Friday, 20 September, 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s federal election

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Deanna Wagner | 12 September, 2019, 20:19

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched a six-week campaign for re-election yesterday, flying into Vancouver on a jet emblazoned with his name.

The prime minister met the governor general, Julie Payette, to officially request the dissolution of parliament, and formally start the election campaign, which will see party leaders crisscrossing the vast country to pitch to voters.

Mr Scheer said of the upcoming election: "We are going to be outlining our vision for the country to put more money back in the pockets of Canadians and let them get ahead".

Mr Trudeau and his main opponent, Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, are in a dead heat according to national polls, but smaller parties on the right and left could also play key roles as spoilers or kingmakers on election day.

Scheer was speaking on Day 2 of the campaign in the riding of York Centre where the Conservatives have selected Rachel Willson to run.

The worst hit to Trudeau's progressive image came with the SNC-Lavalin inquiry, a corruption scandal in which Trudeau was accused of interfering in the criminal prosecution of a Quebec-based engineering firm.

Concerns over affordability, health care, climate change and ethics are at the fore.

The Liberal party says it is buying carbon offsets for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the prime minister's flights.

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"They are running against Ford and they are running against former Prime Minister Harper", he added, referring to Trudeau and the Liberal party. The first ads already have been aired, and many of them are negative, befitting two leading candidates who begin their formal campaigns with large electoral hurdles.

"I do not engage in personal attacks but I will be very, very sharp on distinctions around policy", he said on Wednesday.

Will Trudeau win the election?

The prime minister, who is admired overseas for his progressive policies but plagued by scandals at home, faces a test of his popularity this campaign season.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, 40, holds the record as the youngest speaker ever in Canada's House of Commons.

The party, which led the pack at the start of the 2015 campaign but ended up coming in third place, is dipping in the polls and struggling to raise money this year.

The leaders of the NDP, Conservatives and Greens launched their campaigns Wednesday with some choice words about Canada's incumbent prime minister.

The Bloc only runs candidates in that province.