Ready or not, here it comes. When Justin Trudeau walked out of the governor general’s residence at Rideau Hall this month it sounded the starting gun for an election race unlike any other in Canadian history.
While more than two years remained on the Liberal minority government’s mandate, the election call came as a surprise to almost no one. But there’s still plenty of people none too pleased that the nation is headed back to the polls Sept. 20.
The experts have offered their insights into why an election was called now, including speculation that Trudeau saw the timing was right for the Liberals to establish a majority government.
But while the election call may not have been unexpected, the timing is not necessarily welcome.
With Canada and the rest of the world still in the grips of COVID-19, the public is consumed with concerns over the rise of variants and the strains placed on our health-care system.
Here on the west coast, the smoke has yet to clear on yet another crisis. Communities across B.C. are dealing with wildfires, with evacuation orders forcing people from their homes and roads blocked due to fire risks and even mudslides.
And with the approach of September comes back to school time for children. The election will hit just about the time COVID cases start to show up in schools – as children 12 years and younger can’t be vaccinated – and many others still awaiting their second vaccination.
Even Canada’s role in the misery unfolding in Afghanistan is on people’s minds thanks to the recent fall of Kabul to the Taliban.
Trudeau has painted the election as a necessity to give Canadians a say on the federal government’s recovery plan for the pandemic. That pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live and will likely have a profound effect on the way we vote. Elections Canada is preparing to send out five million mail-in ballots this year (in 2019 less than 50,000 cast their vote by mail). Information on where and how you can vote is available at elections.ca.
No matter how you plan to cast your ballot, it’s time to have your say on how the next four years (or less) unfolds.
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