Insights and Analysis

Canada Heads into a Federal Election

Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the Governor General, Mary Simon, and asked her to dissolve Parliament, triggering an election and sending Canada to the polls on September 20th.  The Campaign, which is 36 days, will be run amid rising COVID-19 cases across Canada.

The Liberal Party is framing the election – which is being held over 2 years earlier than the next fixed election date – as seeking voter approval for the government’s handling of COVID-19.  More specifically, they are framing the conversation heading towards the ballot box to be around vaccinations, the national childcare plan, of which Alberta is the only prairie province to not sign a deal with the Federal government, and who they want leading the country through the end of the global pandemic.

Prime Minister Trudeau came to power in 2015 after defeating then Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party with a majority government, but was reduced to a minority government in the 2019 election. The Prime Minister has openly complained that as a minority government they need to rely on other parties to push through legislation and calls the opposition obstructionist.

A recent poll done by Abacus on Thursday put the Liberals at 37%, with the Conservatives under leader Erin O’Toole polling at 28%.

The opposition CPC and NDP both say the election is unnecessary and reckless, and have accused the Liberals of sending Canadians to the polls for the sole purpose of trying to seek a majority as to not have to work with the opposition.   This is seen as an increasingly risky move given the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam declaring that Canada is entering the 4th wave, with concerns around the Delta variant.

On Thursday, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh released a list of commitments including a focus on health care and affordability, Truth and Reconciliation and clear climate goals, which will form their campaign platform, “Ready for Better” during the election.  Mr. Singh has indicated his commitments would be paid for by bringing in a wealth tax. The platform is designed to build the Party’s popularity among young voters and drive them to the polls on Election Day.

The Conservative Party is framing the campaign to ask who the Leader is you want to lead Canada’s recovery through the pandemic. The Conservative platform focuses on 5 pillars aimed at securing jobs, accountability, mental health, the country and Canada’s economy

Prime Minister Trudeau travelled to Montreal yesterday, kicking off his campaign in Quebec, Erin O’Toole remained in Ottawa holding town halls at the CPC studio and Jagmeet Singh started his day in Montreal.

Follow along with Prairie Sky Strategy for updates from the campaign as the leaders make their case to earn your vote. 


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