Last week when on CTV’s True North Political Panel I was asked to give Trudeau a rating for his first year in office. I gave him a “C” not because I am so partisan, that I can’t say anything positive about him, but because the jury is still out on promises kept or not kept etc.
I saw one article that said he has only kept about 16% of his promises to date. To be fair no government can deliver on everything in their first year. As the Trudeau Liberals are finding out, promises cost money and even free spending Liberals have to draw a line on what gets spent now and what gets pushed further down the road. Some of that is hidden under the guise of “consultation.”
In his first few months in office all he had to do was show up for work and not trip going up the stairs and the media would give him rave reviews. We are finally seeing more reporters beginning to question the action and also the inaction of the government on various files. As we saw with the limousine scandal ministers are under closer scrutiny and some of the shine has come off of the Liberal government.
When you make a lot of promises, you have a lot of voters and special interest groups waiting for you to deliver on them. They can become very impatient with a government very quickly. His recent waffling on electoral reform is but one example of a file that can blow up in his face. His lack of action on moving forward with files that are crucial for the First Nations and the lack of funding set aside to address their issues is another one.
You may recall that back on February 16th I wrote in the Huffington Post about Trudeau’s spending in his first 100 days in office. He spent a total of $5.3 billion of which $4.3 billion was spent outside of Canada. I predicted then that the needs of First Nations would be pushed aside. While the Liberals made a show at funding, a lot of it was pushed to after the next election. Recently a report was released by bureaucrats in Ottawa that it would cost $2 billion to bring 115 schools up to standard. Of course the money isn’t there now to do so. It was spent to look good in Paris and elsewhere. This is one more file that has the potential to go sideways on Trudeau.
We have the ongoing war in Syria and the war in Iraq and some of our troops are assisting the Kurds. It’s a risky and dangerous mission, one that this “open and transparent” government has gone strangely silent on. This is another file that they can have little control over on a day to day basis.
New governments always find that files that the previous government rejected get dusted off by departments and they are presented again to the new government. Back in April of 2010 I was blogging about the rumours that Canada would be sending troops on an UN African mission. At that time the speculation was the Congo and that General Leslie who has since been elected to the House of Commons, was to be the mission commander. It didn’t happen but here we are in 2016 and there is renewed talk of a UN African mission. This is one more file that can quickly become a mess for this government.
Decisions that are pushed off in the first year or two of a mandate inevitably come to a “yea” or “nay” point in your last two years. With all the promises made and all of the ones not kept to date that is a lot of voters who will be unhappy as the Liberals move into election mode. Until Trudeau starts to deliver on his promises he rates a “C”.