Trudeau will visit Rideau Hall on Sunday for the scheduled election launch – .

Trudeau will visit Rideau Hall on Sunday for the scheduled election launch – .

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Rideau Hall and meet with Governor General Mary Simon at 10 a.m. EDT on Sunday, according to his official itinerary, paving the way for the dissolution of the 43rd Parliament and the drafting of the 338 writs of election.

This should be the official launch of the federal election campaign. Sources confirmed to CTV News that the vote could take place as early as September 20. If so, the campaign would last 36 days, the shortest possible allowed by electoral law.

Trudeau will be joined by his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and will speak to reporters after the meeting.

Calling the election means Canadians will be campaigning for at least five weeks, seeing federal party leaders crisscross the country and running, their candidates and their platforms, under ongoing COVID-19 public health restrictions.

Although the next fixed election date is not until October 2023, minority governments rarely last the full four years between elections.

In the 2019 federal election, voters reduced the Liberal majority to a minority. Since then, political headlines have included the election of new opposition leaders and the recent revitalization of social justice issues, as well as the ongoing global pandemic that has changed much of life as Canadians knew it. .

Trudeau now appears ready to bet that his handling of the pandemic – and the unprecedented financial support distributed – will propel his party to a majority.

“It seems the Liberals’ strategy is to have a very quick election where there aren’t many opportunities to make a mistake and hope for a majority victory,” the chief data scientist said on Friday. of Nanos Research, Nik Nanos, at CTV National News. .

And while recent voter polls seemed to back his bet, a new poll from Nanos Research shows the Liberals are outside majority territory right now.

According to the data, if an election were held today, the Liberals would get 33.4% of the vote, down 5.9% from their ranking four weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Conservatives are said to get 28.4 percent of the vote, up 4.8 percent from four weeks ago. Support for the other four major parties has not changed as significantly over the past month.

Political strategists say that for the Conservatives and the NDP, the top priority during the campaign will be to demonstrate that they represent viable alternatives to the Liberal government.

Opposition parties have criticized Trudeau’s timing, saying the Liberals are putting their own political interests above those of Canadians who are once again facing yet another wave of COVID-19 cases. Political analysts are already flagging the government’s recent mandatory vaccination order for federal employees as a potential wedge issue dividing progressive and conservative voters.

“It’s playing politics and trying to get votes with the pandemic, with the health situation,” former NDP leader and CTV political commentator Tom Mulcair told CTV National News.

However, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Theresa Tam, told reporters on Thursday that it was possible to organize an election campaign and a safe voting period if public health guidelines such that social distancing, mask wear and appropriate disinfection were observed.

“We learned a lot about how to make these types of voting spaces, if you will, safe. I think the key advice is really to observe all of these good practices and that would then make it possible to vote in a safe way, whether it’s social distancing, wearing a mask and all those measures that everyone else. is quite used to it now, ”she said, adding this letter – voting in person could also be a valid alternative to in-person polling stations.

With files from CTV National News parliamentary correspondent Kevin Gallagher


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