After calling a snap election in hopes of winning a parliamentary majority, Justin Trudeau was sent back to work after the September 20 vote with another Liberal minority government in what some have called one of the most status-quo election results in Canadian history.
The new Parliament will look much the same as the previous one: the Liberals finished with 159 seats, up two from 2019; the Conservatives finished with 119 seats, down two from 2019; and the NDP finished with 25 seats, up one from 2019. The Greens lost an incumbent MP, but picked up a new seat in Kitchener Centre, finishing the election with two MPs.
However, despite the vote delivering little change in the make-up of Parliament, notable shifts occurred in this country’s political landscape over the past month.
Rise Of The Far-Right People’s Party
Despite failing to win a single seat this election, Maxime Bernier’s far-right People’s Party of Canada (PPC) tripled its vote share, and finished second in some ridings in Conservative strongholds in rural Alberta.
The Mapletook a deep-dive into what this uptick in support for the far-right party means for Canada’s political landscape in the months and years ahead.
Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, told The Maple that the party, which has numerous past and present ties to known white nationalists, has grown recently with the help of the COVID-19 conspiracy movement.
“All these people on the far right, they're conspiratorial to begin with. They believe in conspiracies about (U.S. Democratic Party financier) George Soros; they believe in conspiracies about white replacement,” Balgord said.
“Because the conspiracy movement is so large, when we're done with COVID, we're going to have a much larger far right,” he added.
Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University, told The Maple:
“I think that even in terms of the post-COVID recovery, (the PPC) will find a way, I suspect, to manipulate that in a way that retains a lot of those same people, and perhaps even new ones from the elements of society that feels like maybe they've been left behind in terms of economic supports.”