Liberals end a near-decade of Conservative rule

Trudeau at an Oct. 9 rally in Yellowknife. Photo: Avery Zingel

For the first time in Canadian history, a party that once held a meagre 36 seats has reinvented itself to form a majority government.

In a landslide election, the Liberal Party led by Justin Trudeau has won 184 seats, or 39.5 per cent of the vote.

They required 170 seats to hold a majority.

Outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced he will step down as leader of the Conservative Party, but will remain an MP.

The Conservative Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Bernard Valcourt, has also been unseated.

More women and indigenous MPs elected

Parliament is now 26 per cent women, up from 22 per cent in 2011.

There are now 10 indigenous MPs, including the N.W.T`s MP Michael McLeod, who is Métis .

Of those MPs, eight are Liberal, and two are NDP.

The Liberal MP for Nunavut, Hunter Tootoo, who is Inuit has also won.

In one Saskatchewan riding Dene MP Georgina Jolibois of the holds one NDP seat.

Voter turnout rises

The percentage of electors increased from 61 per cent in 2011 to 68.4 per cent in 2015, according to Elections Canada.

It is the highest voter turnout in 20 years. In 1993, voter turnout was at 70.9 per cent.

Election turn out from First Nations was high enough that polls in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan communities ran out of ballots in the early afternoon.

Author Wab Kinew wanted Elections Canada to answer for limited ballots.

Author Wab Kinew wanted Elections Canada to answer for limited ballots.

Transitioning to a new majority

The Liberal party is now preparing for transition, before it can act on its promises to Canadians.

The party has promised to adjust northern residency deductions to keep pace with inflation.

McLeod has promised to increase the scope of Nutrition North by dedicating $40 million over four years.

The Liberals have promised to reinstate the long-form census.

It will also launch an inquiry into the disproportionate number of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Justin Trudeau is Canada’s 23rd prime minister.




About the Author

Avery Zingel
Avery Zingel is multimedia reporter stationed in Yellowknife, NWT. Her work focuses on environment, feminism, indigenous and Canadian politics. She is a canoe guide, guitarist, cyclist and photographer. Avery is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism and Political Science.