OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Let the races begin: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has officially launched the federal election campaign.
The parties have been informally campaigning for months. Trudeau sat down for a brief, private chat with the governor general to ask her to dissolve Parliament on Wednesday morning, officially kicking off Canada’s 43rd general election campaign.
Speaking to the media following his meeting, Trudeau asked voters to think back to four years ago — the last time they went to the polls.
“In 2015, after a decade of failed Conservative policy, Canada’s economy was flat,” he said. “Economic growth, job creation, wage growth, all were stalled thanks to a Conservative government that believed cuts and austerity were the answers to everything.”
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) September 11, 2019
It’s already shaping up to be a dogfight of a campaign, with the Liberals and Conservatives polling in a dead heat, while the NDP and Greens are in a distant battle for third.
“Liberals go into it in the best position, Conservatives definitely within striking room, NDP struggling to remain relevant, Green Party hoping to leap frog over the NDP into third,” Maclean’s Ottawa Bureau Chief John Geddes explains.
He says parties will be focusing on pocket book issues like affordable medicines, the cost of your cell phone bill, and supports for families.
But a key battle on voters’ minds is tackling climate change.
“It has to do with the immediate extreme weather affects of climate change that have brought it home for people — forest fires, and floods, and the hurricane,” he notes.
Canadians can expect a lot of political attacks over the next five and a half weeks on everything from SNC-Lavalin to abortion as every politician looks for an edge.
Trudeau is asking voters for a second mandate, while the Opposition hopes to end his term at four years.
Geddes says this election will be a referendum on the Liberal leader.
“He’s saying, ‘Hey, I’ve made some mistakes, I don’t want you to think about that. I want you to think about me as the guy who can take you forward in a way that you like.'”
The 2019 campaign will be much shorter than the 2015 vote, which tends to help the incumbents, but Geddes once again stresses, it’s a tight race at the top.
Canadians will head to the polls on October 21st.