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Trudeau calls snap election

Canadians will vote on Sept. 20.
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls a fall election at Rideau Hall on Aug. 15, 2021. SCREENSHOT

St. Albertans will be able to use their votes to express how they feel about how the federal government has performed this fall after a snap election call over the weekend.

“The decisions your government makes right now will define the future your kids and grandkids grow up in. So, in this pivotal, consequential moment, who wouldn't want a say? Who wouldn't want their chance to help decide where our country goes from here?” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a press conference on Sunday.

On Aug. 15, Trudeau successfully requested Gov. Gen. Mary Simon dissolve the 43rd Parliament, triggering a federal election set for Sept. 20.

The campaign will be held for a total of 36 days, which is the minimum number of days as mandated by federal law.

Although the election call was expected by many, the election does not come without controversy. Many are questioning why it was called in the first place.

In a press conference, Conservative Party of Canada Opposition leader Erin O’Toole said Trudeau launched the election during the fourth wave of the pandemic for no reason.

“In fact, we've asked him not to. But as Canadians have seen over six years, Mr. Trudeau will always put his own self-interest, [the] interest of insiders, ahead of the national interest. And he's doing that again, I hope there's no risk. I'm disappointed in his decision,” said O’Toole.

O’Toole said the country has finally reached a point where people are able to see their loved ones and we shouldn’t be risking that for political gains.

When asked if he thought it was responsible to be on the road campaigning for five to six weeks amidst the crisis, Trudeau said Canada is a top-ranking country when it comes to vaccines.

“There is a fourth wave coming, but people understand that our institutions are strong enough to continue working even during difficult times. And especially at a difficult time when decisions made by Parliament, decisions made by the government, will have a tremendous impact on the lives of people not only in the months but in the years to come,” he said.

In a response to a reporter’s question about why, in the midst of a fourth wave and at significant cost to Canadians, an election was called, Trudeau said during the last election no one was talking about what they might do in a pandemic and the government has spent the last 17 months making really big, really consequential decisions.

“Parliament needs an opportunity to get a mandate from Canadians, to hear from Canadians on how to end this pandemic, how to build back better in really meaningful ways.

“This is a moment where we're going to be [making] decisions that will last, not just for the coming months, but for the coming decades. And Canadians deserve their say. That's exactly what we're going to give them,” said Trudeau.

O’ Toole also said the election is about the future.

“Let's be clear. This election is not about the next week, the next month, or even the next year. It's about the next four years. It's about who will deliver the economic recovery Canada needs. It's about who will take action to protect Canadians from spiraling living costs from rising taxes from poorer services,” he said.

The Conservative Party's focus will be on rebuilding the economy and managing Canada’s public fiscal position responsibly.

Canada can no longer afford more borrowing and higher costs of living, O’Toole said. He then took a jab at Trudeau being the child of a former prime minister.

“Canada is a country where politicians must earn trust, not one where you're born into power, and can take it for granted. Our team is ready to get to work to earn your votes and then deliver that plan.

“The election is about the future. And the choice is this. Who do you trust to secure your economic future? There are five parties, but two choices. Canada's Conservatives or more of the same,” O’Toole said.

In response to a reporter’s question about why, when the government has had the support of other parties, would it need to push for further mandate, Trudeau said Conservative backbenchers have referred to some of the government’s decisions on things such as vaccines as tyrannical.

“The answer to tyranny is to have an election. And I think people who disagree with this government or disagree with this direction, should have an opportunity to make themselves heard. And that's what the election is all about.”

So far, the confirmed candidates in St. Albert- Edmonton riding are: incumbent and Conservative Party member MP Michael Cooper, who is looking to get elected for his third term; Greg Springate for the Liberal Party; Kathleen Mpulubusi represents the NDP; and Brigitte Cecilia is running for the People’s Party of Canada.

At this point, Sturgeon River-Parkland has MP Dane Lloyd, the Conservative Party member and incumbent running for his second term in office; Jeff Dunham, who is running for the Maverick Party ­– which formed in early 2020; and the People’s Party of Canada will be represented by candidate Murray MacKinnon.