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Trudeau's broken promises

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Electoral reform rally in Guelph, 2017. Image: Ryan Hodnett/Flickr

The Council of Canadians is deeply concerned by the Trudeau government's record of broken promises and is mobilizing to stop his most recent egregious actions, including the approval of BP drilling oil and gas wells off the coast of Nova Scotia and his intention to impose an Oil Measures Act on British Columbia and First Nations.

During the 2015 federal election, Justin Trudeau promised to "make every vote count," and that the 2015 election would be the last under the first-past-the-post voting system. On February 1, 2017, Trudeau abandoned that pledge. At that time, NDP MP Nathan Cullen stated, "What Trudeau proved himself today was to be a liar, was to be of the most cynical variety of politician." The Trudeau government has also stalled on its promise to address the voter suppression measures in the Harper government's Fair Elections Act.

Despite promises to take action on climate change and his stated commitment to the Paris climate agreement in December 2015, by November 2016 Trudeau approved the controversial 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline. Furthermore, Trudeau has broken his promise to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by forcing the pipeline through territories without free, prior, and informed consent. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip now describes Trudeau as a "serial liar."

During the last federal election Trudeau promised transparency with respect to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trudeau then turned his back on a consultation -- in which the vast majority of people rejected the TPP -- when his government signed the so-called 'comprehensive and progressive' TPP on March 8 of this year. The Trudeau government has been similarly non-transparent about the ongoing negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It has even continued to defend -- and work to keep in NAFTA -- the controversial Chapter 11 investor-state dispute settlement provision.

During the last election, Trudeau promised to restore lost protections and bring in modern safeguards to protect navigable waters. This was in response to the outrage over the Harper government cutting protection for 2.5 million lakes and rivers to a list of just 159 water bodies. The Trudeau government introduced Bill C-69 on February 8 which failed to fully restore lost protections, consider the environmental impacts of obstructions on navigable waters, or monitor the cumulative impacts of 'minor' projects.

During the 2015 election, the Liberals promised to "negotiate a new Health Accord" including "a long-term agreement on funding." This was widely understood as a rejection of the Harper government's imposition of a plan to tie health care transfers to the GDP with a minimum three per cent annual increase (that would cost provinces about $31 billion over a 10 year period.) But by September 2016, the federal Health Minister announced the government wouldn't increase the funding formula imposed by Stephen Harper.

There are numerous other examples of major disappointments and failures to bring about the "real change" Trudeau promised -- including the approval of the Site C dam, failure to take action on harmful fish farms, the pain caused by the debacle of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry.

The Council of Canadians has numerous online petitions to push Trudeau on key issues and we are strategizing for the federal election in 2019, including at our upcoming Groundswell annual conference in Ottawa this coming June 22 through 24.

This article was originally published on The Council of Canadians blog

Image: Ryan Hodnett/Flickr

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