Pierre Elliott Trudeau was the third-longest serving Prime Minister in Canadian history and is widely seen as one of the prominent. In a global ranking of the most-liked Prime Ministers in Canada, he comes in 4th, often celebrated for his intelligence and reasoning. Both of these traits made his 15-year tenure in office possible. His greatest accomplishments include the repatriation of the Constitution, the creation the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and making bilingualism official in Canada. When he died of prostate cancer on September 28th, 2000, the nation mourned his loss, as they would with royalty.
Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was seen by many as the continuation of his father’s personality;an almost-identical copy. Canada wanted more of the Trudeau legacy Some might even say that is it the exact reason why he became Prime Minister (one of the youngest) in 2015. After 10 years under a Conservative government, Canadians decided to elect a majority Liberal government. It was a turning point in our political system and a glimmer of hope for every liberal in the country.
For the first couple of years that Trudeau was in office, he ruled as a mastermind, with approval ratings punching a hole through the ceiling. He pushed the Liberal agenda and faced little to no opposition since most of the Members of Parliament (MP’s) were of his own party. In the short span of three years, Justin Trudeau’s government legalized marijuana; an incredible feat that would no doubt had taken more time to achieve without the Trudeau political capital. Since Trudeau took office, he has decreased taxes for the middle class and increase it for the rich. Upon taking office, he chose an equal-male, equal-female Cabinet. Lastly, he created the Prime minister’s youth advisory council. These are some examples of his greatest achievements so far.
However, his accomplishments and reputation have come crumbling down in the last few weeks. All of the history behind the political family that is the Trudeau family has been tainted with allegations of overreach concerning the SNC-Lavalin case. Allegedly, in a meeting that the PM had with the then-AG Jody Wilson-Raybould on September 17th, 2018, Justin Trudeau pressured the prosecutor in charge of the SNC-Lavalin case to seek outside council, in an effort to get her to change her mind on refusing to apply the remediation agreement . This deal would allow SNC-Lavalin's criminal prosecution to be put on hold under certain conditions.This meeting, in and of itself, is the reason why the PM is now in hot water. Even if other actors in the Prime Minister’s Office did contact the AG’s office trying to convince her to accept the agreement, the meeting on the 17th is the most important from a political angle. It represents the executive branch trying to influence the judicial branch.
Canadians have already showed their discontent over the actions of the PM. This can be easily proven with poll numbers. A couple of weeks ago, the Liberal Party held a comfortable advantage over the Conservative Party, which made the debate revolve around whether the Liberal government elected in 2019 would be a majority or a minority. Following the explosive testimony of Jody Wilson-Raybould and the resignation of Cabinet member Jane Philpott, Conservatives have now taken over the lead. Indeed, in the CBC Federal Poll tracker has the Conservative Party at 35,5% approval rating and the Liberal Party at its lowest rating in years (33%) (as of March 6th). The Trudeau name has reached an impasse; can it survive Wilson-Raybould? Many politicians have taken her side, like Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes who went as far as to critique Trudeau’s leadership style and like the previously-mentioned Jane Philpott who resigned with these words: “there can be a cost to acting on one’s principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them”.
A trend can be seen in the liberal opposition to the PM’s actions: the people mentioned above are all women. Indeed, sparks of a feminist movement inside the Liberal Party’s core might light a fire too big for Justin Trudeau to handle. Might this prove to be his political downfall? Only time will tell… I for one see a great opportunity here for a woman to take over the leadership of the party. It would clean the slate concerning J. Trudeau’s overreach in time for the federal elections and inspire many liberal and independent voters around the country who have lost faith in the son of the political patriarch that is Pierre Trudeau. Having the first elected female as Prime Minister in 2019 is long overdue.