Northern party representatives react to election call, ramp up campaigns
Following a meeting with Governor General on Sunday, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau has called a federal election as he looks to form a majority government.
The Sept. 20 election will be the shortest possible election period under federal law with just 36-days to campaign.
Several parties and their northern representatives released statements following a Sunday press conference where Trudeau confirmed the news, with some quick to criticize the move.
NDP candidate running for the federal seat in Sault Ste. Marie, Marie Morin-Strom, says the move is not in the best interest of Canadians and that Liberals are playing politics just as it appears the country is heading into a 4th wave of the pandemic.
"Just when Canadians most need their government to be working on their behalf, the Liberals have shown their true colours and shifted their attention away from the needs of everyday people to focus instead on their own political fortunes," Morin-Strom said. "When Justin Trudeau and Terry Sheehan say they don’t like how Parliament is working, what they really mean is that they don’t like being held to account for their actions or inactions."
In the Nipissing-Timiskaming area, Conservative Association president Landon Trudel agrees the timing is self-serving.
"While it is apparent that the timing of this election is intended to serve the interests of the Liberal Party, Nipissing-Timiskaming Conservatives and our candidate Steven Trahan are ready to bring real, positive change for the north,” said Trudel in a statement. "Voters are asking themselves who will create jobs and get our economy back on track. The Conservative Party with Erin O'Toole and Steven Trahan are ready to do just that."
Meanwhile, the MP holding that seat, liberal representative for North Bay and Speaker of the House Anthony Rota said he looks forward to meeting Trudeau on the campaign trail.
In a statement issued by his office, Rota highlights several items he plans to address as part of his re-election platform including: rebuilding the economy, strengthening our healthcare system, and addressing the short comings in the long-term care system.
"The last 18 months have been challenging for everyone. Canadians, supported by health care professionals, frontline responders and many others, have made huge progress fighting against the pandemic," Rota said."With our government’s financial support, Canadians have shown that by working together, real progress can be achieved."
Rota also revealed some of his major campaign priorities like fighting to end COVID-19, climate change, and the "work to be done with First Nation Communities."
"I believe that the choice is clear. The Liberal Party has shown incredible leadership in these very challenging times," he continued.
"We have shown that by working together, Canadians can achieve great things."
Sudbury federal Liberal candidate Viviane Lapointe also issued a media release on Sunday where detailed some of her campaign focus, pointing to what is suspected to be a highly debated topic this cycle –vaccines—as well as her party’s decision to mandate a passport tied to vaccination status.
"The federal Liberal government has safely guided Canadians through the worst of the pandemic and given every Canadian over the age of 12 the opportunity to be fully vaccinated," said Lapointe.
"As we enjoy the benefits of those vaccines -- gathering with family and friends again after long absences and lockdowns -- we can begin to reopen and rebuild."
The seat in Sudbury is projected to be highly contested following Liberal MP Paul Lefebvre’s decision not seek re-election, but with only five weeks to campaign, Lapointe will her work cut out for her.
"Canada and Sudbury need a forward-moving plan for climate change, post-COVID economic recovery, for Sudbury seniors and young families, and for Indigenous relations."
"I look forward to having conversations with the people of Sudbury over the next five weeks about the future of our great community."