Preliminary Thoughts on Canada’s 2021 Election
Remaining in the grips of a global pandemic, voters may have been unhappy about the elections being called early, but a sufficient number were reasonably content with the Liberal government’s management of the crisis that has immeasurably altered their lives. Who needs more change at a time like this?
Apparently not Canadians. Canada’s 44th Parliament will look remarkably like the 43rd.
With his latest campaign now behind him, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a reaffirmed mandate to, among other things, support Canadians through the next phase of the COVID crisis, move the yardsticks on climate change, fund $10-a-day childcare across the country, and continue the long path of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
As he carries on with this agenda, the PM will once again run a ‘brokerage government’, just as he did following the 2019 election. The Liberals have three opposition parties from which to seek and gain support for their legislative agenda in a hung (aka minority) Parliament.
What Happens Next?
Prime Minister Trudeau government will invite Liberal MPs to join his Cabinet within the next two-to-three weeks, with Governor General Mary Simon summoning them to Rideau Hall to be sworn into office. A few Ministers went down to defeat on September 20th, but the PM has many candidates to choose from, apparently even from Alberta.
Deputy Ministers are finalizing the briefing books for their respective departments and agencies and preparing to meet their new political masters. Newly minted Ministers will be prepped by senior departmental officials on the key issues they will face once they are confronted by the media, which occurs almost immediately, and by the opposition benches in Question Period.
Looking slightly further ahead, the First Session of the 44th Parliament will likely commence sometime in November, with Members of Parliament first choosing the next Speaker of the House, followed shortly thereafter by the Governor General reading the Liberal government’s Speech from the Throne in the Senate chamber.
It is also reasonable to assume that the Minister of Finance, whoever that may be, will release a Fall Economic Update, giving Canadians a sense of what the government’s books look like and a sneak peek into the 2022 budget.