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Justin Trudeau: Three challenges facing him in 2019

Friday - 04/01/2019 05:19
A lot has changed for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau since he swept to power almost four years ago. What hurdles does he face as he heads into another election year?
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GETTY IMAGES

Shortly after he was elected, Justin Trudeau grabbed international headlines for a breezy quip explaining his gender-balanced cabinet: "Because it's 2015". 

The come-from-behind ascent of the young leader marked a new era of progressive Liberal politics in Canada after voters ousted a Conservative government that had been in power for nearly a decade. 

His government has kept some promises since: it overhauled the child benefits scheme, legalised recreational cannabis, and gave parents the option of taking an extended parental leave. 

But there were fumbles along the way: a disastrous overseas trip to India, broken promises on electoral reform and on short-term deficits. 

Now, heading into his fourth year in office, his government is sounding a little less breezy and looking a little more battle-scarred. 

It's not surprising to see a politician nearing the end of his or her mandate hit "a patch of malaise or quicksand with the electorate," says Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, a not-for-profit national polling firm. 

"We all remember what felt like the never-ending honeymoon, but his approval has been deteriorating over time." 

With a federal election scheduled for next October and analysts warning of possible trouble ahead, what are the challenges facing Trudeau as he seeks a second mandate?

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