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Canada election in dead heat; Liberals drop candidate By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Canada’s Liberal Prime minister Justin Trudeau addresses a crowd during an election campaign in Hamilton, Ontario on September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

By Anna Mehler Paperny

HAMILTON, Ontario (Reuters) – Canada’s election is in a dead heat two days before the Sept. 20 vote, according to a new poll on Saturday, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Conservative rival both campaigned in the same seat-rich region to scour up votes.

Sondage Leger data from the Journal de Montreal, National Post and other newspapers showed the Conservatives are one percentage point ahead Trudeau’s Liberals. 33% to 32%.

Due to the tight race, attention has been drawn to turnout. Conservatives have historically had low turnout. Leger poll placed the New Democratic Party in third place, with 19%.

Trudeau, 49 years old, requested an early election in order to win support for his government’s pandemic response. He is trying to save his job as Canadians are questioning whether an early election was necessary in the face of a fourth pandemic.

The Liberals said on Saturday that they will drop one candidate for a sexual assault case in 2019 which the party claimed was not made public. Kevin Vuong (a Naval Reservist) is running for a Liberal seat in Toronto. The Liberals denied Friday’s allegations, noting that the charges were withdrawn.

In a Saturday statement, the party stated that “Mr. Vuong won’t longer be a Liberal Candidate, and should the election be held, he would not be a member the Liberal caucus.”

Raj Saini, a Liberal MP and member of Parliament, resigned earlier this month amid accusations of indecent behavior towards women staffers.

Trudeau, along with his Conservative rival Erin O’Toole, were seen campaigning in Toronto on Saturday.

O’Toole is 48 and will be appearing in an area held by the Conservatives west of Toronto. This riding was closely contested during the 2019 elections.

The area’s member of Parliament, who is not running again, came under fire last spring for saying COVID-19 lockdowns were the “single greatest breach of our civil liberties since the internment camps during WW2.”

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