Here's what Canada's first liberal leader in a decade will probably do first

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Justin Trudeau, leader of Canada's Liberal Party, was voted in last night as the country's next prime minister. He campaigned on a platform of returning Canada to its liberal roots after nine years of conservative government.


In practice, that could mean boosts to public services, including health care, taking more serious measures against climate change with a carbon tax, and promoting the country's multiculturalism.

"My friends, we beat fear with hope. We beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together," Trudeau said in his victory speech in Montreal. "This is what positive politics can do."

But Trudeau's immediate priorities, CBC reports, are to cut taxes for the middle class and increase them for the country's highest earners, and to set a new greenhouse gas reduction target.


He's also said he'll make two specific moves for Canada's Indigenous communities: set up an inquiry into missing, murdered Indigenous women, and increase Indigenous education funding. In the last two decades, the Guardian reports, more than 1,000 Indigenous women have been murdered in Canada, with many cases still unsolved. And Indigenous students in Canada often have to go to school hundreds of miles away from their families because of a lack of funding for education in remote communities.

When it comes to foreign policy, Trudeau has said he'll cease Canada's involvement in bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq and withdraw combat troops in favor of training and humanitarian efforts. He wants to restore diplomatic relations with Iran, and mend what's become a frosty relationship with the Obama Administration in the U.S. The Liberals have also said they'll accept 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015 and send $100 million in humanitarian aid to help those refugees in the Middle East.

The Liberal Party's victory was decisive, CBC reports, winning a majority in parliament with 184 seats (14 more than the 170 they needed to form a majority government). That means the party will not be dependent on members of minor parties to pass legislation, and Trudeau's agenda should be somewhat easier for the government to achieve.

The election marks a swing to the left in Canada, which is traditionally more liberal but had elected Stephen Harper's Conservatives to power in three successive elections since 2006. The new prime minister is the eldest son of Pierre Trudeau, who served as Canada's Prime Minister for 15 years previously.

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