Trudeau vows new Canada government will move 'faster, stronger' on priorities

OTTAWA (AFP) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday (Sept 28) he would unveil his new Cabinet next month and bring back parliament by fall’s end to tackle climate change, Covid-19 and economic recovery.

In his first news conference since winning a Sept 20 snap election, Trudeau said his minority Liberal government has been given a mandate “to move even stronger, even faster on the big things that Canadians really want.”

He listed, as examples, measures to fight climate change, further boost Canada’s Covid-19 vaccination rates – already among the highest in the world – and bolster Canada’s economic recovery.

He also said to expect a decision “in the coming weeks” on whether to ban Huawei equipment from Canada’s 5G wireless networks, after the United States and other key allies did so.

“We continue to weigh and look at the different options,” he said of Huawei, noting that Canada’s telecoms companies have already “started to remove Huawei from their networks and are moving forward in ways that doesn’t involve them as a company.”

Canada had felt squeezed between China and the US over its arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a US extradition warrant, with two of its own nationals detained in apparent retaliation on what Trudeau has said were trumped up espionage charges.

All three were freed and repatriated on Friday after Meng reached a deal with US prosecutors.

The makeup of Trudeau’s new Cabinet is still being sorted out, but he revealed that Chrystia Freeland would remain his number two as well as finance minister.

Meanwhile, Elections Canada announced the final election results, awarding 159 House of Commons seats to Trudeau’s Liberals – 11 shy of a majority – and 119 to the main opposition Conservatives, led by Erin O’Toole.

Three smaller parties grabbed the remainder of the 338 seats.

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