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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Rideau Hall on Wednesday morning to launch the 2019 campaign
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Rideau Hall on Wednesday morning to launch the 2019 federal election, with voting day set for Oct. 21.
Informally the campaign has been well underway for months, as the party leaders have been criss-crossing the country to get their respective messages out and attack their opponents. But Wednesday will mark the formal start of the writ period as Trudeau visits Governor General Julie Payette to start the process to dissolve Parliament.
The Liberals emerged from the 2015 campaign with 184 seats and 39.5 per cent of the popular vote, giving them a sizeable majority over the Conservatives, who finished with 99 seats and 31.9 per cent of the vote.
Entering the 2019 campaign, polls have showed the Liberals roughly tied with Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives in the low thirties. The New Democrats, led by Jagmeet Singh, and the Green Party, led by Elizabeth May, are both significantly further back at closer to 10 per cent.
But the Liberals had entered the 2015 campaign as the third-place party and steadily rose in the polls — meaning that a lot could change over the next six weeks. The 2015 campaign, however, was unusually long at 11 weeks.
The first leaders debate is scheduled for Thursday night, hosted by Maclean’s and Citytv. However, Trudeau has so far refused to participate in it, meaning it may be just Scheer, May and Singh on the stage. Trudeau has also rejected appearing in the proposed Munk Debate on foreign policy.
Instead Trudeau is only participating in the debates organized by the new Leaders’ Debates Commission, scheduled for Oct. 7 (in English) and Oct. 10 (in French). Scheer, May, Singh and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-François Blanchet are also participating in those; the commission has not yet decided whether People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier can participate.
Trudeau has, however, agreed to a third debate organized by Quebec broadcaster TVA, scheduled for Oct. 2. Scheer, Singh and Blanchet are also invited to that one — but May is not.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019