State of Play – The federal election is announced

…And we’re off! On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked the Governor General to dissolve Parliament, triggering the 43rd Canadian general election. According to polls, the Liberals and Conservatives are in a dead heat while the New Democrats and Greens trail behind. However, with plenty of runway left before election day on October 21, anything could happen. The parties were raring to go ahead of the election call. The NDP launched their campaign and unveiled their election bus in Toronto this past weekend, and they released their campaign slogan “In it for you” last week. Perhaps with prior knowledge, Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives announced the launch of their campaign on Wednesday, a day ahead of the prime minister’s announcement, and followed through with two events – one in Trois-Rivieres and one just outside Toronto.

Trudeau has chosen to take part in three scheduled debates so far – two organized by the official Leaders Debates Commission in both official languages and a third just in French. There are several other debates that Trudeau has declined to participate in, including the one on Thursday, September 12. This led to his opponents attacking the Liberal government’s record, gesturing often at the empty podium while Trudeau held a rally in Edmonton. The issues the debate focused on were the economy and affordability, foreign policy, and crown-indigenous relations, as well as energy and the environment.

The government has now entered ‘caretaker’ mode, meaning there will not be any approvals for federal funding under the Investing in Canada Plan until there is a new minister of infrastructure sworn in after the election, which could take a few months. Continue to follow our election newsletter – which will now move from bi-weekly to weekly – as we track the federal campaign and provide substantive analysis of the race and party commitments to transit and other issues that may affect CUTA members. For example, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer announced his plan to bring back the Public Transit Tax Credit.


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