Opinion: As an election looms

It’s looking like a fall election is increasingly likely, but it will only come when the government triggers it

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, 2018. If an election is called, the federal Liberals will look to turn its perceived support into a stronger mandate.

There’s a sense of excitement, and dread, in Ottawa as an election sits on the horizon. 

We don’t know when an election is coming, but politicians and staffers are preparing to hit the campaign trail.  

Here is what is clear now.  

First, Parliament is scheduled to resume sitting Sept. 20. The minority Liberals survived the most recent session without falling to a non-confidence vote. 

If there is going to be an election soon, it will be at the request of Trudeau. 

Second, Nova Scotia’s election will likely influence Canada’s.  

Speculation of an election being called in that province is higher than it is in Ottawa, and laws dictate one take place before May 30, 2022. 

An election would be held no less than 30 days after the date of the official election call. 

There seems to be an expectation the Liberals will wait to avoid having any overlap.   

This being early July, there is enough runway for both writs to be dropped.  

An election around Sept. 13 looks like a lot of sense when I look at my calendar, and I’ve found political insiders circling dates around then, too.  

Beyond the logistical timing, an election being had right now could favour the Liberals. 

If Trudeau were to go to the polls, he would be doing so knowing incumbent governments in provinces across the country were returned to power.  

His Liberals will be asking for voter support just as optimism from summer openings increase, and vaccines roll out.  

Because it appears we’re in the final stages of, as opposed to finally done with, COVID-19, Trudeau can keep the focus on his track record of governing through the pandemic.  

Overall, Canadians have generally told pollsters they were comfortable with the government’s approach. As of this writing, the Liberals were polling double digits ahead of the Conservatives. 

Liberals will look to turn that perceived support into a stronger mandate.  

At the same time, however, the pandemic may have fundamentally changed how Canadians view themselves. 

COVID-19 brought a heightened focus on the disproportionate impact it was having on certain communities. The impact poor government policy and systematic failures has on First Nations communities is, finally, being recognized across the country. The economy is rebounding, but experts are still cautious. Evidence of the ongoing climate crisis engulfs Canadians on a near-daily basis.  

Under those circumstances, securing the extra 15 seats needed to restore a majority Liberal government won’t be easily had, particularly as opponents look to capitalize on ongoing scandals within Trudeau’s ranks.  

While we don’t know when it will be taking place, now is a particularly good time to bring appeals to politicians, or prospective ones.  

Soon enough, they could be asking for your support.  

About the author

Reporter

D.C. Fraser

D.C. Fraser is Glacier FarmMedia’s Ottawa-based reporter. Growing up mostly in Alberta, Fraser also lived in Saskatchewan for ten years where he covered politics, including a stint teaching at the University of Regina’s School of Journalism. He is an avid fan of the outdoors and a pretty good beer league hockey player. His passion for agriculture and agri-food policy comes naturally: Six consecutive generations of his family have worked in the industry.

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