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Justin Trudeau and Liberal Party Win Minority Government

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party won re-election with a minority government, despite losing 20 seats for a total of 157. They also secured the lowest ever share of the popular vote (33 per cent) by a victorious party in a federal election. Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives received 34 per cent of the popular vote and increased their seat count from 95 to 121. The Bloc Québécois regained official party status with 32 seats, while the NDP fell from 39 seats to 24 and the Green Party increased their seat total from two to three. Jody Wilson-Raybould was the lone independent. The Liberal victory also breathed new life into the Western separatist movement, as the Conservatives’ loss left many in Alberta and Saskatchewan feeling disgruntled and alienated.

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Pictures and Video Surface of Justin Trudeau in Blackface

In the midst of a federal election campaign, Time magazine published a photo from the 2001 yearbook of Vancouver’s West Point Grey Academy showing a then-29-year-old Justin Trudeau with dark makeup on his face, neck and hands as part of an “Arabian Nights” costume. Trudeau told assembled media that “It’s something that I didn’t realize was racist at the time, but now I recognize it was something racist to do and I regret.” He also confessed to wearing blackface makeup when he sang Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)” in a talent show as a high school student. A video surfaced of a third, undated instance of Trudeau in blackface. He admitted that he could not rule out the possibility of other instances.


Andrew Scheer

Andrew James Scheer, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and leader of the Opposition (2017–20), Speaker of the House of Commons, member of Parliament (born 20 May 1979 in Ottawa, ON). Andrew Scheer was first elected as a Member of Parliament when he was 25. He was the youngest Speaker of the House of Commons when elected to that position in 2011 at age 32. Six years later, he became the second leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) since its formation in 2004. Under Scheer, the Conservatives won 121 seats in the 2019 federal election, increasing their presence in the House of Commons. However, they failed to defeat the governing Liberals, who won a minority government. Scheer announced his resignation as leader of the CPC on 12 December 2019.

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Trudeau and Liberals Win Third Term, Second Consecutive Minority

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The 36-day election campaign that began on 15 August finished in much the same way as the previous federal election in 2019 — with similar seat counts for all parties and a Liberal minority government. Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives had been in a statistical dead heat with the Liberals in late August and went on to narrowly win the popular vote for the second consecutive election. However, the bad press generated by an unfolding health crisis in Alberta under conservative premier Jason Kenney combined with the successful efforts of Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada to eat into the Conservatives’ vote share tipped the scales toward a Liberal victory. Following the election, many questioned the efficacy of spending more than $600 million on an election that replicated the status quo.

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Changes to Federal Elections Introduced

The new policies included in Bill C-76, the Elections Modernization Act, came into effect. The law includes restrictions on third-party and foreign involvement in election campaigns, as well as measures aimed at increasing voter participation and accessibility. The changes include the addition of thousands of new polling stations, including advance polling stations, as well as the ability to vote at any time during the official election period. The law also makes it easier for members of the Armed Forces and expatriate Canadians to vote.

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PCs Win Minority Government in PEI, Green Party Becomes Official Opposition

Two months after becoming party leader, Dennis King led the Progressive Conservatives to a minority government in PEI with 12 seats and 36.5 per cent of the popular vote. Peter Bevan-Baker and the Green Party became the official opposition with 8 seats and 30.6 per cent of the vote, the best-ever showing for the party in a provincial or federal election.

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Jason Kenney and United Conservative Party Win Alberta Election

The United Conservative Party, formed in 2017 by a merging of the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party, won a majority government in the Alberta provincial election. They secured 63 seats with 54.9 per cent of the popular vote, compared to 24 seats and 32.7 per cent of the vote won by Rachel Notley and the NDP.  Jason Kenney, who ran on a platform to scrap the carbon tax, cut the corporate tax rate from 12 to eight per cent and hold a referendum on equalization payments if there is no progress on pipelines, became the 18th premier of Alberta.


Leader of the Opposition

In Canada, the leader of the Opposition is the leader of the largest political party sitting in opposition to the federal government (in other words, the party with the second-largest number of seats in the House of Commons). The formal title is “Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.” This title reflects the Westminster system of government found in many Commonwealth countries whose political roots can be traced to the United Kingdom.