Election campaign signs are already coming down and offices already being shuttered as the results of the Canadian federal election permeate the news cycle.
Justin Trudeau has retained his reign as Prime Minister — but with a twist. He no longer holds the firm majority in parliament he did in his last mandate. His 157-seat win to the Conservative 121-seat second place prize puts other parties like the Bloc Quebecois (32 seats) and a reduced NDP (24 seats) in the driver’s seat.
Trudeau essentially has two options: govern on an issue-by-issue basis to reach agreements on every piece of legislation or form a more solid coalition that may avoid votes of non-confidence for the foreseeable future.
Either way, it is a fragile form of government. Finance and budget bills are especially tenuous, which could mean that workplace and worker issues are put on the backburner if the government wants to avoid party conflict.
The Liberals had announced a campaign promise of a New Career Insurance Benefit of up to $15,900 in benefits over two years if a long-term employee is laid off because a business closes. Other promises included a new federal minimum wage, more labour protections for workers in the sharing economy and a $40 million national workplace accessibility fund.
If the Conservatives find any of these initiatives too “spendy” for their tastes, expect another election in short order. Also, but no less important, is the proposal for a new national pharma-care program. The Liberals promised “next steps” towards such a program and the NDP ran on creating it. Politics makes strange bedfellows and it may be feasible that such a program gets put into place once the deal making commences.
Overall, the new boss is certainly the same as the old boss — but this time with a little less job security of his own.
Prior to the election, YW interviewed representatives from all the major parties to get their take on workplace issues and where they see things going. We went straight to the top with exclusive interviews with the leader of the NDP, the leader of the Green Party, the Conservative Party labour critic and the Liberal Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. Read the interviews and listen to the video now.