Charles Brenchley | CUPE Communications

Parliament of CanadaWhen Parliament adjourned for the summer, Members of Parliament returned to their ridings to hit the barbecue circuit, with little to celebrate. In the 2015 election, Justin Trudeau and his team of Liberals made a tall list of promises to Canadians. Two years in, people are asking, were they being honest and realistic with Canadians? Let’s take a quick look at the parliamentary session that was.

Trudeau promised to provide municipalities with access to low-cost financing for infrastructure projects. Fast forward to today and we can see that promise has been turned on its head. Despite criticism from across the political spectrum, the Liberals rammed through the legislation, in an omnibus bill no less, to create the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). The whole process has been shrouded in secrecy and runs counter to pledges about open and transparent government. The infrastructure bank opens the door to privatization which in turn will leave us paying more for the services that we rely on.

With the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations coming as early as August, the silence on the matter from the Liberal government is deeply unsettling. The government has yet to announce a credible plan to protect Canadian jobs and protect market access for Canadian industries. Given how this government sold us out on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the future looks uncertain.

Despite sunny language from the prime minister that a new era of nation-to-nation relationship building exists, the denial of basic services in Indigenous communities continues. In the past year, the Liberal government has ignored four rulings by the Human Rights Tribunal to end the systemic discrimination against First Nations children. Surely, Canada can do better than this.

But it can’t all be gloom and doom. After more than 12 years of the Trans community and its allies fighting for equal rights, Parliament has finally put gender identity and gender expression into the Canadian Human Rights Code and the Criminal Code.