The first one hundred days of any new government reveals the character of its leadership and it usually signals the style and direction to be expected over the administration’s mandate. On November 4, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the oath of office and begin the 100-day count to set the course for his government and for our country over the next four years.
There are great expectations of this new government. Canadians expect Trudeau to follow through on his big promises of tax cuts to middle class, 25,000 refugees by Christmas, money and settlements to First Nations, and bold moves with climate change and the environment. We also expect a more respectful political tone from the Liberals and a new, open and transparent government. To provide a measuring tool against those expectations, By George Journal will compile the Trudeau Government’s news and achievements through the first 100 days, through to February 11, 2016. (The photo is of the new PM on his first day on the job – source Justin Trudeau Facebook page.)
Here is the “PM Trudeau’s 100 Days”
Day 1 (Nov 4) – PM announces a 30 member cabinet that has a symbolic 50% women (gender equality was the first criteria in making the cabinet) and a total of 18 rookie MPs. (Links for Cabinet Ministers and Cabinet Committees.)
Day 2 (Nov 5) – Government restores the mandatory long-form census (but does not state what penalties will be enforced for those people refusing to fill out the questionnaire).
Day 3 (Nov 6) – PMO attempts to explain Cabinet selection of females, with a 1/3 of women ministers having a reduced role as ministers-of-state – and a reduced salary. (This is to be corrected at some time in the near future with all junior ministerial positions being elevated to full ministerial status. Therefore, there will be more ministers in the Trudeau Cabinet than in previous Harper Cabinets.)
Day 3 (Nov 6) – PM expresses “disappointment” with US President Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL pipeline and states this decision will not poison Canada-U.S. relations
Day 3 (Nov 6) – Through e-mail announcements from DMs and ADMs, government employees, most notably scientists, learn that they have been “unmuzzled” and now permitted to talk to media and public about their work.
Day 4 (Nov 7) – A large portrait of the Queen that had in the Foreign Affairs headquarters foyer was ordered by Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion to be removed and replaced by two landscapes by Quebec artist Alfred Pellan. A PM spokesperson stated it was an “internal decision.” It’s unclear where the Queen’s portrait has gone.
Day 6 (Nov 9) – New Environment Minister Catherine McKenna gives the okay for Montreal to proceed with its controversial proposal to dump eight billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. She said “evidence-based decision making” played a part in her position on the sewage discharge, while overriding the concerns made by affected down-river communities, including First Nations.
Day 6 (Nov 9) – New Immigration Minister John McCallum pledges to bring to Canada 25,000 Syrian refugees by Christmas. Cabinet is to discuss the strategy this week without considering any price tag. But the minister does recommit to a campaign promise of an immediate $100 million for refugee processing and resettlement services.
Day 7 (Nov 10) – The Parliament Budget Office delivered news that, due to sunken oil and gas prices, Canada will have fiscal deficits averaging $4.3 billion annually for the next five years. The Liberals have promised “modest deficits” of $10 billion per year over the next few years – based on the Conservative’s projections of balanced budgets. So, this PBO news has some Liberals now talking about much more red ink in the years to come.
Day 10 (Nov 13) – PMO made public the ministerial mandate letters which outline the PM’s wishes of his ministers and the intent of the government. Included in these letters were: introducing a middle-class tax cut while raising taxes on wealthiest 1%; establishing national emissions-reduction targets and policies, including a new carbon tax; developing a new multi-year Health Accord; processing 25,000 Syrian refugees in coming months; halting combat missions in Iraq and Syria; implementing recommendations of Truth and Reconciliation Commission; developing a 10-year plan for infrastructure funding; placing a moratorium on oil-tanker traffic off coast of BC; and, decriminalizing marijuana.
Day 10 (Nov 13) – Paris came under attack by ISIS terrorists this evening, killing 129 people and injuring 100’s more. While world leaders delivered both empathy for the French people and condemnation of ISIS “war crimes against humanity”, PM Trudeau was notably mute on his criticism of the Islamic State. In media Q&As he affirmed his intent to remove Canadian planes from Syria and Iraq missions and to move ahead with his refugee plan to bring 25,000 Syrians to Canada by Christmas.
DAY 12 (Nov 15) – CBC reports that Trudeau receives a “rock star welcome” at the G20 conference in Turkey – and Canadian media has nicknamed him “Prime Minister Selfie” for his continual taking of and posing for iphone photos.
Day 12 (Nov 15) – PM Trudeau delivered his first major speech at the G20 conference in Turkey. World leaders spoke of their resolve in the face of the Paris tragedy and their pursuit for security in an uncertain world. Offside with the focus and mood of the other leaders, the Canadian PM delivered a prepared speech on significant infrastructure spending as a means of stimulating national economies.
Day 13 (Nov 16) – New justice minister Jody Wilson- Raybould, as her first act, announced the federal government was withdrawing a Supreme Court challenge involving the wearing of a niqab during swearing oaths at citizenship ceremonies. Muslims can wear face-covering veils during oath ceremonies. The Justice Minister also indicated that she was dropping the policy initiative that would have given the federal government the right to revoke Canadian citizenship from an individual convicted of treason or terrorism against Canadians.
