Post-Election Results

This past federal election was a landmark for the Canadian Muslim community with:

  • The election of 11 Canadian Muslims to Parliament
  • A Canadian-Muslim voter turn-out of almost 79%

The Federal Election was held on October 19th, 2015. The Liberal Party of Canada won a total of 184 electoral seats to form the next government. Since the Liberal Party secured enough seats to form a majority government, their mandate will be for the next four years.
The first session of the current Parliament was held on December 3rd, 2015. The first order of business for all Members of Parliament is to elect a Speaker of the House. The Speaker is responsible for facilitating order during Question Period. The Liberal Member of Parliament representing Halifax West, Geoff Regan, is the newly elected Speaker of the House for the 42nd Parliament.

election 2015

Speech from the Throne

On December 4th, 2015, the Prime Minister laid out the key priorities for his newly elected government through the Speech from the Throne. The speech is read by the Queen’s representative in Canada, the governor general. Please click here on the following link to learn how this process works.

The priorities laid out in the Throne Speech have been divided into 5 key themes:

Growth for the Middle Class

  • Deliver a tax cut for the middle class.
  • Provide more targeted assistance with the new Canada Child Benefit.
  • Invest in public transit, green infrastructure, and social infrastructure.
  • Work with provinces and territories to enhance the Canada Pension Plan.
  • Strengthen the Employment Insurance System.
  • Work with provinces and territories to develop a new Health Accord.

Open and Transparent Government

  • Reform the Senate by creating a new, non-partisan, merit-based process to advise the Prime Minister on Senate appointments.
  • Promote more open debate and free votes, and reform and strengthen committees.
  • Government ads will not be used for partisan purposes and will not interfere with the work of parliamentary officers.

A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy

  • Work towards pricing carbon and reducing carbon pollution.
  • Invest in clean technology and provide more support for companies seeking to export those technologies.
  • Introduce new environmental assessment procedures.
  • Engage Indigenous peoples in reviewing and monitoring major resource development projects.

Diversity is Canada’s Strength

  • Restore the nation-to-nation relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples.
  • Launch an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
  • Work with First Nations to ensure that each child receives a quality education.
  • Make it easier for immigrants to reunite with their families.
  • Welcome 25,000 refugees from Syria by the end of February 2016.

Security and Opportunity

  • Strengthen Canada’s relationship with allies, especially the United States.
  • Renew Canada’s commitment to United Nations peacekeeping operations and continue to work with its allies in the fight against terrorism.
  • Introduce legislation that will provide greater support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; that will get handguns and assault weapons off our streets; and that will legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.

The Prime Minister's Cabinet and Mandate Letters

One of the first responsibilities of the newly elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was to appoint a Cabinet to help govern the country. The Cabinet appointments included Canada’s first ever Muslim Cabinet minister, Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions. Please click here to learn more about the appointed Cabinet Ministers and which portfolios they are responsible for.

The Prime Minister also lays out the key priorities for each Cabinet Minister over the next four years. This comes in the form of a mandate letter and is available to public here.

The summaries below are highlights of the key commitments the Prime Minister of Canada expect his Ministers to deliver on during their mandate. No additional analysis has been provided by the Canadian Muslim Vote. The mandate letters selected for review are reflective of the issues most important to the Canadian Muslim community as indicated in our online survey.

