Pubdate: Fri, 30 Oct 2015
Source: Beacon Herald, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Osprey Media Group Inc.
Author: Anthony Furey
Page: 5


We're in this for the long haul. Well, at least for four years. While 
only 39.5% of the electorate voted for Liberal candidates, Justin 
Trudeau will be governing with a majority mandate.

It's full steam ahead with his agenda. There will be plenty of time 
to critique his forthcoming missteps and gaffes. And make no mistake, 
they're coming.

But let's take a look at several upcoming issues that Trudeau will 
hopefully get right in a way that most Canadians should applaud him for:

1. He will likely approve the Trans Pacific Partnership. In their 
campaign release from early October, responding to the Conservatives' 
TPP announcement, the Liberals said they'd be "thoroughly examining" 
the deal but added free trade "is how we open markets to Canadian 
goods and services, grow Canadian businesses, create good-paying 
jobs, and provide choice and lower prices to Canadian consumers."

The other 11 nations in the TPP represent almost 800 million 
customers and a combined GDP of nearly $13 trillion. Not only will 
Trudeau get behind this, but hopefully he'll work on other trade deals.

2. The Liberal platform pledged to "legalize, regulate and restrict 
access to marijuana." Trudeau has said this will take anywhere from a 
few months to two years to come into effect.

An Ipsos poll from August showed that 65% of Canadians support 
decriminalization. Previous polls have shown similar majority support 
for legalization.

A Statistics Canada release from May showed 80% of the 73,000 
police-reported cannabis offences in 2013 were for possession.

Also the numbers for "trafficking, importing, exporting and 
production" are on the decline. Once these are regulated, the black 
market will lose its grip on them.

A 2002 Senate report noted: "The cost of enforcing the drug laws is 
more likely to be closer to $1 billion to $1.5 billion per annum." 
That figure has surely increased. Let's stop spending so much money 
policing possession.

3. The signature pledge of the Liberal campaign was the "largest and 
longest federal infrastructure plan in our nation's history." 
Liberals committed $125 billion for public transit and "social" and 
"green" infrastructure.

Their platform doesn't single out the projects they want to build. 
This is a problem because, as the Conservatives will tell them based 
on their own experiences from their post-recession stimulus spending, 
it's actually harder than it sounds to identify worthy shovel-ready 
projects and get the money quickly out the door.

Plus if their "green" infrastructure spending is anything like it's 
been in Ontario, the money is going up in smoke.

But if they spend the money mostly on much-needed key infrastructure 
- - granted, that's a big if - then we'll build things we need. 
Regardless of how sound Trudeau's deficit plans are, the beauty of 
infrastructure spending is at least you've got something to show for it.

4. Back in 2008 an auditor general's report revealed 24 Sussex Dr. is 
in need of major renovations at an estimated cost of $10 million.

Many denounced Stephen Harper for not offering to move out. But, as 
any landlord will tell you, the best time to do maintenance is between tenants.

Margaret Trudeau let slip the other day that her son and family won't 
move in right away, but stay elsewhere until the work is complete.

This is a minor but symbolic issue. It's ultimately the incoming PM's 
choice and he's making the right one. The National Capital Commission 
- - which manages the residence - owes it to the Trudeau family to get 
the renos done as fast as possible.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom