Throughout Canada’s history, there have been instances where politicians have promised one thing during their election campaigns but prioritized political interests over the public welfare once in office.
Louis Riel, a Métis leader, was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) in 1873 and again in 1874. He was a strong advocate for the rights of the Métis people in the Canadian West. However, during the North-West Rebellion of 1885, when Riel led a resistance against the federal government’s encroachment on Métis lands, Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald sent military forces to suppress the rebellion, prioritizing political stability over addressing the legitimate grievances of the Métis.
Brian Mulroney, while campaigning for re-election as Prime Minister, promised that the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement would bring significant economic benefits to Canada. Once the agreement was in place, many Canadians felt that it disproportionately favoured the United States, leading to concerns about job losses and erosion of Canadian sovereignty.
During the early 2000s, the Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and later Paul Martin, became embroiled in the Sponsorship Scandal. The scandal involved the misal-location of public funds for advertising in Quebec to promote federalism. This misuse of taxpayer money served the political interests of the Liberal Party by shoring up support in Quebec while diverting funds from other public services.