  • Bring forward a proposal to create a new, non-partisan, merit-based process to advise the Prime Minister on Senate appointments.
  • Bring forward a proposal to establish a special parliamentary committee to consult on electoral reform, including preferential ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.
  • Introduce amendments to the Canada Elections Act to make the Commissioner of Canada Elections more independent from Government. In addition, repeal the elements of the Fair Elections Act which makes it harder for Canadians to vote and easier for election law breakers to evade punishment.
  • Bring forward options to create an independent commissioner to organize political party leaders’ debates during future federal election campaigns, with a mandate to improve Canadians’ knowledge of the parties, their leaders, and their policy positions.
  • Review the limits on the amounts political parties and third parties can spend during elections, and propose measures to ensure that spending between elections is subject to reasonable limits as well.
  • Improve our Employment Insurance (EI) system so that it is better aligned with the realities of today’s labour market and serves workers and employers. This would include:
    • Reduce EI premiums;
    • Modernize our system of income support for unemployed;
    • Eliminating discrimination against immigrants, younger workers and parents re-entering the workforce;
    • Reducing the wait time for new recipients to one week from the existing two week waiting period;
  • Work with provinces and territories to make post-secondary education more affordable for students from low- and middle-income families.  This would include:
    • Expanding the Canada Student Grant for low income students and increasing the income threshold for eligibility;
    • Ensure that no graduate with student loans will be required to make any repayment until they are earning at least $25,000 per year.
  • Increase the number of good quality, permanent jobs for younger workers. This would include:
    • Working with the Minister of Finance to provide a 12-month break on Employment Insurance premiums for firms that hire new younger workers into permanent positions;
    • Working with provinces, territories, and post-secondary institutions to develop or expand Pre-Apprenticeship Training Programs;
  • Work with the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development to fulfill our commitments to provide more generous and flexible leave for caregivers and more flexible parental leave.
  • Amend the Canada Labour Code to allow workers to formally work arrangements from their employers.
  • In partnership with provinces and territories, develop a plan to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, consistent with our international obligations and our commitment to sustainable economic growth.
  • Work with provincial and territorial leaders to develop a pan-Canadian framework for addressing climate change.
  • In partnership with provinces and territories, establish national emissions-reduction targets.
  • Working with other orders of government to protect Canada’s freshwater.
  • Phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry over the medium-term.
  • Work in partnership with the United States and Mexico to develop an ambitious North American clean energy and environment agreement.
  • Enhance protection of Canada’s endangered species.
  • Work with provinces and territories to set stronger air quality standards, monitor emissions, and provide incentives for investments that lead to cleaner air and healthier communities.
  • Immediately review Canada’s environmental assessment processes to regain public trust and help get resources to market and introduce new, fair processes.
  • Develop Parks Canada programs and services so that more Canadians can experience our National Parks.
    • Make admission for all visitors to National Parks free in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Beginning in 2018, ensure that admission for children under 18 is free, and provide any adult who has become a Canadian citizen in the previous 12 months one year’s free admission.
    • Ensure that more low- and middle-income families have an opportunity to experience Canada’s outdoors.
  • Increase the proportion of Canada’s marine and coastal areas that are protected.
  • Ensure that our fiscal plan is sustainable by balancing the budget in 2019/20 and continuing to reduce the federal debt-to-GDP ratio throughout our mandate.
  • Implement the middle-class tax cut and pay for it by asking the wealthiest one percent of Canadians to give a little more.
  • Cancel income splitting and other unfairly targeted tax breaks, while retaining income splitting of pensions for seniors.
  • Implement the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), which will build on the existing Canada Child Tax Benefit and the National Child Benefit Supplement and will replace the Universal Child Care Benefit.
  • Meet with your provincial and territorial colleagues to begin a process to enhance the Canada Pension Plan to provide more income security to Canadians when they retire.
  • Remove the GST on new capital investments in rental housing and modernize the existing Home Buyers’ Plan to support Canadians impacted by sudden and significant life changes.
  • Work with the Minister of National Revenue to allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians free from political harassment, and modernize the rules governing the charitable and non-for-profit sectors.
  • Work with the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to establish a new fiscal relationship that lifts the 2% cap on annual funding increases and moves towards sufficient, predictable and sustained funding for First Nations communities.
  • Restore the tax credit for labour-sponsored funds to support economic growth and help Canadians save for their retirement.
  • Introduce a new tax benefit to help teachers and early childhood educators with the cost of school supplies.
  • Improve relations with the United States, and strengthen trilateral North American cooperation with the United States and Mexico. This would include working with the relevant Ministers to:
    • Work with the United States to make substantial progress on reducing trade barriers and commerce between our countries, improving border infrastructure and security, streamlining cargo inspection, and facilitating the movement of people.
    • Develop a North American clean energy and environment agreement; and
  • Ensure a close link between defence policy, foreign policy and national security.
  • Revitalize Canada’s public diplomacy, stakeholder engagement, and cooperation with partners in Canada and abroad.
  • Reenergize Canadian diplomacy and leadership on key international issues and in multilateral institutions. This would include:
    • In collaboration with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, making Canada a leader of international efforts to combat climate change;
    • Working with the Minister of National Defence, to increase Canada’s support for United Nations peace operations and its mediation, conflict-prevention, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts;
    • Working with the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, to champion the values of inclusive and accountable governance, peaceful pluralism and respect for diversity, and human rights including the rights of women and refugees; and
    • Acceding to the Arms Trade Treaty.
  • Engage provinces and territories in the development of a new multi-year Health Accord. This accord should include a long term funding agreement. It should also:
    • Support the delivery of more and better home care services. This includes more access to high quality in-home caregivers, financial supports for family care, and, when necessary, palliative care;
    • Advance pan-Canadian collaboration on health innovation to encourage the adoption of new digital health technology;
