Published in El Universal (http://www.eluniversal.com.mx)
On October 19, Justin Trudeau won one of the greatest electoral victories in the history of Canada. After beginning his campaign with 34 seats in Parliament and in third place in voter preferences, he led the Liberal Party to obtain 184 seats in the general election, giving him a majority government.
President Peña congratulated Trudeau following his victory speech, and recognized the new Prime Minister for highlighting the priority meaning both societies give to the bilateral relationship between Mexico and Canada. The two leaders also agreed to promote the strategic nature of bilateral relations within the North American context.
The Liberal Party’s political platform includes, among its priorities, a renewal of Canada’s relationship with Mexico and the United States. One of the topics being emphasized is facilitation of the mobility of people between the two countries, which is particularly relevant for Mexicans travelling to Canada.
Other important topics for Trudeau with Canada’s North American partners, are the creation of a common environmental strategy to fight climate change, which joins efforts for the COP21 in Paris, implementation of a continental energy agreement, and Canadian investment in infrastructure.
The domestic priority of the new prime minister-designate is economic growth, for which he will focus on measures that favour the wellbeing of the middle class, based on a public spending program with a moderate, temporary fiscal deficit, which diverges greatly from his predecessor’s balance-favouring policies. This difference in economic policy has been deemed a fundamental factor in the Liberal Party’s victory.
During the administration of Stephen Harper there were concrete advances in the bilateral relationship, despite the dispute cause by imposing a Canadian visa requirement for Mexican nationals in 2009. The sound institutional architecture of the relationship has been kept active with a joint action plan, a high-level public-private strategic partnership, and several ministerial-level meetings, including the first meetings on energy in recent months.
The North American Leaders’ Summit was held successfully in 2014, but actions were also taken beyond the relationship between the federal executives, through parliamentary meetings and visits to Mexico by two Quebec premiers.
In education and culture, Mexico and Canada have strengthened cooperation through closer relations with educational centres in both countries, as well as greater promotion of academic mobility; a highlight among the various exhibits that also took place, was the great exposition Aztecs, People of the Sun at Montreal’s Pointe-à-Callière Museum of History and Archaeology this year. That agenda is a testament to an extensive platform upon which the bilateral relationship is built and expanded, albeit moving at varying speeds and depths.
In addition to the intense economic relations between Mexico and Canada, there is a notable historical affinity between the two nations. Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, father of Justin Trudeau, visited our country on several occasions and led a government whose stance was convergent with Mexico on subjects such as Cuba and the Contadora process, and one that participated actively in the North-South Summit of 1981, which took place in Cancun.
In the coming weeks and months, President Peña Nieto and Prime Minister-designate Trudeau will have the opportunity to meet at various international forums to advance in spheres in which significant commonalities exist. The North American Leaders’ Summit, which will be held in Canada, offers an opportunity to revitalize our joint efforts in the region. In summary, Mexico and Canada have an open road ahead, and the joint will to forge a new path together.
Ambassador of Mexico to Canada