On October 19, Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party won a majority government, unseating Stephen Harper's Conservatives after nearly a decade. Trudeau promised to bring "real change" to Ottawa and we'll be watching closely to see what that means for those of us who support secularism and evidence-based policy.
From what he promised during the campaign, there are lots of policies that I'll be looking for Trudeau to follow through on, including:
- Action to legalize physician assisted dying
- Reversing the muzzling of scientists
- Keeping his commitment to be pro-choice
- Implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Report and an inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women
- Urgent action on the environment and climate change
- Democratic and electoral reform
And beyond that, I'll also be hoping to see the new government:
- Add gender identity and expression to the human rights code
- Repeal Canada's blasphemy law
- Close the Office of Religious Freedom or expand its scope to support freedom from religion
I'll also echo the open letters from Amnesty International Canada, Evidence for Democracy's Katie Gibbs, and BC resident Cassadra Effe. I think for many Canadians, there is a feeling of hope and change in the air.
Finally, I'll also be watching the Conservative leadership race closely. I won't be surprised if some contenders will try to reopen the abortion debate in Canada and roll back hard-fought rights. We need to make sure secular voices within the Conservative Party are heard, who are willing to stand up for freedom of expression, individual liberty and human rights.