Canada: Canada headed to the polls on Monday to lay the foundations for its post-pandemic economic recovery

Trudeau gambles on staying in office in an election called an impeachment referendum

Canadians are particularly concerned about climate change after a year with record temperature numbers

Madrid, 19 (European Press)

Thousands of Canadians head to the polls on Monday after a frantic election campaign to form a new government that will have to deal, in the first place, with the economic recovery that follows the health crisis caused by the pandemic.

With the data in their favour, liberals from the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, could benefit from a previously called contest to show confidence by the prime minister and two years after his term expires.

The debate last week appears to have been in favor of the Liberal Party, although opinion polls show little progress over the Conservatives, who may come as a surprise in the election.

Canadians are accustomed to minority governments, and they had to give at least fifteen seats to the Liberal Party so that the party could legislate without having to support the opposition, as it has for the past two years. It is common for minority governments in Canada to consist of the parties with the most seats, although this is not strictly necessary.

Behind the Conservatives is Jagmeet Singh’s New Democratic Party (NPD), a former lawyer and “Tik Tok” star who is the favorite of many Canadians, although opinion polls predict about 20% of the vote for his lineup.

Canada’s multiparty system benefits the Liberals and Conservatives, the two parties with the most votes, so everything suggests that Erin O’Toole will emerge as the only candidate with a real chance of facing Trudeau, who has been defeated by some polls.

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The Conservative Party leader has been trying for weeks to scale back the prime minister’s advantage, taking advantage of criticism of the government for calling an election as the country grapples with the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections. To do so, conservatives will try to capture Toronto’s electoral districts, which are vote-rich and without clear winners in suburban areas.

For now, the independents from the Quebec bloc have pushed the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) to fifth in voting intent, while the Greens are trying to recover from the heavy blow they have suffered throughout the campaign, in which their support has fallen dramatically. .

For many, the key to this election lies in whether it is understood as a referendum on the Trudeau administration or a new opportunity for government – as the liberals are trying to sell. For O’Toole, awarding Trudeau the victory would be “to thank him for reneging on his promise and calling an unnecessary €600m election amid the pandemic.”

Climate change, about to see

In a year marked by rising temperatures and managing public health, both parties focused their efforts on developing recovery plans that would allow Canadians to return to normal life as soon as possible.

Residents have expressed concern about climate change and the environment, and the government emerging from the upcoming elections will have to prepare for the United Nations Climate Summit, which will take place in November in Glasgow, UK.

There are serious doubts about the country’s ability to meet its greenhouse gas emissions target, a plan that seeks to reduce emissions by 40 percent from 2005 levels and by 2030.

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Global warming was already a central issue in the campaign for the 2019 federal election and sparked numerous protests and rallies in cities such as Montreal, where Swedish activist Greta Thunberg led a mass demonstration.

However, although voters have put other issues on the table such as access to housing, the impact of the vaccination passport on small business and caring for people with disabilities, the election will primarily address economic issues in a post-pandemic period.

Reconciliation and indigenous peoples

The discovery of more than a thousand unidentified graves in the former boarding schools of the forced assimilation of the Indian population has sparked controversy at the national level in a country once again facing its ability to reconcile different communities.

Although the issue has vanished into the background throughout the election campaign, Canadian flags have remained half-fly and statues related to these types of housing have been removed from public spaces.

When Trudeau called the election, one in five Canadians ranked reconciliation as one of their top priorities, polls indicated. However, this issue lost its importance among the electorate despite the recognition of the importance of indigenous reform in the country. Faced with the idea of ​​raising flags again, the government sees the decision of these communities as choosing the right moment to do so.

Mail voting boom

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a revival of postal voting in a large number of countries. In Canada, a record 1.2 million people have already requested this type of vote, so the relevant authorities rule out that the election results will be announced on Monday evening.

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This is an exceptional number due to residents’ fear of infection at polling stations and is added to the more than 54,000 Canadians who will vote from abroad.

The government has announced sanitary measures to reduce the possibility of infection, such as the use of hydroalcoholic gel, capacity restrictions, distance measures, and the use of masks and single-use pencils, among others.

It is also planned that different surfaces will be cleaned every half hour and that the number of workers will be reduced during the day, although it is not mandatory that they be vaccinated.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Canada has recorded more than 1.5 million cases of coronavirus and nearly 27,300 deaths. After an accelerating campaign and with the focus on an election in which Trudeau risks staying in office, Canada’s new government will face many challenges in addressing the still uncertain health situation.

Sacha Woodward

"Wannabe writer. Lifelong problem solver. Gamer. Incurable web guru. Professional music lover."

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