Canada's new Liberal PM Trudeau wins broad mandate for change

Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:46pm EDT
 
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By Allison Lampert and Randall Palmer

MONTREAL/OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau, who came from behind to trounce his Conservative rivals and snatch a majority mandate, now has to deliver on pledges from tackling climate change to boosting the economy and legalizing marijuana.

Trudeau, who campaigned on a promise of change, toppled Stephen Harper's Conservatives on Monday, giving him the freedom to start implementing his campaign pledges largely unimpeded.

He struck a chord with Canadians weary of nine years of Conservative rule. Harper resigned as party leader after the defeat.

The 43-year-old son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau swept to victory with 39.5 percent of the popular vote in an election that saw the highest voter turnout since 1993.

The Liberal leader will have to quickly start delivering on his promises to change policy, beginning with a U.N. climate change summit in Paris in December.

Trudeau plans to double spending on infrastructure to jump-start anemic growth. In addition, his Liberals plan to begin working on legalizing marijuana "right away," Trudeau said during the campaign. He has said marijuana laws could be changed in the first two years of his government.

"To this country's friends all around the world, many of you have wondered that Canada has lost a compassionate and constructive voice in the world over the past 10 years," Trudeau told jubilant supporters in Ottawa.

"Well, I have a simple message for you on behalf of 35 million Canadians: we’re back."   Continued...

 
Canada's Liberal leader and Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau leaves at the conclusion of a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, October 20, 2015.  REUTERS/Chris Wattie