Is it a New Shift for Canada

On October 19, Justin Trudeau, from the center-left Liberal Party, was elected Canadian Prime Minister, defeating Harper, the Conservative Party.  Canada has been a close alliance with U.S. especially since Obama came to power about seven years ago; however, Trudeau told President Obama by phone after the election that he would keep his election manifesto to withdraw Canada’s jets, CF-18, from the U.S.-led air strikes campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.  Does this mean the U.S.-Canada alliance becomes cold under Trudeau?

In conclusion, Trudeau government “may enjoy the warmer relations” with U.S. than Harper, the former Prime Minister, did.  Under Harper, Canada’s foreign policy had a great emphasis on hard power; for example, Harper was skeptical of the Iran nuclear deal and disagreed over the Keystone XL oil pipeline.  Although Trudeau decided to withdraw Canadian air forces from the fight in Iraq and Syria, he keeps strengthening the relationship with U.S. by getting Canadian trainers to remain in northern Iraq.

Under Harper goverment did Canada see the economic success, but Harper’s tough policy, especially over immigrants, cost him support in this election.  On the other hand, Trudeau’s policy were more humanitarian and more pro-Canada national interests.  That means while Harper lost his ‘winning coalition’, Trudeau got more ‘selectorates’ by not choosing Conservatives’ policies.

Although Trudeau was elected as the Prime Minister, how he authenticates his policy is much more important.   As we have discussed in the class, in order for the leader to remain in his position, he needs to pay attention not only to international problems but also to domestic situations.  For this reason, it can be possible the leader changes his policy during his tenure.  Whether Canada changes its course or not remains to be elucidated.


5 thoughts on “Is it a New Shift for Canada

  1. I think that the removal of jets wont really have much effect on US-Canada relations. The fact that a liberal is now the PM of Canada should strengthen relations, as long as the white house remains under democrat leadership. The Canadian contribution to the war effort in Syria was minor as well, its not like they are leaving us high and dry.


  2. Great post! I certainly hope that the U.S and Canada Alliance does not grow cold… I agree with Gavin’s comment above that I do not believe such a thing will happen due to the withdrawal of jets from a military campaign. I also am optimistic about the United States and Canada’s relations in the future, due to the politics of the new Canadian Prime Minister.


  3. Very interesting post! I agree that there may be changes while Trudeau is prime minister but I am not at all surprised by him wanting to withdrawal the jets. I do not think it is anything personal towards the US, he just is not in favor of war and is probably trying to play it safe and look out for the best interest of his country. I believe the relations between the US and Canada will remain strong.


  4. Oh, Canada! This is a very interesting post. It is always good to hear about something positive in the news especially when it is generally plagued by negative interests. When people say Canada is irrelevant in the world i’ll send them here!


  5. Thank you for sharing your blog post.
    It is pretty interesting topic because I am really curious what would this change will bring to Canada government.
    Moreover, how would Canada’s change will affect on U.S. and other countries in the world.
    I believe we should keep our eyes on this because U.S. will soon have presidential election.
    After the U.S. president decided, I am curious how would both government react to others.


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