Day 14 (Nov 17) – PM Trudeau commits to sending an increased number of military trainers to Syria to help train local forces in their fight against ISIS. This will occur once the fighter jets have halted their mission and have been brought home.
Day 16 (Nov 19) – PM Trudeau continued on his inaugural foreign affairs tour by attending the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in Manila. There Justin Trudeau completed his first official meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama where they spoke of terrorism, climate change and the TPP trade agreement. (In a side-story that is making CBC headlines, Trudeau has been swarmed by young Asian women and has been given the handle “#APEChottie”.)
Day 17 (Nov 20) Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered an economic update that reported the $2.4-billion surplus for 2015-16 projected in April by the Tories is now expected to be a $3-billion deficit. He stated the government will fulfil its pledge to balance the books four years from now despite the weaker economic environment and the steeper fiscal obstacles. (Former Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver stated, “The fact is we left them with a $1.6-billion surplus.”)
Day 20 (Nov 23) PM Trudeau hosted a First Ministers’ Meeting in Ottawa. The PM and all of Canada’s provincial and territorial leaders spent a few hours Monday preparing for the UN climate talks. The PM invited all to the Paris climate talks and also promised to follow-up with another First Ministers meeting within 90 days.
Day 21 (Nov 24) The government announced it is extending the December 31st deadline to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by two months, setting the end of February 2016 as a new target date. It stated that there were be only 10,000 will arrive by year’s end (the same number originally promised by Stephen Harper during the election campaign).
Day 22 (Nov 25) PM Trudeau is in London, England to meet with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and with U.K. PM David Cameron at Downing Street. The PMs are to discuss the situations in Ukraine and Syria and the refugee crisis.
Day 24 (Nov 27) PM Trudeau is in Malta for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting. There he pledged $2.65 billion over the next five years to help developing countries fight climate change.
Day 26 (Nov 29) PM Trudeau travels to Paris for a bilateral meeting with President François Holland to consider the fight against ISIL, the Syrian refugee crisis and Canada’s priorities for the UN negotiations on climate change.
Day 27 (Nov 30) PM Trudeau attends the COP21 Leaders’ Event, joined by Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion as well as 5 Premiers. Leaders and climate negotiators from almost 200 countries are meeting from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 to try to work out the broadest and longest-lasting deal so far to slow global warming.
Day 27 (Nov 30) Liberal Party insider Michel Dorais signed a $1,800 a day sole-sourced contract to welcome Syrian refugees. Mr. Dorais will earn a total of $110,000 over a three-month period. He was once a key aide for Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre when he was immigration minister with the Chretien/Martin governments.
Day 29 (Dec 2) Finance Minister Bill Morneau announces the government will focus on its election pledges to invest in infrastructure, lower the federal debt-to-GDP ratio and balance the books in the fourth year of their mandate. He indicated that the Liberal campaign vow to keep annual deficits capped at $10 billion is no longer an objective.
Day 30 (Dec 3) Government announced that PM Justin Trudeau will appoint five new Independent senators as early as January – as part of his promise to reform the Senate. PM Trudeau selected the Senate Speaker and indicated that there would be no “government Senators” in the Upper Chamber.
Day 31 (Dec 4) His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the 42nd session of Parliament and outline the Government’s agenda. View it here.
Day 34 (Dec 7) Finance Minister Bill Morneau conceded the promised tax breaks for the middle class will not be revenue-neutral and will actually cost the federal treasury $1.2 billion annually. He is moving ahead with the cuts, as well as eliminating both the income-splitting for families tax credit and the increase of the TFSA limits in the new year.
Day 35 (Dec 8) PM Trudeau announced the Liberal government will lift a long-standing two per cent cap on First Nations reserve program funding. He also vowed to move on implementing all 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including the public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. The Liberals have promised to spend two years and $40 million on the study.
Day 38 (Dec 11) PM Trudeau and Ontario Premier Wynne were on hand to welcome the first two families from a plane that brought 163 Syrian refugees to Canada. They were joined by the ministers of immigration, health and defence, as well as local mayors and opposition immigration critics at a photo op where the PM entertained the refugees taking selfies. These are the first of the 10,000 refugees who are to come into Canada by Christmas – refugees who were part of the process initiated by the former government.
Day 39 (Dec 12) PM Trudeau announces that Canada agrees to strengthen the global response to limit global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius as well as pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. Trudeau promises to meet with the Premiers within the next 90 days to work on a plan to meet our international commitments – which could include a new carbon pricing tax. (Photo of PM Trudeau with a cadre of ministers as well as provincial Premiers at the international summit on climate change. Source Justin Trudeau’s Facebook page.)
(ed. – This was last updated on Dec. 12th. The BGJ will be adding to this list in a new post after the Christmas Parliamentary break. Go directly to that post HERE.)
Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.