Expect to head to the polls for a federal election in the fall, COVID or not.
Reports suggest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning to ask Governor-General Mary Simon to dissolve parliament as early as this Sunday, perhaps Monday. Those in the know said the prime minister is expected to announce a 36-day election campaign, the shortest election period allowed under the law. This puts voting day on Monday, September 20.
This came despite federal medical officer of health Dr. Theresa Tam telling reporters on Thursday that the Delta Variant of COVID-19 is fueling a fourth wave of the pandemic in the country. While she did say election officials and voters would have to abide by public health guidelines, she stopped short of advising against an election right now. There are more than 13,000 active cases of COVID in Canada, more than double the number from late July. However, health experts, including Ontario’s Dr. Kieran Moore, have stated case counts are no longer the key indicators in the fight against the pandemic. Rather, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are the true indicators these days, given Canada’s advanced vaccination program.
It has long been anticipated Trudeau was getting primed to call an election; polling numbers show the Liberal Party holds an easy lead over the Conservatives and NDP, while the latter’s leader, Jagmeet Singh, has spoken out against a snap election. “People are still worried,” Singh said on Thursday. “If Justin Trudeau was listening to people and their concerns, and their worries, he would not be holding a selfish summer election.”