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Canada 2016

Published Thursday, April 14, 2016

Canadians gave the Liberals a strong majority in Parliament at the 2015 general election, surprising many observers. How has the new government been getting on?

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Canada has recently elected a Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Polls predicted a close result but the Liberals did better than expected and gained a clear majority in the House of Commons. It seems that Canadians were keen for a change after nine years of Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party, whom many found divisive.

Trudeau has embarked on some relatively radical policies, particularly fulfilling a manifesto promise to borrow money to invest in infrastructure, but this has taken place against a backdrop of sharply reduced oil and other commodity prices. 2016’s Budget foresaw borrowing three times as much as set out in the manifesto, making Canadian economic policy an interesting test case for those arguing against economic austerity in some other G7 countries.

The new Government has acted on its manifesto pledge to offer more resettlement places to Syrian refugees.

Trudeau has announced the end of the Canadian military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but will triple the size of its commitment to training Iraqi armed forces.

The EU and Canada have recently agreed a wide-ranging free-trade agreement that will build on historically close relations.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7559

Authors: Ben Smith; Daniel Harari

Topics: Economic policy, International politics and government, North America

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