After a whirlwind 36-day campaign period, the 44th Canadian federal election has come to a close. The new parliament will see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continue to reside over a minority government with just over 32 per cent of the popular vote.
Here at Up for Debate, what are we taking away from this election?
While affordable housing and child care made their way into campaign discussions, substantive conversations on gender and women’s rights were largely absent. When it came to topics including: ending gender-based violence, addressing systemic discrimination and racism, ensuring a feminist response to COVID-19, and support for women’s rights and gender justice organizations, leaders and candidates were mostly silent.
With just one English-language leaders’ debate and two French-language debates, demand for additional opportunities for leaders to discuss key issues was high. While some civil society groups were able to organize their own discussions with local candidates, there was a clear need for more conversation and dialogue with party leaders on the many issues that couldn’t be covered during the two-hour televised debates.
The message from voters across Canada was clear: it’s time for action. From child care agreements with provinces and territories, to ending the discriminatory blood ban, to clean water in First Nations communities, to climate action and an equitable economic recovery, the electorate and civil society groups alike are hoping to see real progress on policies and promises made throughout the campaign.
We hope that gender justice stays on the political agenda and that Canada’s political parties make good on their campaign commitments related to Up for Debate’s 2021 Calls to Action.