give him that time.
I also suspect that most Canadians wish him well.