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Canada leaders kick off final day of campaign, polls suggest Trudeau has edge By Reuters


© Reuters. Canada’s Liberal Prime Minster Justin Trudeau addresses reporters during an election campaign visit in Montreal, Quebec on September 19, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio


By Steve Scherer and Tyler Choi

MONTREAL (Reuters) – The leaders of Canada’s main political parties on Sunday kicked off the final day of campaigning ahead of Monday’s election, with polls indicating that the Liberals of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold an edge.

Trudeau (49) called the vote twice as early in order to win public support for his government’s COVID-19 response and to recover the majority in Parliament he lost in 2019. In 2015, he was first elected to power.

The early vote caused voter dissatisfaction and his initial lead to be a healthy one. According to polls, neither the Liberals or their right-leaning rivals the Conservatives have the required 38% support from the public in order for them to win a majority.

Trudeau is flying from one side of Canada to the other, covering approximately 2,800 km (4,500km) in an attempt to win votes. Trudeau was the leader of a government that racked-up record amounts of debt to fight the pandemic.

Trudeau spoke to a group of 200 volunteers in Montreal, stating that “we now have to choose the correct direction for our country to continue moving forward” or let the Conservatives take it back.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole plans to spend the whole day in constituencies close to Toronto, Canada’s most populous city. It is crucial for any party trying to gain power.

After hammering Trudeau about what he termed an “unnecessary power grab” during the fourth round of COVID-19, O’Toole (48) initially assumed the lead. However, O’Toole has become defensive in recent times over his opposition of mandated vaccines.

Trudeau stated to reporters in Montreal that a Conservative government is not needed if it doesn’t have the ability to lead on vaccines and science.

According to a senior Liberal campaign official, Trudeau was able to bring momentum into the weekend. In the last days, a series of opinion polls shows that the Liberals are tied with the Conservatives at 32%.

This favours the Liberals, who have a strong base of support in big urban centres with many constituencies. Conservatives have a smaller support base in the rural areas and west regions of the country.

Trudeau could return to Canada with another minority, but he will most likely be dependent on Jagmeet Singh’s left-leaning New Democrats. They want more spending.

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