A weakened Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, set out Tuesday to secure the support of smaller parties he will need to form a government after winning Canada’s nail-biter general election but falling short of a majority.
Trudeau’s Liberals took 157 seats in the 338-member House of Commons, down from a comfortable majority of 177 in the last ballot, official results showed.
Trudeau will now have to seek some kind of accommodation with the Bloc Quebecois or the New Democratic Party (NDP) to consolidate his position.
Before launching talks with their leaders Trudeau greeted people at a subway station in Montreal and posed for selfies.
He received congratulations Monday evening from US President Donald Trump and on Tuesday from European Council president Donald Tusk.
“From coast to coast to coast, tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity,” Trudeau said in his victory speech.
“And they rejected cuts and austerity and voted in favor of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change.”
Defeated Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer warned however that Canada’s oil sector, which is struggling with low prices and a lack of pipeline capacity, is “under attack” from climate activists.
He said it and could suffer further under the environmental policies of the Trudeau’s Liberals, who campaigned for tougher climate action.
“He must be willing to change course, to stop his attacks on the energy sector, and to recognize when western Canada succeeds all of Canada succeeds,” Scheer said of Trudeau.
Even though he came out weakened, the returning prime minister did better than expected. Up until election day polls had him neck and neck with Scheer.
The Conservatives won 121 seats but beat the Liberals in the popular vote, taking 34.4 percent to their 33.1 percent. Scheer issued a warning to Trudeau.
“Canadians have passed judgement on (Trudeau’s) Liberal government,” he said.
“We have put him on notice, his leadership is damaged and his government will end soon and when that time comes, the Conservatives will be ready and we will win!”
The nation is deeply divided, with the resurgence of Quebec nationalism and a growing sense in the western provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan of alienation within the federation.
For now Trudeau faces the tough task of forming a government, for which he will have to take into account the demands of minority parties.
– ‘Open minds’ –
Yves-Francois Blanchet, head of the Bloc Quebecois, a down-and-out party that scored a big comeback on Monday, said he can work with the new government if the interests of French-speaking Quebec are preserved.
“Our top consideration is Quebec,” said Blanchet, whose party will have 32 seats in the next legislature.
“We will do things on a case-by-case basis. If it helps Quebec, we’ll be in favor. If it doesn’t, we won’t,” he said, signaling that he would push back against federal challenges of a new Quebec secularism law.
“I also don’t like our money being invested in oil because it’s destroying the climate,” he said, knocking Trudeau’s nationalization of the Alberta-to-British Columbia Trans Mountain pipeline last year in order to increase crude exports.
Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the New Democratic party, promised to be constructive.
The leftist former criminal defense lawyer is the first non-white leader of a federal political party in Canada, and is now a kingmaker.
“We’ll approach building the new parliament with open minds and open hearts,” Singh told a news conference Tuesday, listing priorities such as affordable housing, “help for students” and “real action on climate justice.”
He also said he would continue to resist Ottawa’s support for the Trans Mountain pipeline project connecting Alberta’s oil sands to the Pacific coast, for shipping overseas.
And, he said, he will press Trudeau to take a second look at election reforms. Trudeau promised in 2015 to get rid of Canada’s first-past-the-post system in favor of proportional representation but stepped back from the plan in office.
Trudeau, a 47-year-old former school teacher, dominated Canadian politics over the four years of his first term, but faced a grilling during the 40-day election campaign, which he described as one of the “dirtiest and nastiest” in Canadian history.
Trudeau and Scheer exchanged barbs as attack ads and misinformation multiplied.
Going into the election Trudeau’s golden boy image had already been damaged by ethics lapses in the handling of the bribery prosecution of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin. His popularity took a further hit with the emergence during the campaign of old photographs of him in blackface makeup.
Royal Split: Prince Harry expresses great sadness
Britain’s Prince Harry expressed “great sadness” on Sunday at the way he and his wife Meghan had to give up their royal titles as part of separation settlement with the Queen.
“It brings me great sadness that it has come to this,” Harry said in his first remarks on Saturday’s historic agreement, made during a public address and posted on the couple’s Instagram account.
“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible,” he told supporters of his Africa-based charity for youngsters with HIV at an event in London.
The settlement stripped Harry and Meghan of public funding and required them to repay £2.4 million ($3.1 million) of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle.
Harry was also forced to give up the military titles and patronages he was awarded after serving two tours in Afghanistan with the British Army.
But Harry said he felt “utmost respect” for Queen Elizabeth II.
“It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service.”
“I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander in chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family, for the support they have shown Meghan and me over the last few months.”
He also hinted at some trepidation at starting a new life away from his royal home. He and Meghan will spend some time in Canada before deciding whether to move to the United States or another country.
“We are taking a leap of faith — thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step,” he said.
President Buhari reveals why he joined Politics
President Buhari finally reveals why he joined politics after his release from prison President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed why he joined partisan politics after he was released from prison over thirty years ago. He said he joined politics because of his integrity.
Will Smith and Martins Lawrence named Honorary police officers by Miami City Police Force
Hollywood actors, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, ahead of the release of the new ‘Bad Boys for Life’ movie, were on Sunday honored by the Miami City Police Force for their outstanding contribution to the growth of the entertainment industry in Miami.
Smith has lived and worked in Miami for almost half a century, and the Bad Boys movie Franchise has always been shot in Miami, hence the Miami city police force thought it wise to celebrate and honor Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and handed them ‘keys to the city’ plaque and Miami police force badges while also granting them honorary police officer titles, roles they both played in the Bad Boys film.
Smith took to Instagram to celebrate the achievement .
“Been rockin’ with Miami for over 25 years and today me and @martinlawrence got the keys to the city and were officially made honorary Miami Police officers!! Big thanx @francisxsuarez and @pitbull (happy BDay) for setting us up! #badboysforlife,” the 51-year-old actor shared on Instagram alongside a series of photos and videos of the two men receiving their keys.
In one of the videos, the official who presented Smith, 51, and Lawrence, 54, with the honor also announced that Jan. 12 would be celebrated as the “Bad Boys for Life” day in the city of Miami, which was met by cheers from the crowd.