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Canada: Justin Trudeau kicks off tough election campaign

12 September 2019

Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau holds a news conference after asking the Governor General to dissolve Parliament and call an election in Ottawa.

Trudeau and Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer are in a dead-heat, according to national polls, but smaller parties on the right and left could also play key roles as spoilers or kingmakers on election day.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally kicked off what promises to be a grueling election campaign as he contends with sinking popularity and surging challengers on all sides.

Mr Trudeau has been accused of violating federal ethics, in what was seen as his trying to influence a former minister over the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin - a construction company facing trial - into offering the company a deferred prosecution agreement instead.

Mr Scheer said Mr Trudeau "has lost the moral authority to govern" after the Globe and Mail newspaper reported that his Government was stonewalling police who were looking into the SNC-Lavalin scandal, a corporate corruption case that has dogged the Prime Minister this year.

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The electric guitar-driven song is called "Get Ahead" and riffs off of Scheer's "It's time for you to get ahead" campaign slogan.

One area of certain contention is the environment, especially among liberals (preoccupied by global climate change) and Westerners (with an economy in large measure dependent upon energy extraction and virulently opposed to a carbon tax).

The Liberal Party of Canada is now in fierce competition with the Conservative Party of Canada.

"I have had a meeting and I have been interviewed by the RCMP, and that meeting happened yesterday [Tuesday], and I am not going to comment any further on the nature of those conversations", she said in the interview Wednesday.

In 2015, Trudeau came across as optimistic, trustworthy, transparent and hopeful, a new face who would change politics and take it out of the sullen, accusatory rut it was in.

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And Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in Victoria, stressing trust in leadership.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is thought to be Mr Trudeau's biggest rival.

He was elected as leader of Canada's Conservative Party in 2017 and the party generally supports a strong federal system of government.

The Bloc only runs candidates in that province.

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Canada: Justin Trudeau kicks off tough election campaign