The last decade in Canadian politics has been full of memorable moments. From Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2015 election victory to the 2018 legalization of recreational cannabis, here are five of the most iconic political moments from the past ten years that will go down in history as defining moments for Canada.
1. The 2015 Federal Election
The October 19th federal election marked a major shift in Canadian politics when Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was elected to become Prime Minister after nearly a decade of Conservative rule under Stephen Harper. This was the first time since 1993 that a party other than the Conservatives had held power and it meant a change to many aspects of policy and government structure. The election saw voter turnout at its highest since 1993, with 68.3% of eligible voters casting their ballots in favour of the change.
2. Legalizing Recreational Cannabis
In 2018, Canada became only the second country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis use nationwide, following Uruguay’s lead set in 2013. On October 17, 2018, Bill C-45 or The Cannabis Act came into effect, allowing Canadians 18 and over to legally purchase and consume cannabis products for personal use. This move will bring an estimated $5 billion into Canada’s economy annually and is shaping how cannabis is viewed around the world today.
3. Repeal of Mandatory Minimum Sentences
In 2012 then-Justice Minister Rob Nicholson repealed several mandatory minimum sentences introduced by Stephen Harper during his term as Prime Minister between 2006 and 2015 as part of an effort to reduce jail overcrowding and better address underlying issues related to criminal behaviour. These changes removed harsh penalties for non-violent offences and allowed judges greater discretion when sentencing individuals convicted on such charges going forward.
4. Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage
Before 2005 same-sex marriage had never been recognized by any country at a national level but that all changed when Canada passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in June 2005 after a long legal battle which had begun back in 2003 with two landmark court cases involving Ontario couples Joe Varnell & Kevin Bourassa and Elaine Vautour & Anne Vautour respectively. This decision made it possible for same-sex partners across Canada to get married just like any other couple regardless of gender or sexual orientation – something which had not been possible before this time – making it an iconic moment in Canadian history both politically and socially speaking
5. Apology to Residential School Survivors
One of the most significant moments from this past decade came on June 11th, 2008 when Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology on behalf of all Canadians for the horrors inflicted on Indigenous peoples through residential school systems established by European settlers throughout much of our country’s history prior to this point in time. While this apology could not undo all wrongdoings done against Indigenous people over generations, it did start a conversation about reconciliation that continues today; one which acknowledges Indigenous people’s unique place within our society and helps heal wounds from a dark chapter within our nation’s storybook.
These five defining moments from the past decade represent major political events that will be remembered for generations to come. They have helped shape our nation and its policies, making us more inclusive and understanding than ever before. From recognizing Indigenous rights to legalizing marijuana, these iconic moments have left a lasting impression on Canada’s people and politics.