And theyyyy’re off!
Prime Minister Justine Trudeau has done what most Canadian’s didn’t want him to – call a snap election during another wave of COVID-19.
Governer-General Mary Simon granted Trudeau’s request on Sunday to call an election on September 20, the smallest campaign time possible under election laws.
Trudeau walked from Rideau Hall for his meeting inside Rideau Hall with his wife and three children. The meeting lasted longer than expected – nearly an hour.
“In this pivotal, consequential moment, who wouldn’t want a say? Who wouldn’t want their chance to help decide where our country goes from here?” he told reporters.
“So to the other parties, please explain why you don’t think Canadians should get a choice, why you don’t think that this is a pivotal moment. I’m focused on our real plan. I’m focused on the path forward.
“After making it through 17 months of nothing like we’ve ever experienced, Canadians deserve to choose what the next 17 months, what the next 17 years and beyond, will look like. And I know that we have the right plan, the right team, and the proven leadership to meet that moment,” he said. “So to the other parties: Please explain why you don’t think Canadians should have the choice? Why you don’t think that this is a pivotal moment?”
The election is two years ahead of schedule and is likely to be focused on giving the Liberals approval for their massive COVID-19 spending.
A survey by Abacus on Thursday put the Liberals at 37% and the Conservatives at 28% meaning that could be enough to give Trudeau a majority if it continues.
There are currently 155 Liberals, 119 Conservatives, 32 Bloc Quebecois, 24 NDP, five Independents, two Greens and one vacant seat in the House of Commons.
Trudeau is set to leave for Montreal shortly to take part in events there.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole is in Ottawa and will hold two virtual townhall meetings – one in Quebec, the other in BC.
“This election is about who Canadians trust to secure their economic future, and secure the future for all Canadians,” said O’Toole.
“We need a strong economy to support high wages for workers and get infrastructure built. We need a strong economy so that today’s Canadians can have confidence that tomorrow will be brighter for the next generation.”
Through their Canada’s Recovery Plan, Conservatives promise they will create one million jobs, bring in new anti-corruption laws, secure mental health funding, secure Canadian-made medical supplies and balance the budget in the next decade.
“Canada’s Conservatives have a detailed plan to get the economy surging in the right direction, for all Canadians, from every walk of life, so that we can continue to invest in our services and our healthcare,” said O’Toole.
“There are five parties, but two choices. Canada’s Conservatives or more of the same. The question for voters is, ‘who do you trust to secure your economic future?’”
People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier mocked Trudeau and his family for walking to Rideau Hall wearing facemasks.
“Wearing a mask with his family as they walk outside for the cameras… IT’S JUST A BIG SHOW,” he tweeted.
Bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet is also in Montreal along with NDP head Jagmeet Singh. Singh is also set to march in Montreal’s gay pride parade on Sunday.
Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party starts her campaign in Toronto, without a campaign manager in place.
Meanwhile, in his press conference, Trudeau was asked about the dire situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban are set to take the capital Kabul. Trudeau said all embassy staff has been evacuated safely from the country.
“We are extremely concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and I can assure you that officials and indeed ministers continue and will continue to weigh in on protecting Canadians, getting Canadians safely out of Afghanistan and continuing to step up as Canada has so many times around the world to bring people to safety,” he said.
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard