Canada's new PM to move quickly on pledges, faces refugee challenge

Mon Nov 2, 2015 1:20pm EST
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By Randall Palmer and David Ljunggren

TORONTO Nov 2 (Reuters) - Incoming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will move quickly to implement campaign promises such as overhauling security legislation, sources in his party say, but faces early challenges with pledges on Syrian refugees and climate change.

The Liberal leader, who is expected to enjoy an extended honeymoon after his massive Oct. 19 election win ended a decade of Conservative governing, plans to call Parliament to return in early December, the sources said, to start work on an agenda which will also include middle-class tax cuts.

"All the low-hanging fruit, all the ones that he can make a decision on right away, I'm expecting we'll see a lot of that happening," said one Liberal Party source, who declined to speak on the record because of the sensitivity of strategic plans.

A second party source, who also spoke off the record, said other measures the Liberals would quickly act on include reinstating a mandatory long-form national census that was canceled by the Conservatives, and naming a commissioner to head an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.

"His instinct to try to tick off as many promises as he can is the right thing to do," former Liberal Deputy Prime Minister John Manley said in an interview.

Trudeau pledged during the campaign that his first piece of legislation would enact tax cuts for income from C$44,700 ($34,140) to C$89,401 and tax hikes for incomes above C$200,000.

He also promised to repeal controversial elements of Conservative anti-terrorism legislation to give more weight to civil rights.

Moving quickly on easily fulfilled promises will give the Liberals time to work out how to deliver on pledges for major infrastructure spending and legalizing marijuana, which the second Liberal source said was likely to occur towards the end of the Liberals' four-year mandate.   Continued...