Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is seen on stage with Bianca Andreescu as she takes part in the SheTheNorth rally after winning the US Open, in Mississauga, Ont., on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Federal leaders scatter across country as campaign ramps up in earnest

Election is set for Oct. 21

Federal party leaders have scattered across the country as the election campaign starts to ramp up in earnest.

Sunday was the legal deadline for Justin Trudeau to ask the Governor General to dissolve Parliament and call the election, but the Liberal leader got the jump on that by starting the campaign last Wednesday.

The first five days were marked by numerous candidates across the partisan spectrum turfed from their rosters or forced to apologize for past homophobic and racist remarks.

The Liberals were also haunted by the re-emergence of the SNC-Lavalin scandal and questions about the RCMP investigation running up against issues of cabinet confidence, while Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer found himself again needing to address his socially conservative views.

And the NDP found themselves constantly facing questions about whether they were ready to run at all, considering they had yet to nominate dozens of candidates.

Today, all three main parties hope to regain some solid footing.

The Liberals will campaign in and around Toronto, with Trudeau scheduled to appear at a massive rally for tennis superstar Bianca Andreescu who captivated the country with her win over Serena Williams at the U.S. Open last weekend.

Scheer heads to B.C., starting the day in a Liberal-held riding in Surrey, and then in two NDP-held ridings on Vancouver Island.

So far in this campaign, Scheer has fired one candidate and defended four others for comments about abortion, transgender rights and Muslims as well as homophobic slurs, after online posts and videos were unearthed by Liberal researchers.

On the plane Saturday night, Scheer defended the decision to keep those four candidates on the roster, including one whose past was deemed controversial enough to bar her from running for the provincial conservatives in Ontario.

“I think we all have to acknowledge the fact that people can make mistakes and people can own up to that,” Scheer said, though he added that decisions would be made on a case by case basis.

The New Democrats will be in Quebec, where in the 2011 election they made historic gains, winning 58 seats in a province where previously they’d held just one.

The surge was known as the orange wave, and it’s receded quite a bit since. The party is down to 11 seats in the province now, which recently saw one of its stars defect to the Greens and had to fire another candidate over domestic assault allegations.

On Sunday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will lay out his plan to try and reconnect with the province, an effort that has already seen him launch a targeted ad campaign there to address what many see as a potential liability for him in the province: his faith.

Singh, a Sikh, wears a turban and carries a ceremonial sword known as a kirpan, tightly strapped to his body. Yet in Quebec, a majority are in favour of a provincial bill that bars people in the public sector from wearing religious symbols on the job.

Earlier this month, Singh addressed the issue directly in an ad that shows him with his hair down, and a message that he understands the fight Quebecers wage over their identity.

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier marked the first birthday of his party on Saturday, noting it now has 41,000 members across the country. He is set to campaign in his home province of Quebec Sunday.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is in her home riding on Vancouver Island, and she is expected to travel to Toronto late Sunday in preparation for her party’s platform launch on Monday.

READ MORE: Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

READ MORE: Absent Trudeau is main target in leaders’ first election debate

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New event invites Agassiz to meet museum’s resident ghost

The Haunted Museum Tour will take place on Oct. 26 and 30

REAL ESTATE: Homesteading in the Cariboo a reality

Columnist Freddy Marks talks about why so many are looking to a ranch life when it comes to property

Chilliwack maternity ward gets bundle of new equipment

Breast pumps, small fridges for patient rooms and freezer for donor breast milk given to hospital

Liberal candidate Jati Sidhu backs out of four interview appointments with The News

Jati Sidhu, the Liberal incumbent in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, said he was too busy to talk

Highway 1, crime and pipeline debated at Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon forum

Five candidates for the riding debated the issues Thursday in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Agassiz lights candles in memory of missing, murdered Indigenous women

The Sisters in Spirit vigil took place at the Agassiz United Church

VIDEO: Townhouse fourth Maple Ridge blaze in less than a day

UPDATE: Fire victims have much to be thankful for, despite loss of pets on Thanksgiving Day

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Most Read