Trouble in Canada: Liberals Win Canadian Elections

Canada’s Liberal party, headed by Justin Trudeau, won the Canadian general elections Monday, ending the Conservatives’ nine-year run in power.

Trudeau’s win is expected to bring a political shift away from current Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s fiscal and cultural conservatism.

Expected items on the agenda include, among others:

  • the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and Iran;
  • the absorption of tens of thousands of refugees from Syria and Iraq;
  • easing migration to Canada, including family reunification policy for parents and grandparents of citizens and permanent residents;
  • massive investments in infrastructure; and
  • strengthening the policy of multiculturalism centered on consideration of the minority communities.

It is unclear what Trudeau’s policy on Israel will be. While Harper has been among the most vocal supporters of Israel in recent years, Trudeau’s Liberals have also expressed support for Israel, and he recently noted that he would “support Israel and any Canadian government will.” However, some analysts have predicted a more critical line for Israel and a boost in support for the Palestinians in the event of a Trudeau win.

The Conservative Party will be the official Opposition party – but without Harper at its head. Harper announced his resignation as party leader late Monday night.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) welcomed the Liberal Party and the next prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, shortly after election results were announced.

“We congratulate Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party on their election victory,” CIJA chair David Cape said in a statement late Monday. “We are grateful for the positions Mr. Trudeau and his party have taken on a number of issues, including: support for hate crimes legislation; sanctions against Iran; a range of social justice challenges; and a close Canada-Israel relationship – to name only a few.”

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“We look forward to working with Prime Minister-elect Trudeau and his cabinet, along with the opposition parties, on the range of public policy issues of importance to the Jewish community and indeed all Canadians.”

“We take this opportunity to thank Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the deep and sustained support he has provided to Canada’s Jewish community and Israel over the past nine years,” he added. “Under his leadership, Canada has distinguished itself as a close ally of Israel and a leader in the global fight against antisemitism.”

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