are some recent historical markers.
68%, this is the highest voter turn-out since 1993– also a ‘throw
the bums out’ election in which a Liberal sunny optimist crushed a
to both retirements and electoral defeats, there are only 124
incumbents returning to the House of Commons. That means almost
2/3rds of the MPs are new. High turn-over is a feature of Canadian
politics but this may be or is a historical high.
PM and new cabinet will be sworn in on November 4.
is no public commitment to recall Parliament before the holiday
break. Some pressure is building to do so but so far there has been
some resistance from the centre. MPs have to be assigned offices.
Thousands of staffers have to be hired including experienced staffers
from the previous Chretien Government to pair with new rookie
letters must be prepared for each new Minister. A Speech from the
Throne has to be written. A fall Fiscal and Economic Outlook has to
be released by a new Finance Minister.
are the Commitments made for their first ‘100 days” including:
with provincial and territorial leaders for a new pan-Canadian
Framework on climate change and possibly a new Health Accord.
with provincial, territorial and aboriginal leaders to begin work on
the National Early Learning and Childcare framework including
a public enquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and
the new Prime Minister is booked for the Conference on Climate Change
in Paris and possibly the G-20 in Turkey; the APCE Conference in the
Philippines, and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in
are 22 Senate vacancies and a Conservative majority in the Senate.
This suggests an imperative to appoint new Senators quickly. However,
there remains a platform and public commitment to withhold Senate
appointments until such time as a committee of eminent persons has
been appointed and made recommendations to the new PM. A consultation
with Senate leadership of all parties will take place early in the
this is just the start of the New Governments’ to-do list.
Does this Mean to Business?
will be a more activist and progressive Government. Unlike Mr.
Harper, Prime Minister Trudeau will not be a micro-manager. His
Cabinet will matter more, be smaller and with a high representation
of women, therefore, less patriarchal. Whereas the Conservatives
seemed to be at war with the public service, Liberals traditionally
take a more symbiotic approach to merging their political
decision-making with the public service processes. That means the
public service will matter more. There will be a more activist
environmental and scientific agenda.
business sectors will have some issues but Liberals tend to run from
the left and rule from the centre. They are not anti-business.
Liberal Party Platform is busy but not radical. It is intended to
undo a number of things that the Conservatives did and restore
funding that matters to selective constituencies. There are many
spending initiative promised but they are not novel. The Platform can
be viewed as a “Greatest Hits” collection from the party’s
are already claiming that the Platform will be a major challenge to
implement. That is simply not true. Because of the sheer number of
commitments, it will take time but 90% of it is stuff that Government
has done before. The hard parts are the political reforms and the
pieces that require federal-provincial consensus. Sometime they will
be required to take half or a quarter of a loaf and declare victory.
But, it is mostly doable.
defeat of the Conservatives has created palpable relief in many
quarters. As long as the Liberals keep it civil and show they are
listening and consulting widely, they have a lot of running room.
items that affect Business generally:
will work with the provinces to increase the size of the Canada
Pension Plan benefit which will logically included higher
contributions from both employers and employees. Exactly, how high
is not clear and will have to be negotiated. Minimally, we should
expect at least a 25% increase in the potential benefit and then
some corresponding increase in contributions.
benefits will be made more flexible.
will be a managed cap on stock option deductions.
are supporting the Conservative tax measure in the budget to lower
the small business tax deduction from 11% to 9% by 2019.
Free Savings Accounts will be rolled back to $5500 per year.
will be more money available through the provinces for labour market
issue that matters is whether the Liberals will support the Trans
Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement. Mr. Trudeau will be under
pressure to declare himself by the time he attends APEC. He has
already said publicly that Liberal policy supports trade agreements
Liberals are promising much new infrastructure spending and to run
deficits for the next three years. Depending on which economist you
listen to this will push economic growth in Canada up by .3% to .5%
of GDP a year.
those monies are to be targeted at municipal infrastructure (transit
and highways); old age homes and social housing and green
technologies, those industries can expect to benefit.
promise to legalize marijuana has this ‘emerging’ Canadian
messaging on defence procurement is a little confusing. They are
promising to hold existing defence funding levels and also expedite a
series of projects including replacing the CF-18s and re-equipping
the Royal Canadian Navy, top equipment priorities will include
acquiring cost effective search and rescue aircraft, long range
surveillance UAVs, and finalizing a variety of Army projects. At the
same time, they are planning to review and shift many of the major
roles of the military.
this has not been recognized, there are proposals in the way that
Parliament and Parliamentary Committees work that matter. This will
have an impact on how business interacts with Government. In essence,
individual MPs and Ministers will have a lot more say and influence,
particularly in matters where they have a portfolio or Parliamentary
challenge for the new Government is not in the implementation of
are plans to run a deficit for three years and achieve a balanced
budget in the fourth year. That involves approximately $35 billion a
year to fund the new spending and $24 billion annually in new revenue
to pay for it. Some of that revenue is a little speculative. Much
depends of the growth in the Canadian economy. We are a
commodity-driven export economy with commodity prices suffering. We
have aging demographics and low productivity growth. Seven out of ten
provinces are heavily indebted and fiscally strained. None of the
spending planned by the Government will fundamentally shift that
dynamic. Strong economic growth will solve most of the government’s
problems. Anemic or a reversal in economic growth will squeeze them
on the spending side and potentially undermine their narrative.
but managed change and lots for business to consider! But this
election confirms that politics is unpredictable and campaigns