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 legalizing marijuana.
Trudeau, who had also promised to withdraw Canada from combat in the coalition fight against Islamic State, said he told US President Barack Obama on Tuesday that Canada will pull out of the bombing mission but maintain humanitarian aid and training.
The White House had earlier said it hopes the new Canadian government will continue to support the efforts of the US-led coalition to fight Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.
“He understands the commitment I’ve made around ending the combat mission,” Trudeau told reporters.
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 within 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.”
The win marked 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 the vote.
“When the time for change strikes, it’s lethal,” former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney said in a television interview.
Trudeau attacked Harper relentlessly for turning Canada into a “pariah” on climate change issues. He pledged to attend the Paris conference, and then convene the country’s provincial premiers within 90 days to create national emissions targets under a framework that would allow provinces to set a price on carbon.
Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com