Justin Trudeau: Canada’s New Prime Minister

Annie Trainer '18, Staff Writer

Most people are familiar with the Canadian flag, a red maple leaf centered in a white square on a red background, representing the nation’s unity and the Canadian government. But the average American probably isn’t familiar with how Canada’s government works.

Canada is a parliamentary democracy. This means the party with the greatest representation in parliament forms the government and its leader becomes prime minister. Unlike the United States, where the president is limited to a maximum of two four-year terms, there is no limit to the length of time the Canadian prime minister can hold office.

Recently, Canada elected a new prime minister. Justin Trudeau, leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, was elected on October 19, 2015 and sworn into office on November 4, 2015 as Canada’s 23rd prime minister. Son of Pierre Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau was surrounded by politics his entire life. However, Trudeau did not immediately follow in his father’s footsteps. Mr. Trudeau originally started out as a schoolteacher and traveled around the country speaking at conferences and events. He became Chair of Katimavik, where he advocated the value of community service, and a board member of the Canadian Avalanche Society. It was from these positions of advocacy that Mr. Trudeau started his career in politics.

Mr. Trudeau was elected to Parliament in 2008, and then again in 2011 and 2015. In April 2013 he was elected leader of his party. Promising “real change for the middle class,” Mr. Trudeau led his party to victory when he won the election in October 2015. As prime minister, Mr. Trudeau plans to create growth for the middle class, fair economic opportunities for everyone, and a more democratic government that represents all of Canada.