OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau has set in motion an early federal election, sending voters to the polls on Sept. 20 and setting up his re-election bid as a chance for Canadians to have their voices heard about who they want to lead the country at this pivotal moment in the pandemic.
The prime minister and Liberal leader visited Gov. Gen. Mary Simon at Rideau Hall Sunday morning where she accepted his request to dissolve the 43rd Parliament and draw up the 338 writs, triggering a summer election.
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With voting day scheduled for Sept. 20, the campaign will be 36 days, the shortest possible election period under federal law.
Following his meeting with Simon—who has been the Queen’s representative in Canada for less than a month— Trudeau spoke to reporters outside Rideau Hall. There, he sought to frame the rationale for a pandemic election while reopening and vaccination efforts are still underway, and given he’s managed to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons.
“The decisions your government makes right now will define the future your kids and grandkids grow up in. So in this pivotal, consequential moment, who wouldn’t want a say? Who wouldn’t want their chance to help decide where our country goes from here? Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against COVID-19 and build back better,” Trudeau said, facing a series of questions from reporters about why he called the vote after he and his caucus stated multiple times a pandemic election was not in their plans.
“Canadians deserve their say, and that’s exactly what we are going to give them,” Trudeau said. He is kicking off his campaign Sunday afternoon with a virtual townhall with candidates.
“After making it through 17 months of nothing like we’ve ever experienced, Canadians deserve to choose what the next 17 months, what the next 17 years and beyond, will look like. And I know that we have the right plan, the right team, and the proven leadership to meet that moment,” he said. “So 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?”
Following Trudeau, all other federal party leaders will kick off their campaigns with remarks in which they will frame their focus for the race, and likely call out Trudeau for triggering the vote while the country is still trying to rebound from the last 17 months.