Justin Trudeau has served as the prime minister of Canada since April 13th, 2014—running on a platform that promoted true and fair opportunity for all, thus painting him as the soundboard for success and a renewed sense of hope throughout much of Canada. However, comparable to various other conservative areas in nations that have depended on fossil-fuel production as a means for labor and income, areas such as Saskatchewan and Alberta in Western Canada have felt a continual sense of alienation and suppression under the current progressive and far-left leaning Canadian government; as a result of such frustrations and sentiments of neglect, Justin Trudeau has seen a drastic decrease in political support from this section of the nation. This growingly terse relationship between much of the Westerners and the current Prime Minister, specifically toward the government/party he represents, will surely present itself to be a growing threat to the stagnancy of their party in remaining the majority party in government.
This past Wednesday, Trudeau’s cabinet in Ottawa revealed that he would be beginning his second term as prime minister. Trudeau’s Liberal party won a sufficient number of seats to remain in power in combination with the support of some other left-of-center parties that have some standing throughout the nation; however, Trudeau did not win the popular vote throughout the nation, although by an arguably small margin, with around 34.4% of the national vote going to the national Conservative party and only 33.1% going to Trudeau’s liberal party. (Bloomberg) Now, as a result of this loss, Trudeau must work with oppositional parties to advance his agenda of his own—making the process quite complicated in government. The growing distaste being aroused throughout the West stems from the general perception that Trudeau is working to undermine and ultimately deteriorate the oil and gas industry, which serves as the unofficial life-force of the western economy; more specifically, regarding accurate numbers in relation to job employment, Canada’s energy sector employed slightly over 269,000 people and “indirectly supported” over 550,500 more jobs nationally—making it a substantial source of revenue for a large portion of the population, and would thus, with good reason, present a grand issue if the government decided to turn a blind eye and/or neglect this particular portion of their society that so readily contributes to their economy. (Natural Resources Canada) Jason Kenney, a former federal Conservative cabinet member, recently named Alberta’s premier earlier on sometime this year, was quoted saying how “For most Albertans, much of this [disenchantment with Trudeau] revolves around a basic hostility on the part of the Trudeau government to our energy sector.” (New York Times) This encroachment, or rather attempt to diminish the rapid production of fossil fuels across the West of Canada, in provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, are all feeling pressures as a result of Trudeau’s attempt to make a “clean tech push”, with a majority of his supporters being extreme supporters off environmental conservation and reform, as well as many belonging to various native tribes that seek to halt the consumption of their lands for fossil-fuel extraction—illustrated by a significant number of critics of Alberta’s oil industry and the oil sands, whom often argue is an exceptionally polluting energy source. Trudeau, however, a long-time staunch supporter of conversion to green energy production, has now found himself in the middle of an argument where he is in defense of the “620-mile Trans Mountain pipeline expansion” since the origination of the project approval by his government in 2016; Trudeau argues, to which many of his party supporters have found themselves greatly confused, that the money procured from the oil production will be eventually be funneled back into green energy production and investment—which is, when applying logical thought, quite counterintuitive. (National Public Radio) This very idea, in turn, then keeps Trudeau at odds with much of the West, as the westerners are essentially working to then shut down their very own way of life.
One question that presents itself quite clearly as this issue continues to move forward is whether or not the issue arising between the oil and gas industry and the current Liberal government will serve as a conversion factor to Conservatism for a significant portion of Canadian society? Quite likely, as the nation begins to swing more and more left, and the working class begins to feel the pressures of such leanings, such as with what happened here in the United States during the last election, people will begin to tire of the long-standing approach to politics and push for a switch—the political pendulum will swing in the opposite direction from which it has just been (i.e., left to right).
In summation, Canadian politics is seeing quite the drastic transition and unavoidable effects of drastic socio-economic changes being made to the nation, and the many people who depend on older forms of production [that now do not rise to the new environmental standards] are beginning to see the immediate effects (joblessness specifically) of rapid green production conversion to their communities. Due to the combined neglect of the government in relation to ultimate issue, and the advancement of policies (such as the expansion of the pipeline detailed previously) that continue to encroach on this portion of society that so largely contributes to the national economy, Trudeau will undoubtedly have some trouble coming his way in the coming years.
“Canada’S Oil, Climate Divide To Test Trudeau’S Clean Tech Push”. News.Bloombergenvironment.Com, 2019, https://news.bloombergenvironment.com/environment-and-energy/canadas-oil-climate-divide-to-test-trudeaus-clean-tech-push. Accessed 21 Nov 2019.
“Energy And The Economy | Natural Resources Canada”. Nrcan.Gc.Ca, 2019, https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/science-data/data-analysis/energy-data-analysis/energy-facts/energy-and-economy/20062. Accessed 21 Nov 2019.
“NPR Choice Page”. Npr.Org, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/06/19/733938077/canadas-trudeau-approves-controversial-pipeline-expansion. Accessed 21 Nov 2019.
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau”. Prime Minister Of Canada, 2019, https://pm.gc.ca/en/prime-minister-justin-trudeau. Accessed 20 Nov 2019.
“Trudeau Won The Election, But Hasn’T Won Over Western Canada”. Nytimes.Com, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/world/canada/justin-trudeau-alberta-saskatchewan-jason-kenney.html. Accessed 20 Nov 2019.