Canadian youths turn their back on Justin Trudeau

Alina Pavel - 1A Nanotechnology
Posted on: November 5, 2016

October was a trying time for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Only one year into his term, he has encountered much criticism from politicians and citizens alike as people are evaluating how much he has accomplished—and how many promises he has broken. This past month was perhaps the most eventful, with Trudeau being heckled and harassed by protesters in multiple instances.

Tensions ran high at the National Young Workers Summit in Ottawa, as Trudeau was faced (or rather the opposite) by angry protesters. The protesters, mostly young adults, were demonstrating their disappointment by turning their backs on the Prime Minister. Participants stated that the action reflected what Trudeau is doing: turning his back on them.

Many issues were brought up during the event, regarding everything from pipelines to post-secondary education costs, as well as the more urgent topic of job security and wages.  It seems that the biggest problem youth have with Trudeau is his inability to keep the promises he made— which are what attracted more youths as supporters and encouraged them to vote in the first place. The increase in votes from the younger demographic is what helped Liberals secure the win, which is why it is crucial that Trudeau works towards the promises he made to young voters.

Some supporters are pleased with Trudeau’s contributions so far. Since being elected, Trudeau has introduced many aids for young people, such as doubling the number of summer job placements, increasing student grants, and eliminating student loan repayment until an annual income of at least $25,000 is attained. The president of the Young Liberals of Canada praised the Prime Minister for his actions, stating that he has done more for youths “than any government in a generation.”

Trudeau expressed his discontent with the protesters by saying, “I will tell you, it is a little bit frustrating for me to come in, sit down and look forward to hearing from you and talking with you, and seeing a room full of people who are standing in a way that shows they are not listening to me, that you don’t want to engage.” The Prime Minister was challenged many times during the event, and people were more inclined to yell and argue than to have constructive dialogue, much to his dismay.

As Trudeau apologetically ended the session, his farewell was met with angry exclamations of “Keep your promises!” and even more heckling. Other politicians interpreted the event as a sign that his approval from young adults is slipping.

Judging by the recent demonstrations, it seems that more and more youths are getting involved in the political sphere and standing up to Trudeau. Many attractive promises were made to young people during Trudeau’s campaign but, despite the measures taken so far, Canada’s young adults still feel as though they are being neglected. They say they just want their voices to be heard, they are tired of being lied to, and they are ready for things to change for the better as soon as possible. As stated by a young woman at the summit, “We are not the future, we are the right now.”