• Friday, Nov 22, 2019
  • Last Update : 07:11 pm

Trudeau's Liberals win Canada vote, will form minority govt

  • Published at 10:02 am October 22nd, 2019
justin_trudeau_canada_2019_AFP
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau votes with his family in Montreal, Quebec on October 21, 2019 AFP

The party was leading or elected in 157 seats, a decrease of 20, preliminary results showed

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hung onto power after a tight election on Monday that saw his government reduced to a minority, results that will likely push his agenda to the left while alienating energy producing provinces.

Trudeau, one of the world's most prominent progressive politicians, struggled domestic scandals. He now looks set to govern with support from the left-leaning New Democrats, who have 24 seats.

His Liberals did not win any seats in the oil-rich provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The party was leading or elected in 157 seats, a decrease of 20, preliminary results showed.

Minority governments in Canada rarely last more than 2-1/2 years. Although the New Democrats lost 16 seats, leader Jagmeet Singh is positioned to press for action on priorities such as more social spending and increased action on climate change.

One senior Liberal noted that many legislators need to serve another two years to meet the six-year requirement for a Parliamentary pension.

"That gives us a pretty free hand for that period," said the Liberal, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter.

The New Democrats struck deals to help keep Liberal minority governments in power from 1972-1974 and in 2005.

Together the two parties can muster a majority 180 seats in the 338-seat House of Commons.

The Canadian dollar weakened 0.2% to 1.3120 per US dollar, or 76.22 US cents, as investors worried about how the minority government would manage the resource sector. Canada's main stock index edged higher at the open.

Trudeau visited Montreal's subway, posing for selfies with commuters early on Tuesday, an echo of 2015 when he did the same thing.

This win was different. But Trudeau barely mentioned the loss of his majority when he spoke to supporters early on Tuesday, saying he had "a clear mandate" for a progressive agenda and more action to combat global warming.