A strong minority – and a way forward - The Orca

A strong minority – and a way forward

Suzanne Anton

Suzanne Anton looks ahead and sees a way for the Trudeau government to rebuild lost support in Western Canada.

The 2019 federal election result was the best it could be for Prime Minister Trudeau and his federal Liberal party. He was not going to get his majority back but he’s in a very favourable minority position.

With the standings at Liberal-157, Conservatives-121, Bloc Québécois-32, New Democrats-24, Green-3 and Independent-1, no two parties can decide to take the government down and force an election. Trudeau needs no partners to govern, unlike the BC NDP who need ongoing Green support.

It would take the Conservatives, plus at least two other parties to force an election. I don’t see that happening in the short term: the NDP have no money; the Bloc is sitting pretty with the seats it has; the others are too few.

We will have a stable government in Canada, but what will Trudeau need to do to be a successful government?

Create prosperity. Unite the country.

Economists and other pundits can talk about high tech, productivity, manufacturing, and many more. All of which would benefit the Canadian economy, and are worth pursuing.

But in Western Canada, the golden ticket is energy.

What can the Trudeau government do? Get rid of the tanker ban, which punishes Canadian suppliers and ignores a steady stream of US tankers in the same waters – thereby accomplishing nothing.

Allow Alberta to get world price on oil, by following through on their investment and (finally) build TMX.

Build the western electricity grid, an important project that will create jobs, much-needed infrastructure, and almost certainly help reduce pollution and emissions.

Remove the regulatory quagmires that ensnare too many worthy projects.

And support a growing number of First Nations proponents, giving them the ability to better control their own economic futures.

Build bridges. Build energy. Build prosperity: that’s my wish for the next four years.

Suzanne Anton QC is a former Attorney General of BC and Vancouver City Councillor