Canada: Justin Trudeau set to call snap election

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Governor General Mary Simon on Sunday at 10am (2pm UK), when he is expected to seek a federal election next month, two years ahead of schedule. In a statement from the Liberal prime minister’s office on Saturday, there was no mention of the reason for the meeting, but Trudeau is expected to ask the Governor-General – the representative of the Queen, Canada’s head of state – to formally dissolve Parliament. Constitutional experts say the Governor-General will agree to the request, setting in motion Canada’s eighth national election since 2000. Although the current Parliament’s four-year term does not expire until October 2023, Mr Trudeau is betting that high Covid-19 vaccination rates and a post-pandemic economic rebound will help him strengthen his grip on power. Opinion polls show Mr Trudeau’s centre-left Liberals lead their main Conservative rivals but not by a large enough margin to guarantee him a majority of the 338 seats in the House of Commons. ADVERTISING Mr Trudeau first won a majority in 2015. But in the 2019 election, after old pictures of him in blackface surfaced, he came up short of a majority, leaving him dependent on opposition parties to govern. The Conservatives have already started campaigning, releasing a video last week featuring Justin Trudeau’s head on top of Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory CREDIT: REUTERS Despite rolling out massive pandemic aid, passing a federal budget and other key legislation with opposition backing over the past year, he has lamented that parliament in recent months has become dysfunctional, with a “level of obstructionism and toxicity in the House that is of real concern”. If a general election were to be held now, the Liberals would be in striking distance of a majority in parliament, according to a poll on Friday by Abacus Data, with 37 per cent support. The Conservatives and the New Democrats trail on 28 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively. Abacus found that 38 per cent of Canadians would be happy to cast a ballot in the autumn while 17 per cent are firmly opposed. If Covid cases spike, however, one in five voters, including many Liberal backers, “would be angry enough not to vote Liberal,” the polling firm said in a statement.

Canada: Justin Trudeau set to call snap election

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