Justin Trudeau wins a third term, but without a majority
Canadians gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party a victory in Monday's parliamentary elections, but his gamble to win a majority of seats appeared to have failed. The Liberals were on track to win the most seats of any party. Trudeau channeled the star power of his father, the Liberal icon and late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau when he first won the 2015 elections.
Trudeau entered the election leading a stable minority government
The Liberals were leading in 148 ridings, the Conservatives in 103, the Quebec-based Bloc Quebecois in 28, and the leftist New Democratic Party in 22. It didn't appear Trudeau would win enough seats to avoid having to rely on help from other parties to pass legislation. Trudeau entered the election leading a stable minority government that wasn't under threat of being toppled.
Canada is now among the most fully vaccinated countries
The opposition was relentless in accusing Trudeau of calling an unnecessary early vote two years before the deadline for his own personal ambition. Trudeau bet Canadians didn't want a Conservative government during a pandemic. Canada is now among the most fully vaccinated countries in the world and Trudeau's government spent hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up the economy amid lockdowns.
Conservatives have been skeptical of lockdowns and vaccine mandates: Trudeau
In addition, Trudeau argued that the Conservatives' approach, which has been skeptical of lockdowns and vaccine mandates, would be dangerous and says Canadians need a government that follows science. Conservative leader Erin O'Toole didn't require his party's candidates to be vaccinated and would not say how many were unvaccinated. O'Toole described vaccination as a personal health decision.
Alberta, run by a Conservative government, is in crisis: Trudeau
However, a growing number of vaccinated Canadians are increasingly upset with those who refuse to get vaccinated. Trudeau supports making vaccines mandatory for Canadians to travel by air or rail, something the Conservatives oppose. In addition, Trudeau has pointed out that Alberta, run by a Conservative provincial government, is in crisis.
Alberta Premier is now reluctantly introducing a vaccine passport
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, an ally of O'Toole, said the province might run out of beds and staff for intensive care units within days. Kenney apologized for the dire situation and is now reluctantly introducing a vaccine passport and imposing a mandatory work-from-home order two months after lifting nearly all restrictions.
Earlier, O'Toole advertised himself as a true-blue Conservative
A Conservative win would have represented a rebuke of Trudeau against a politician with a fraction of his name recognition. O'Toole is a military veteran, former lawyer, and a member of Parliament for nine years. Earlier, O'Toole advertised himself as a true-blue Conservative. He became Conservative Party leader and pledged to take back Canada but immediately started pushing the party toward the political center.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tweeted support for Trudeau
Former US President Barack Obama and ex-Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted support for Trudeau. "Wishing my friend @JustinTrudeau the best in Canada's upcoming election. Justin has been an effective leader and strong voice for democratic values, and I'm proud of the work we did together," Obama tweeted. "I'm wishing him and our progressive Canadian neighbors the best in Monday's election," tweeted Clinton.