Trudeau to unveil cabinet Nov. 4; promises gender balance
Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau says he’ll move quickly to form a new Liberal government and will announce his cabinet on Nov. 4.
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa a day after he led the Liberal Party to a stunning majority victory, Trudeau hinted that his cabinet will be smaller than those in previous years. He also said that he remains committed to his campaign promise to have men and women equally represented in the cabinet.
Trudeau did not say when Parliament will be recalled, noting that it will take some time to form government and get his schedule in order. But he said the goal is to bring Parliament back “as quickly as is reasonable.”
He said he plans to travel to the United Nations climate change conference in Paris at the end of November and is “very hopeful” that he’ll also be able to attend the APEC summit and the G20 summit in Turkey.
Trudeau said he will “continue to engage” with premiers across Canada on the climate change issue before the Paris conference.
He took questions at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, a venue rarely used by his predecessor Stephen Harper, and made a point of welcoming back the press.
Talking to Obama
Trudeau also shared some details of his phone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama, who congratulated the prime minister-designate on Tuesday.
Trudeau said they spoke about the recently signed Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, the Canada-U.S. relationship and the ongoing combat mission against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.
During the election campaign, Trudeau said he would end Canada’s participation in the bombing mission, while sending more military personnel to help train regional forces in the Middle East.
“I committed that we would continue to engage in a responsible way that understands how … Canada has a role to play in the fight against ISIL,” Trudeau said, using another name for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
“But (Obama) understands the commitments I’ve made around ending the combat mission.”
Asked when he would be bringing troops home, Trudeau said: “We want to ensure that the transition is done in an orderly fashion.”
He said he had a “warm conversation” with Obama, who told him to take advantage of every moment with his three children “because they grow up so quickly, especially during a political mandate.”
“He also teased me about my lack of grey hair but he said that I’d probably get some quite soon just like him,” Trudeau said in French.
He also said he has spoken with the leaders of Mexico, France, the U.K., and Italy since election night.
Earlier Tuesday, Trudeau celebrated his victory at a rally for campaign volunteers, where he offered a message to the international community.
"Many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world over the past 10 years," he said. "Well, I have a simple message for you: On behalf of 35 million Canadians, we're back."
Trudeau said the newly elected Liberal government would bring a culture change to politics, including respecting the public service and creating policies based on evidence and advice from scientists.
"We need to keep working hard to show Canadians that we can have an open, optimistic and positive government, and that we can build a better Canada for everyone," he said.
The Liberals won 184 seats, a gain of 150 ridings from 2011. The Conservatives will form the Official Opposition with 99 seats, and the NDP have been relegated to third-party status with 44 seats. The Bloc Quebecois won 10 seats and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May won her seat.
Trudeau, 43, is following in the footsteps of his late father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who was first elected prime minister in 1968, during a wave of public excitement dubbed "Trudeaumania."
Harper to step down as Conservative Leader
During his concession speech on Monday night, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper took responsibility for his party's losses, but did not announce his resignation.
However, the Conservative Party president issued a statement which said that Harper had asked that the newly elected caucus appoint an interim leader. Harper will stay on as an MP for the riding of Calgary Heritage.
"While tonight's result is certainly not the one we had hoped for, the people are never wrong," Harper said, while thanking Canadians for their support over the years.
"The disappointment you also feel is my responsibility and mine alone."
Mulcair vows NDP will not let voters down
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair did not say Monday night whether he would stay on as party leader, but promised that the New Democrats will continue to work on behalf of Canadians.
"Canadians have asked us all to work for them. We will not let them down," Mulcair, who won his own riding, said.
Throughout the marathon 78-day campaign, the NDP saw a turn of fortune, shedding their leading status in opinion polls and eventually dropping to third place.
The party lost critical seats in Quebec, where it had established its base in 2011, and was completely shut out in the Greater Toronto Area.
The election also saw several key upsets across the country, as former Conservative cabinet ministers and NDP veterans lost their seats.
Conservatives Joe Oliver, Chris Alexander, Julian Fantino, Bernard Valcourt and Leona Aglukkaq all lost in their respective ridings. New Democrats Megan Leslie, Peter Stoffer, Peggy Nash, Paul Dewar and Pat Martin were also defeated.
Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe lost his riding of Laurier—Sainte-Marie, losing to NDP incumbent Hélène Laverdière.