Canada: Justin Trudeau kicks off tough election campaign


Federal election campaign to kick off on Wednesday

Moments after emerging from Rideau Hall, where he asked Gov. Gen. Julie Payette to dissolve Parliament, Trudeau faced a barrage of fresh questions on the affair.

This first-day visit on Trudeau's campaign trail sends a strong message to British Columbians, whose province will be a hot spot this election, according to University of British Columbia Political Science professor Richard Johnston. "We get to decide what kind of future we want to build together".

Throughout the campaign, both Trudeau and Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer are expected to spend a significant amount of time in the battleground ridings of the seat-rich Greater Toronto Area, where the path to victory will lie.

The NDP's Jagmeet Singh is beginning his day in London, Ont., and the Greens' Elizabeth May is in Victoria. "Quebecers can only rely on us, Bloc members of Parliament will always be powerless spectators". Polls suggest the Liberals and Conservatives are in a dead heat, with the NDP and Greens fighting for distant third.

For his part, Bloc Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet launched his Quebec-only campaign by urging voters tempted recently by the Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats to return to their senses.

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.

Powers says the campaign has the potential to get nasty, and that in the end that might come back to bite the candidates.He says you need only to look at the treatment of Environment Minister Catherine McKenna who has received insults and death threats for her stance on climate change.

"There's no climate emergency in this country", said the former Conservative MP and leadership runner-up, whose nascent party is running at about three per cent in the polls. There were eight independents - including former Liberal cabinet ministers Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould. Five seats were vacant.

In June, a survey released by Nanos showed that ethics would be one of the biggest issues this federal election.

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