Canada's Trudeau topples PM Harper in shock election win

Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:48am EDT
 
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By Randall Palmer and Rod Nickel

MONTREAL/CALGARY (Reuters) - Canada's Liberal leader Justin Trudeau rode a late surge to a stunning majority election victory on Monday, toppling Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives with a promise of change and returning a touch of glamor, youth and charisma to Ottawa.

Harper conceded defeat and the Conservative party announced his resignation, ending a nine-year run in power and the 56-year-old's brand of fiscal and cultural conservatism that voters appeared to sour on.

The Liberals seized a Parliamentary majority, a turn in political fortunes that smashed the record for the number of seats gained from one election to the next. The center-left Liberals had been a distant third place party before this election.

"My friends, we beat fear with hope. We beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together," Trudeau, 43, told a crowd of cheering supporters in Montreal.

"This is what positive politics can do."

The photogenic son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau pledged to run a C$10 billion annual budget deficit for three years to invest in infrastructure and help stimulate Canada's anemic economic growth.

This rattled financial markets ahead of the vote and the Canadian dollar weakened on news of his victory.

Trudeau thanked his two closest friends and advisers for shaping his campaign to show "that you can appeal to the better angels of our nature. And you can win doing it."   Continued...

 
Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau gives his victory speech after Canada's federal election in Montreal, Quebec, October 19, 2015.  REUTERS/Chris Wattie