“A few minutes ago, I had a discussion with Her Excellency, the Governor General, and she accepted my request to dissolve Parliament. Canadians will therefore therefore go to the polls on September 20,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday morning, officially beginning the 44th Federal Election a little over two years early.
The point, Trudeau said, is to give the Canadian people a chance to offer direction for the country during the next wave of the pandemic, and on into the post-pandemic future. “The last 17 months have been like nothing we’ve ever experienced, and we’re all wondering what the next 17 months – not to mention the next 17 years – will hold,” Trudeau said.
The Liberal leader touted his government’s COVID mitigation measures, the steps they’ve taken to safeguard the economy, and the fight against global climate change as reasons for his re-election in the coming campaign. He said that the Liberals have the right plan to meet the present challenges, as well as the challenges ahead. “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, because I’m focused on the path forward with Canadians,” Trudeau added.
After meeting with the Governor General for nearly an hour, Trudeau took media questions. Along with repeated questions about his intentions with this campaign, and whether he will resign if he fails to achieve a majority government, Trudeau was also questioned about holding an election despite the current situation in Afghanistan. Breaking news on Sunday morning reported that the Taliban had re-entered the capital city of Kabul forcing the evacuation of diplomatic staff and the closure of the Canadian embassy.
“We are extremely concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, and I can assure you that officials and ministers 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,” Trudeau said. “We will be accepting 20,000 Afghans into Canada, and that means Canadians get to step up and welcome people into their homes, and into their communities, who are fleeing horrific violence, and building a better life for themselves and for their families.”
So far, four candidates have been acclaimed by their parties as running in the riding of Guelph. Liberal incumbent Lloyd Longfield with run in his third election against Conservative Dr. Ashish Sachan and New Democrat Aisha Jahangir, who both ran in 2019, and Dr. Michelle Bowman who’s running for the first time for the Green Party. Tristan Dineen, who ran for the Communist Party in 2015, has also announced his intention to run again in this election.
Next door in the riding of Wellington-Halton Hills, incumbent Conservative candidate Michael Chong will try for his seventh-straight victory against Melanie Lang for the Liberal Party, and Ran Zhu for the Greens.
You can now consult the Elections Canada website to get all election details. Of particular note is the expanded option for mail-in voting, the details for which you can find here. If you’re interested in taking the mail-in option, you have to fill out your application by Tuesday September 14 at 6 pm. Advanced voting days will be Friday September 10 through Monday September 13. Those details will follow.