    • Improve access to necessary prescription medications. This will include joining with provincial and territorial governments to buy drugs in bulk, reducing the cost Canadian governments pay for these drugs; and
    • Make high quality mental health services more available to Canadians who need them.
  • Promote public health by: increasing vaccination rates; introducing new restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children, similar to those now in place in Quebec; bringing in tougher regulations to eliminate trans fats and to reduce salt in processed foods,; and improving food labels to give more information on added sugars and artificial dyes in processed foods.
  • Introduce plain packaging requirements for tobacco products, similar to those in Australia and the United Kingdom.
  • Lead government-wide efforts to resettle 25,000 refugees from Syria in the coming months.
  • Bring forward a proposal to double the number of entry applications for parents and grandparents of immigrants to 10,000 a year.
  • Give additional points under the Entry Express system to provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings.
  • Increase the maximum age for dependents to 22, from 19, to allow more Canadians to bring their children to Canada.
  • Bring forward a proposal regarding permanent residency for new spouses entering Canada.
  • Develop a plan to reduce application processing times for sponsorship, citizenship and other visas.
  • Fully restore the Interim Federal Health Program that provides limited and temporary health benefits to refugees and refugee claimants.
  • Establish an expert human rights panel to help determine designated countries of origin, and provide a right to appeal refugee decisions for citizens from these countries.
  • Modify the temporary foreign workers program to eliminate the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee to hire caregivers and work with provinces and territories to develop a system of regulated companies to hire caregivers on behalf of families.
  • Lead efforts to facilitate the temporary entry of low risk travelers, including business visitors, and lift the visa requirement for Mexico.
  • Work with the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to repeal provisions in the Citizenship Act that give the government the right to strip citizenship from dual nationals.
  • Lead a process to work with provinces and territories to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada decision regarding physician-assisted death.
  • Develop an approach to, and a mandate for, an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
  • Review our litigation strategy. This should include early decisions to end appeals or positions that are not consistent with our commitments, the Charter or our values.
  • Working with the Ministers of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Health, create a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.
  • Undertake modernization efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, in cooperation with provinces and territories.
  • Work with the Ministers of Finance and National Revenue to develop a modernized regulatory and legal framework governing the Charitable and Not-for-Profit sectors.
  • Engage all parties in the House of Commons to ensure that the process of appointing Supreme Court Justices is transparent, inclusive and accountable to Canadians.
  • Support the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in his efforts to repeal key elements of Bill C-51, and introduce new legislation that strengthens accountability with respect to national security and better balances collective security with rights and freedoms.
  • Toughen criminal laws and bail conditions in cases of domestic assault, in consultation with stakeholders and with the goal of keeping survivors and children safe.
  • Provide a list of distinguishing characteristics of “identifiable group” protected by the hate speech provisions of the Criminal Code.
  • Work with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to end Canada’s combat mission in Iraq and Syria, refocusing Canada’s efforts in the region on the training of local forces and humanitarian support.
  • Ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces have the equipment they need.
  • Work with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to renew Canada’s commitment to United Nations peace operations. This includes:
    • Making Canada’s specialized capabilities – from mobile medical teams, to engineering support, to aircraft that can carry supplies and personnel;
    • Working with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to help the United Nations respond more quickly to emerging and escalating conflicts; and
    • Leading an international effort to improve and expand the training of military and civilian personnel deployed on peace operations.
  • Maintain Canada’s strong commitments to the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  • Renew Canada’s focus on surveillance and control of Canadian territory and approaches, particularly our Arctic regions, and increase the size of the Canadian Rangers.
  • Work with senior leaders of the Canadian Armed Forces to establish and maintain a workplace free from harassment and discrimination.
  • Support the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in a review of existing measures to protect Canadians and our critical infrastructure from cyber-threats.
  • Work with the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence to develop a suicide prevention strategy for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and veterans.
  • Assist in the creation of a statutory committee of Parliamentarians with special access to classified information to review government departments and agencies with national security responsibilities.
  • Work to repeal, in collaboration with the Minister of Justice, the problematic elements of Bill C-51 and introduce new legislation that strengthens accountability with respect to national security and better balances collective security with rights and freedoms.
  • Create an Office of the Community Outreach and Counter-radicalization Coordinator.
  • Lead a review of existing measures to protect Canadians and our critical infrastructure from cyber-threats.
  • Take action to get handguns and assault weapons off our streets by working with the Minister of Justice to strengthen controls on hand-guns and assault weapons, including by repealing some elements of Bill C-42.
  • Restore funding to provinces and territories to support Heavy Urban Search and Rescue teams.
  • Work with provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, and municipalities to develop a comprehensive action plan that allows Canada to better predict, prepare for, and respond to weather-related emergencies and natural disasters.
  • Work with experts and advocates to develop and implement a comprehensive federal gender violence strategy and action plan, aligned with existing provincial strategies.
  • Support the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs in ensuring that no one fleeing domestic violence is left without a place to turn by growing and maintaining Canada’s network of shelters and transition houses.
  • Support the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in reviewing current gender-sensitive and culturally-sensitive training policies for federal front-line law enforcement officers to ensure that they are strong and effective.
  • Support the Minister of Employment, Workplace Development and Labour and work with your ministerial colleagues in taking action to ensure that Parliament and federal institutions are workplaces free from harassment and sexual violence.
  • Support the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to develop a process and mandate for an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada.