TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called an election on Sunday to capitalize on Canada’s status as one of the world’s most vaccinated countries.
After meeting the governor-general, Trudeau announced that the election will be conducted on Sept. 20. The governor-general is a mainly ceremonial role that represents Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
Trudeau stated, “We’ve got your back, and now it’s time to hear your voice.” “Canadians must decide how we will end the COVID-19 struggle.”
The election comes as Canada is dealing with a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections caused by the coronavirus’s delta form. It was dubbed “the fourth wave among the unvaccinated” by Trudeau.
Trudeau may not be as popular as he once was, but the way his administration handled the outbreak has been universally praised. Canada now has enough vaccination for every person after a sluggish start. Over 71 percent of eligible Canadians have received all of their vaccines, and over 82 percent have received at least one dose. The government spent billions to keep the economy afloat during the lockdowns, which have finally been removed.
However, if the result is another minority administration, the “knives will start to come out,” according to Robert Bothwell, a University of Toronto professor of Canadian history and international affairs.
“It’s not that he’s disliked; it’s just that there’s no affection for him. Liberals act as though he is an adored figure, but he isn’t. The novelty has worn off. But there’s still plenty there, and the performance on COVID was very good, so I think people will weigh these factors and vote for Trudeau in the election.”
When Trudeau, the son of the late Liberal Prime Leader Pierre Trudeau, was first elected with a majority of seats in Parliament in 2015, he became Canada’s second-youngest prime minister. Although the Liberal Party’s win ended over a decade of Conservative Party rule in Canada, scandals and high expectations have harmed Trudeau’s standing.
With a brief break, his father served as Prime Minister from 1968 until 1984.
Trudeau’s decision to hold an election in the midst of a pandemic, according to opposition socialist New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, is “selfish.” For the fourth day in a row, Ontario, Canada’s largest province, has recorded more than 500 cases.
When asked if his candidates will or should be vaccinated, opposition Conservative leader Erin O’Toole remained silent. He expressed disappointment that Trudeau is attempting to divide people over their health.
Many Canadians will hate having an election they perceive as needless, according to Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, but the Liberals will win the most seats.
“Trudeau is regarded as having delivered on vaccinations, and there has been widespread support for the government’s income- and job-assistance measures to mitigate the economic impact of COVID,” Wiseman added.
“Canadians contrast their position with that of the United States. The present increase in the United States contributes to Canadians’ smug complacency. At the moment, this sentiment helps the Liberals.”
On Saturday, Trudeau opened his press conference by discussing the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Canada’s embassy in Kabul has been shuttered, and its personnel has departed the country. “The current scenario puts our capacity to safeguard the mission’s safety and security in jeopardy,” Trudeau said.
Canada has pledged to accept 20,000 Afghan refugees and Afghans who have helped Canada over the years.