Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has poured cold water on all chatter of a snap election.
“It has never been in our plans and it is not in our plans — there will be no federal election this fall,” Trudeau said emphatically Thursday in Saint-Eustache, Que.
The prime minister told reporters his government has plenty of work to do “to strengthen the middle class, to build a renegotiated NAFTA that benefits Canadians and others, to continue to work on reconciliation, to continue to grow a stronger economy that works for everyone.”
Speculation about a fall election has been floated recently by some high-profile columnists including The Toronto Star’s Chantal Hébert and Susan Delacourt in iPolitics.
In her piece this week, Hébert noted the political environment has changed dramatically since Trudeau’s Liberals won in 2015. She pointed to the election of Donald Trump in the United States and rise of provincial leaders challenging the Liberals’ signature carbon pricing plan.
Federal Conservatives flagged the columns in a fundraising missive warning supporters that Liberals want to catch Tories “off guard.”
“Two months ago, we emailed you about the possibility of Justin Trudeau calling an early election. Why wouldn’t he?” the party claimed in the fundraising email Wednesday. “He has reneged on virtually every election promise he made.”
Canadians will head to the polls on Oct. 21, 2019 in accordance with fixed-election-date legislation passed by the previous Tory government.
Former prime minister Stephen Harper argued in 2006 that fixed election dates even the playing field and “stop leaders from trying to manipulate the calendar” for their own political advantage.
However, Harper ignored his own law in 2008 when he called a snap fall election, arguing at the time that Parliament had become “dysfunctional.”
Though opposition Liberals and New Democrats blasted the move as a broken promise, Harper’s Tories were re-elected with a bigger minority government in 2008 and, three years later, captured a majority.