Justin Trudeau’s Liberals Win a Minority Government, Again

After an incredibly unpopular election, the Liberals will be once again forming a government in Canada.
Mack Lamoureux
Toronto, CA
September 21, 2021, 2:43am
Canadians have decided they will be maintaining the status quo as the Liberals are projected to win a government, with Justin Trudeau remaining prime minister of Canada.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau takes part in a Quebec TV show on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick.

Canadians have decided they will be maintaining the status quo as the Liberals have won a minority government, with Justin Trudeau remaining prime minister of Canada. 

Results are still in flux, but the Liberals appear to have won about 156 seats, the same as they won in 2019. Trudeau addressed the country from Montreal early Tuesday morning, where he thanked the country for “sending him back to work” and appeared to address how unpopular the election was. 

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“I heard you. You don’t want us talking about politics or elections anymore; you want us to focus on the work that we have to do for you,” said Trudeau. “I heard you say you just want to get back to the things you love and not worry about the pandemic or an election.”

At the Conservative Party election headquarters in Oshawa, Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole told his supporters in a wide-ranging concession speech that the “Conservatives must have the courage to change and have the courage to grow.” 

“We must show Canadians that we will not waiver in our commitment to growth,” said O’Toole. “We must continue to earn the trust of Canadians. We worked hard, we made progress, but the job is not done yet.”

Trudeau and the Liberals called the election on Aug. 15, not even two years after the previous one, in the hopes they could form a majority government. However, thanks to the massive unpopularity of the decision to call the election, pessimism from the fourth wave of the pandemic, and voter fatigue, O’Toole quickly caught up to Trudeau in the polls, leading to a tight election. On the morning of the elections, the Liberals were favoured ever so slightly. 

Trudeau’s popularity was decently high shortly before the election, largely for how he handled COVID-19. But support eroded during early days of the campaign. 

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With eastern votes being counted, the Liberals were projected to win around 156 seats and the Conservatives about 121 seats. The Bloc picked up the same number of seats in Quebec, just over 30, and the New Democrat Party appeared to be winning 27 seats, a few more than they did in the 2019 election. Yves-François Blanchet, the leader of the Bloc Que´bécois, said that after an election that seems like a carbon copy of the last, it’s fair for Canadians to ask their political leaders, “Why did they interrupt our barbecue?” 

The furthest left of Canada’s major parties, the NDP, is expected to win more seats than in 2019. Like in past elections, the party was not able to take any significant seats in Quebec—a key area where its popularity has tanked since it won 59 seats in the 2011 election

In his speech, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said he will continue to fight for Canadians struggling with housing or health care. 

“We are going to keep on fighting to make sure that the super wealthy pay their fair share, so that the burden doesn’t fall on you and your families,” said Singh. “We are going to continue to fight for justice for the forest people of this land, the Indigenous communities that continue to be denied basic human rights like clean drinking water and adequate housing.”

Meanwhile, the People’s Party of Canada, a far-right party who attempted to harness anti-vax anger, did worse than expected. Maxime Bernier, the party’s leader, lost his campaign to win back his seat.

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Annamie Paul, the leader of the Green Party of Canada, is expected to lose her seat and is polling fourth in her riding. Former Green Party leader Elizabeth May is expected to be elected. During her concession speech Paul said she was “disappointed” to place a distant fourth, but excited to be sending two Green candidates to Ottawa.

During the election campaign, O’Toole took the Conservatives leftward and introduced a platform that courted workers rather than employers. One pollster told VICE World News that in doing so he was able to siphon voters from the Liberal Party in British Columbia and Ontario. Trudeau campaigned largely on his record; however, it’s no secret that his “woke” brand has been severely hampered.  

In wooing the centre, O’Toole partially helped create the key stories of the election, including the rise in popularity of the PPC. The PPC was founded by Bernier after losing a narrow leadership race to O’Toole’s predecessor. The party is made up of a rag-tag group of candidates including businessmen, conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, and one guy who is really against ejaculations. Bernier campaigned to the right of O’Toole and actively courted the far-right, anti-mask, anti-vax, and conspiracy theorist vote. At campaign stops across the country, Trudeau was heckled by anti-vaccine and COVID-conspiracy protesters.

Another story from this campaign was the long lines that voters had to contend with. In and around Toronto, there were fewer polling stations than in the 2019 election due to the pandemic and not having enough space to physically distance. In Vaughn, Ontario, voters lined up as far as three blocks out of the polling station well after it had closed.

This story is breaking and will be updated.  

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