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Canada's Justin Trudeau Wins Second Term, Loses Majority

Liberal leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau wave to supporters after the federal election at the Palais des Congres in Montreal, Quebec, Canada October 22, 2019.
Canada's Justin Trudeau Wins Second Term, Loses Majority
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a second term in national elections Monday.

His Liberal Party of Canada, however, lost its majority. Trudeau kept his position although he has been weakened by several scandals.

Trudeau’s Liberal party took the most seats in Parliament, so he will have the best chance of forming a government. But after losing the majority, he will have to ally with another party to pass legislation.

Robert Bothwell is a professor of Canadian history and international relations at the University of Toronto. He said,“Trudeau is prime minister because the rest of the party was able to pull itself together…While Trudeau certainly deserves credit for what has happened he’s really going to have to demonstrate qualities that he hasn’t yet shown.”

Trudeau’s image was hurt last month after old photos showed him at parties with his face painted black or brown. He was also accused of interfering with the prosecution of an engineering and building company in Quebec.

“I’m surprised at how well Trudeau has done,” said Nelson Wiseman. He is a political science professor at the University of Toronto. He added, “I don’t think anybody expected Trudeau to get a majority but they are not that far off.”

Early Tuesday, the Liberals had 156 seats. They needed 170 for a majority in the 338-seat House of Commons.

Trudeau said Tuesday, “Tonight Canadians rejected division...They rejected cuts and austerity. They elected…strong action on climate change.”

Trudeau also spoke to those who supported his opponent, Conservative Andrew Scheer.

He said, “To those who did not vote for us, know that we will work every single day for you, we will govern for everyone.”

Trudeau strengthened liberalism in 2015 after almost 10 years of Conservative Party government in Canada. Several scandals and high expectations damaged his ability to bring about change.

Trudeau is the son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Trudeau’s opponent, Scheer, is a long-time politician and was seen as a possible answer to Trudeau’s high energy liberalism. But Bothwell said that he expected Scheer to resign.

“He’s gone,” Bothwell said. “He ran a really dirty campaign. There is nothing to be proud of on his side. He had the opportunity and blew it.”

During the campaign, Scheer said Trudeau was untruthful when he claimed not to remember how many times he had worn blackface.

In his concession speech, Scheer said the results showed Trudeau was much weakened since his 2015 election.

He said, “And Mr. Trudeau when your government falls, Conservatives will be ready and we will win.”

Wiseman said Monday’s results left the Conservatives deeply disappointed.

“They had an opportunity here to win,” he said.

Scheer had promised to end a carbon tax and cut government spending.

Trudeau’s efforts to balance the environment with the economy have been criticized by both liberals and conservatives. He put in place a carbon tax on gasoline that was meant to fight climate change. But, he also rescued a pipeline expansion project to get Alberta’s oil to international markets.

In addition, Trudeau negotiated a new free trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico. President Donald Trump had threatened to pull the U.S. out of the existing deal.

Trump tweeted his congratulations early Tuesday, saying, “Canada is well served.”

I’m Jonathan Evans.

The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.


Words in This Story

scandal– n. a situation that goes against society and embarrasses someone

deserve– v. to rightfully claim what is due

austerity- n. cutting costs to extremes

concession- adj. admitting defeat

carbon– n. an element that is part of carbon dioxide, a gas which is linked to increasing temperatures in the Earth’s atmosphere