Friday, November 06, 2015

Most Canadians Wish Him Well


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.


Lorne said...

I don't envy the monumental tasks of learning and policy implementation that face each of Trudeau's ministers in the weeks, months and years ahead, Owen, but I think you are right. Canadians are eager for this government to succeed, and will extend it sufficient latitude. After nine-plus years of oppression, we know we are heading in the right direction.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Lorne. When Canadians get impatient with Trudeau, they should remember who -- and what -- came before.

ron wilton said...

After the decade of darkness we seem to have become inured to believing that the obvious is beyond hope or reach.

Mr. Trudeau seems never to have contemplated not being able to not just do what needs to be done and do it.

I think I'll tag along.

True Blue said...

Mr. Gray, there's no doubt most Canadians are delighted by the Liberal's victory with such a definitive ouster of the Conservatives. Enough said about that, however. I hope you will hold this Prime Minister feet to the fire as you did the last's.

Owen Gray said...

Something tells me that the majority of Canadians feel as you do, ron.

Owen Gray said...

That's what democracy is all about, True. Citizens should always hold their governments to account.

Lulymay said...

Why is the CBC referring to our Canadian Government as the "Trudeau Government"?
What is the message they - who are run by Harper appointed people - are trying to send to Canadian voters? Do they not understand that we are gloriously happy to have our Canadian Government back after years of abuse by the "Harper Government"? I don't think the new Prime Minister has any ambitions to give the appearance of what I would call a decade of "one man - one government".

Owen Gray said...

He's said, Lulymay, that the new government will be "government by cabinet." He may have to repeat that message.