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LETTER: Trudeau should bring Elizabeth May into his Cabinet

'Looking over a still smouldering battlefield,' it's clear that PM needs to adopt a different approach, says letter writer
Elizabeth May 1 2019-07018
Elizabeth May is shown during the Green Party of Canada leader's stop in Barrie Thursday July 18, 2019. Shawn Gibson/BarrieToday File Photo

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Only the Bloc Quebecois can have been pleased by the results of the recent election in which they won 22 more seats than before.

The Liberals’ share of the popular vote dropped by six percentage points, and they lost 20 seats. The Conservatives gained three percent more of the popular vote than in 2015, and 26 more seats; but still 36 seats less than the Liberals.

The NDP won fewer seats and less of the popular vote than in 2015. The Green Party nearly doubled their vote count, but won just one more seat.

Justin Trudeau, if he continues on as leader, will have to become even more collegial than he has been to win and keep the support of the NDP and the Greens.

However, looking over a still smouldering battlefield, one thing stands out. A passionate young Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, ensured that climate change became the most discussed issue in the campaign. Even “western alienation” is really just an offshoot.

And if one accepts that people's votes reflected what they mostly talked about, then 60% of Canada wants government to take climate change seriously, while only around 36% do not.

I believe Canadians do not want to see another bruising and unpleasant election any time soon, and, I am guessing, neither does Trudeau. One way to ensure the longevity of Trudeau’s minority mandate would be to mount a “surprise attack” and invite Elizabeth May to become his Minister of Environment, a post for which she is eminently qualified! This would allow him to be more aggressive on climate change, something likely to be broadly popular among Canadians.

At the same time, I believe he should offer one or two cabinet seats to the NDP, allowing him to move more aggressively on two other issues popular with Canadians: a national drug plan and a national child care scheme.

I can see these issues being deeply unpopular among many Conservatives. However, they appear to reflect “the will of the people”. And no politician who wishes to continue in their career can afford to ignore that!

Peter Bursztyn