Wednesday, September 11th, marked the official launch of Election 43, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went to Rideau Hall to advise the Governor General to call the election. The day was eventful with all five leaders hosting major campaign rallies in regions of strategic importance to their respective campaigns. Mr. Scheer held rallies in Quebec City,Trois-Rivières and Vaughan. Mr. Trudeau held a kickoff at the Liberal HQ in Ottawa and then flew to Vancouver for a campaign rally.
Campaign Day 2 starred the Maclean’s / City TV Debate, the first of five debates between now and election day. The leaders of the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, and Greens were invited to participate in the English-language debate that focused on four themes: the economy, foreign policy, energy and the environment, and Indigenous issues. Moderated by Paul Wells, the most notable aspect to the debate was the absence of Mr. Trudeau. The three leaders who did attend—Ms. May, Mr. Scheer, and Mr. Singh—all took shots at the Liberal leader for his absence and for his performance on various files, while also trying to sell their own policies and ideas to Canadian voters. Mr. Trudeau chose to spend his time at a rally in Edmonton instead.
Campaign Day 3 featured Mr. Trudeau making a number of policy commitments to support small businesses at a stop in Trois-Rivières. Meanwhile Mr. Scheer made a policy announcement at GO Transit’s Streetsville bus depot. Miss May flew back to Vancouver Island to visit her husband’s Mission-area campaign office. Finally, Mr. Singh delivered remarks on the Party’s New Deal for People at a luncheon event hosted by the Canadian Club of Toronto at the Fairmont Royal York.
In the week ahead, Mr. Trudeau will be using a new plane to campaign across Canada after his original plane was damaged on the first day of the election campaign. Mr. Trudeau is expected to continue with the established strategy: begin the day with policy promises in the morning, attend canvasses and functions in the afternoon, and close of the day with rallies. The recipe seeks to focus attention on the Party’s record, elevate the profile of candidates in swing ridings, and ultimately promote initial tidbits of the Liberal platform for a second term. High profile Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will host a fundraiser in his riding of Québec on September 18th. Meanwhile Minister Petitpas-Taylor will also host a fundraiser in her home riding on September 19th.
For his part, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will be knocking on doors in Courtenay – Alberni, BC, with local candidate Byron Horner on Sunday September 15th. Mr. Scheer is also expected to continue releasing teasers of his campaign platform as he tours swing areas in BC, Quebec, and Ontario in the week ahead.
Friday September 23rd, former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould will speak about her new book, From Where I Stand, which outlines the actions that she believes must be taken—by governments, Indigenous Nations, and ordinary Canadians—to achieve true reconciliation in this country. The book has been much awaited and the event may come along with remarks that hurt Mr. Trudeau and reminds voters of the SNC Affair.