Canada. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Canada is 37,742,165 people in 2020. Many expected Prime Minister Paul Martin to announce new elections at the beginning of the year in order to obtain a strong mandate to continue. However, his position was weakened by a corruption scandal, which took place in the mid-1990s, but the extent of which was now clear.
On February 16 elections were held in Nunavut. All candidates stood for independence. A few weeks later, Paul Okalik was re-elected as head of government for the territory.
In March, economist Stephen Harper was elected new leader of the Conservative Party, which was formed in late 2003 through a merger of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance.
In April, the largest sales hunt began in 50 years – 350,000 animals would be killed by the end of May. This aroused protests from animal rights organizations. Authorities claimed that the seal strain had become so large that it posed a threat to other animal species.
In the late spring, Paul Martin announced parliamentary elections until June 28. The Liberal Party was for a long time side by side with the Conservative Party in the polls. The Liberals went to elections promising better care while the Conservative Party promised to lower taxes and give more money to the defense. The Liberal Party managed to maintain its position as the country’s largest party but lost its majority in parliament. The party got almost 37% of the vote and 135 of the 308 seats, while the Conservative party got 99 seats. Both the Quebec Bloc (BQ) and the Social Democratic New Democratic Party (NDP) made good choices and got 54 and 19 seats respectively.
The Liberals’ victory was considered to be largely due to the party’s success in retaining many of its voters in populous Ontario, despite the dissatisfaction with the Liberal provincial government breaking a ballot promise and raising taxes shortly before the election. The Conservatives did the best in Western Canada, where the Liberals previously had a weak position. The turnout was 60%. Martin formed a minority government July 20, the first in Canada in 25 years.
In order to push through its proposals in Parliament, the Liberals must rely on the support of various parties. The prime minister retained most of his ministers from the former government. Among the newcomers were British Columbia’s former head of government, Ujjal Dosanjh, who became health minister, and former ice hockey star Ken Dryder was given responsibility for social development. The popular Foreign Minister Bill Graham had to change jobs and now became Minister of Defense.
In September, the provinces received an equivalent of just over US $ 31 billion for health care investments. At the same time, the provinces were given the responsibility to develop a national strategy for pharmaceutical issues, reduction of care queues and recruitment of health care personnel. The larger cities received an extra grant to extend child care until 2010.
On September 30, Martin extended Governor General Adrienne Clarkson’s term of office for another six years.
The provincial election in Alberta November 22 was won by the Conservatives who won 61 of the 83 seats.
Partnership laws, which allowed same-sex people to marry, were introduced during the year in Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Yukon Territory.
In early December, US President George W. Bush visited the country, which was seen as an attempt to improve contacts with Canada that had opposed the war against Iraq in 2003. Martin’s representative Jean Chrétien had a frosty relationship with Bush.
Statue of Canada’s first prime minister dropped by activists
Activists in Montreal are pushing down a statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister John A Macdonald in a park in the central part of the city. They accuse Macdonald of initiating genocide against the country’s indigenous peoples through the indigenous schools set up under his rule. The schools remained in the 1990s and aimed to “kill the wild in the child”. Following allegations of physical, cultural and sexual abuse by former students, several lawsuits were filed in the early 2000s. François Legault, Québec’s head of government, criticizes the attack on the statue, saying “we must fight racism, but destroying our history is not the right way: Vandalism has no place in our democracy”. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also condemns what happened.
Erin O’Toole becomes new Conservative leader
Erin O’Toole becomes new party leader for the Conservative Party (CPC). He wins over Peter MacKay by winning votes in most of Canada, except the Atlantic provinces. O’Toole must initially fight to make a name for himself, according to a poll, 68 percent of those polled did not know who he is. The Conservative Party is considered less divided now than in 2017, when the last party leader election was held and won by Andrew Scheer. O’Toole has previously been considered the moderate phalanx of the party, but in the party leadership election he flirted with the socially conservative phalanx and spoke of “taking back Canada”, pursuing a stricter policy towards China and opposing the so-called cancel culture. accused of scandalous acts or statements on the internet should be boycotted).
Crisis support is extended
20th of August
Canada announces an extension of the crisis measures to those people who have lost their jobs due to the corona pandemic. At the same time, the rules that exist for when to receive unemployment benefits are also eased. About 4.5 million Canadians, or 12 percent of the population, currently receive crisis support of 2,000 Canadian dollars. Unemployment in the country amounted to almost 14 percent in May, and then fell to just under 11 percent in July. Later in August, figures will indicate that GDP fell by almost 39 percent during the second quarter of 2020. A positive sign, however, was that the economy nevertheless grew by just over 6 percent in June.
Parliament is engaged until 23 September
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is asking Governor-General Julie Payette to temporarily lose Parliament by September 23. He promises to then present the government’s new program and to announce a vote of confidence in his government in the lower house. His critics see this as a maneuver to avoid criticism of the latest deal.
Chrystia Freeland becomes new Prime Minister
Chrystia Freeland takes over the post of Minister of Finance. She thus becomes the first woman in the post. She has previously been both Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
The Minister of Finance resigns
Finance Minister Bill Morneau resigns. He says his resignation is voluntary, but there is speculation in the Canadian media as to whether he was fired. Morneau is being investigated alongside Trudeau for his contacts with the charity WE Charity. He now says he would not have participated in the decision on whether the organization would get a government contract, as one of his daughters works for it and another participates in its work as a volunteer. He has also repaid a travel allowance of 41,000 Canadian dollars that he and his family have received from WE Charity. Several media outlets also write about differences of opinion between Trudeau and Morneau regarding economic policy, while others claim that it was mostly about leaks from the Prime Minister’s office in order to pave the way for the Minister of Finance’s resignation.
Eleven percent unemployment in Canada in July
Unemployment in Canada in July was almost 11 percent, compared with 5.6 percent, before the corona pandemic hit Canada. However, the figures are a clear improvement compared with almost 14 percent in May. According to the authorities, 419,000 jobs have been created since then, most of them part-time. More women than men have found new jobs.