Justin Trudeau to Call Election for September 20: Report

The prime minister is seeking to regain his majority government over a short election campaign amid the fourth wave of the pandemic.
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, CA
August 12, 2021, 4:12pm
Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, speaks during a news conference on child care in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021.
Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, speaks during a news conference on child care in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021.  Photographer: Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will call a snap election for September 20, according to a report from Reuters

According to the report, which cited several unnamed sources, Trudeau will make the announcement on Sunday. 

VICE World News has reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office for comment but has not yet received a response. 

Trudeau’s Liberals currently have a minority government with 155 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons. 

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The Liberals would go into a fall election in a strong position to win a majority, as a new Abacus Data poll found that 37 percent of Canadians would vote for the Liberals if an election were held today, while 28 percent would vote Conservative and 20 percent would vote NDP. 

Abacus Data CEO David Coletto told Politico Canadians are in a “good mood” in part because “the government helped to successfully facilitate a global-leading vaccination effort.” Canada has one of the most vaccinated populations in the world. 

Trudeau has spent the past couple of weeks making campaign-style funding announcements across the country, including deals with provincial governments for their national child care program, housing in Ontario, and transportation in B.C. 

Both the NDP and the Conservatives have pushed back against a fall election. 

In response to a recent Toronto Star report that said NDP leader Jagmeet Singh had asked newly minted Governor General Mary Simon not to dissolve Parliament if Trudeau requests it, Trudeau blamed the NDP for not being cooperative enough. 

“When Conservatives in the House used every procedural tactic to try and delay, to block, to slow things down, the NDP stood aside and watched,” Trudeau said, while making an announcement in St. John’s. 

“They could have stood with us to move forward faster on these important progressive pieces of legislation. They didn’t.”

Trudeau won a minority in 2019, following a scandal where photos and videos revealed he repeatedly wore blackface when he was younger. The last election also came after the SNC-Lavalin scandal, in which the ethics commissioner found that Trudeau improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to interfere in the criminal prosecution against the Quebec construction company. 

Trudeau also faced another big scandal in 2020 after the government announced it would be allowing WE Charity to head up a $43 million youth employment program. It later turned out WE has paid Trudeau’s family members hundreds of thousands of dollars in total for speaking engagements over the years. 

Should Trudeau win a majority election, he could become one of Canada’s longer tenured prime ministers, passing previous leaders such as Robert Borden, Brian Mulroney, and potentially, Stephen Harper.