Published: Thu, September 12, 2019

Justin Trudeau fires starting gun for Canada's general election

Justin Trudeau fires starting gun for Canada's general election

Tall and trim, Trudeau channeled the star power of his father in 2015 when he defeated Conservative leader Stephen Harper, who ruled for nine years and was the most right-leaning prime minister in the country's history.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's election campaign plane was damaged in Victoria Wednesday night after a coach bus drove under one of its wings.

Mr Trudeau is seeking a second term in office after winning a majority government in the 2015 Canadian general election. The party's parlous position allowed it to take unusual political risks, offering the voters an inexperienced leader who promised an ambitious reform agenda and gender equity in his Cabinet, which today also includes three Sikhs, more than are in the Cabinet of India.

"Canadians have an important choice to make".

In a foreign policy blunder, the Prime Minister also faced backlash over a controversial trip to India, where an alleged Canadian Sikh separatist appeared to be invited to official events.

"They are running against Ford and they are running against former Prime Minister Harper", he added, referring to Trudeau and the Liberal party.

The contest is regional (Trudeau is from Quebec, Scheer represents Saskatchewan), ideological (liberal versus conservative) - and personal (Trudeau cultivates a devil-may-care informality, Scheer bitterly characterizes his rival as the corrupt product of an entrenched political class). Trudeau spent the majority of his speech following his meeting with the Governor General outlining where he saw his government's progress after four years.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Trudeau's absence from the debate poses a challenge, given his opponents all want to argue about the fact it is Liberal policies that have failed the country.

He was elected as leader of Canada's Conservative Party in 2017 and the party generally supports a strong federal system of government.

Canadian polls indicate the two candidates are both on just over 30 percent, with the NDP polling in third place - with a slight lead over the Green Party.

What are the big issues?

All the candidates had planned appearances at battleground ridings, or districts, to talk about climate change, the economy, and other hotbutton issues.

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