Justin Trudeau fires starting gun for Canada's general election

Justin Trudeau fires starting gun for Canada's general election

The federal election is officially a go.

During his visit, Trudeau is expected to formally ask Governor General Julie Payette to dissolve Parliament, officially putting things into motion for Canada's 43rd general election, now only 40 short days away.

Canadians will head to the polls on October 21st.

Mr Trudeau touted his accomplishments in an announcement, saying: "Canadians get to vote once again for the country they want to live in".

Trudeau had a deadline of September 15 to launch the campaign under new time limit rules passed since the last election, which kicked off four years, one month, and nine days ago.

Those campaigns must be at least 36 days long and can not exceed 50 days.

Recent opinion polls have the New Democrats lagging far behind the Liberals and Conservatives, who are duelling for first place in popular support.

A majority government - one in which a party does not need to rely on support from other parties to pass its bills - requires a single party to win at least 170 seats.

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Mr Trudeau was an untested leader in 2015 when he won a majority government.

The Conservatives held 99 while the New Democrats had 44.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will speak from her home territory of Victoria, where she's looking to make big electoral gains; Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet will mark his party's official campaign kickoff for more seats in the province, from Quebec City.

By the time the House of Commons rose for the summer in June 2019, the Liberals stood at 177 seats compared to the Conservatives at 95, the NDP at 40, the Bloc at 10 and the Greens at three. There are eight independents - including former Liberal cabinet ministers Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould. Over the election, each registered party can spend approximately $28.1 million, while individual candidates can spend on average $110,000, but it varies depending on the riding.

The NDP and Greens were also tied at 11%, with Maxime Bernier's fledgling People's Party bringing up the rear with just 3%.

The NDP's Jagmeet Singh began a soft-launch of his party's campaign on Sunday, with a rally in Toronto.

All have been campaigning unofficially for weeks, making early policy promises while also trying to hit their rivals where it hurts, whether the broken promises of the Liberals or controversial positions held by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

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