Canada’s worst kept secret became official on Sunday when the writ was dropped.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked new Gov. Gen. Mary Simon to dissolve his minority government and set the stage for a snap election with Canadians heading to the polls on Sept. 20.
It will be a marathon five-week long campaign, though the parties have clearly been preparing for the election with rumours swirling for months.
The timing of the election has been met with criticism with Trudeau betting on his ability to earn a mandate with a majority government.
Voter turnout could be impacted significantly with several other issues being dealt with locally, provincially, across the country and internationally as well. Turnout has been at the 67 and 68 per cent rate over the past two elections in 2015 and 2019.
In southern Alberta farmers are battling through a devastating drought period, forest fires are ravaging the western provinces all while case counts are steadily rising in the fourth wave of the pandemic. Internationally, Canada’s relationship with China is in dire straits and the situation in Afghanistan is quickly unraveling with the Taliban seizing control.
With so much going on, a snap election might not be front of mind for all potential voters.
Economic recovery, managing the pandemic and vaccination campaign, representation, climate change, reconciliation, and childcare could be among the most important election issues.
For those uncomfortable heading to the polls in person on Sept. 20 there are options including advanced polls and mail-in ballots.
Though the timing is far from ideal, it’s vital for Canadians to make their voices heard on Election Day.