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‘Canadians deserve a say’: federal election will be Sept. 20

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received permission Sunday morning from Canada’s new Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon to dissolve parliament, setting the stage for a snap 44th general election on Monday, Sept. 20.

Following the meeting with Simon at Rideau Hall, Trudeau told reporters he seeks an election “in this pivotal, consequential moment” because Canadians “deserve to have their voices heard” on how they want to end the COVID-19 fight and to express their point of view on how to move forward. He stated not everyone agrees on how to move forward on vaccination policies, how to manage the remainder of the pandemic, economic growth, climate change crisis and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Trudeau said. “The decisions your government makes right now will define the future for your kids and grandkids grow up in, so in this pivotal, consequential moment, who wouldn’t want a say?… “The government and indeed parliament need and opportunity to get a mandate from Canadians. Canadians deserve their say and that’s exactly what we’re going to give them.

“After making it through 17 months of nothing like we’ve ever experienced, Canadians deserve to choose what the next 17 months, what the next 17 years and beyond, will look like. So to the other parties: Please explain why you don’t think Canadians should have the choice? Why you don’t think that this is a pivotal moment?”

Reporters asked if he would resign if he didn’t get a majority government. He did not answer directly, but stated this is the time for Canadians to choose.

The minority Liberal government has been in power just under two years and seeks the majority mandate from voters it had during its first four years in office. The prime minister has repeatedly pointed to a “lack of co-operation” and “obstructionism” from opposition parties which hold considerable power in a minority government. The conservative and NDP parties, while also preparing candidates, have called the election “selfish” and “unnecessary”. Its fixed date was October 2023.

The nation’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said earlier this month that voting in a pandemic can be done safely. Elections Canada predicts as many as five million Canadians will vote by mail, compared to fewer than 50,000 in 2019’s vote.

The 36-day election campaign is the shortest possible permitted by law. The COVID-19 pandemic will impact campaign plans for leaders and local candidates as they are usually built around rallies and door-knocking.

The local Bay of Quinte candidates are: Liberal: Neil Ellis (currently MP); Conservative: Ryan Williams; NDP: Stephanie Bell; Green: Erica Charlton and People’s Party: Janine Leclerc

The local Bay of Quinte candidates are:
Liberal: Neil Ellis (currently MP)
Conservative: Ryan Williams
NDP: Stephanie Bell
Green: Erica Charlton
People’s Party: Janine Leclerc

The federal party leaders are: Liberal: Justin Trudeau; NDP Leader: Jagmeet Singh; Conservative: Erin O’Toole; Green: Annamie Paul; People’s Party: Maxime Bernier and (not shown) Bloc Quebecois: Yves-Francois Blanchet

The federal party leaders are:
Liberal: Justin Trudeau
NDP Leader: Jagmeet Singh
Conservative: Erin O’Toole
Green: Annamie Paul
People’s Party: Maxime Bernier
Bloc Quebecois: Yves-Francois Blanchet

Trudeau’s Liberals hold 155 seats in the House of Commons. Conservatives have 119, the Bloc has 32, the NDP 24 and the Greens, 2. Five members sit as Independents and one seat is vacant. A party needs 170 seats for a majority government.

Meet the Bay of Quinte candidates:

Neil Ellis, Bay of Quinte MP

NEIL ELLIS (incumbent)
Neil Ellis seeks a third term as the Bay of Quinte Federal Liberal Association candidate.

Ellis was first elected in October 2015 and again in 2019. Prior to becoming MP, Ellis was mayor of the City of Belleville from 2006 – 2014.

During his first term he served as chair of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs for four years. Upon re-election in 2019, he was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Drawing on his experience as a mayor, one of his key platforms has been to secure stable infrastructure funding for municipalities, key, he states, to promote economic growth and improve quality of life for all constituents.

“It has been a honour to serve the Bay of Quinte over the last nearly six years as your representative,” said Ellis. “From working with constituents one-on-one, to bringing your concerns to Ottawa, together we have made every effort ensuring progress for our communities. I look forward to more opportunities to do that.”

Ryan Williams is president of Williams Hotels, started by his grandfather and father. He has served as a councillor in Belleville since 2018 and was instrumental in starting Belleville’s Pop-Ups on the Bay, as well as its economic and destination development committee as its chair.

Williams is past-president of Bay of Quinte Tourism and the Bay of Quinte Living Council and is past chair and founder of QuinteVation.

“Some believe that youth are the voice of tomorrow. I say that youth are the voice of today,” said Williams in his nomination speech. He also focused on rural Bay of Quinte as a leader for rural Canada.

“We don’t need a great reset of our economy. We need a great rebuild of what will make Canada thrive – it’s rural regions like the Bay of Quinte that have so much potential; potential I know how to unlock, potential we saw in 2018 when QuinteVation hosted Canada’s first rural innovation summit.”

Stephanie Bell, of Picton, is no stranger to political campaigns. She ran for the provincial NDP party seat and in 2019 finished third in the federal election with 16 per cent of votes.

She has been working in the service industry for the past 10 years and as a gardener promoting organic farming and biodiversity. She is a strong advocate for local transportation initiatives and affordable housing.

She notes her experience as a member of the working class is what drives her desire for social justice and states the culture of any community is manifested through the conversations and stories of its citizens.

Erica Charlton, raised in Prince Edward County and now a Quinte resident, lived in Ottawa for nearly a decade working with a wireless services company.

At the same time she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Law and also a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and volunteered with the CKCU radio station.

She is currently pursuing a third B.A. in Canadian Studies focusing on Indigenous relations while she concurrently finishes a diploma in Computer Programming.

People’s Party of Canada
The People’s Party of Canada describes Janine LeClerc as a small business owner, retired from a career in sales and marketing management. She enrolled in a 18-month university course to study to become a paralegal. Janine graduated but did not extend her courses to obtain her license. The PPC website notes Janine considers herself highly personable, outgoing, and charismatic; she is familiar with public speaking as she was a soloist singer and represented the gospel message and shared that there is deliverance from substance abuse.



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  1. Henri Garand says:

    In the late 1990s and early 2000s Canada’s national debt, as a result of high deficits, was accumulating so fast that credit rating agencies like Moody’s lowered Canada’s credit rating. On January 21, 2002, the Canadian dollar hit its all-time low against the US dollar dropping to 61.79 cents US. There was alarming talk of descent to a 50-cent dollar, and the dollar might have fallen lower if Paul Martin, then Minister of Finance for the Chretien-led government, had not brought in drastic deficit-cutting measures.

    Admittedly, a 61-cent dollar is higher than a 50-cent dollar, but Chretien was not a spendthrift like Trudeau. The Fitch credit-rating agency has already cut Canada’s rating to AA+, down from AAA. A lower score typically results in higher borrowing rates. If the federal government constrains interest rates in order to be able to service its trillion dollar national debt, then the Canadian dollar will fall.

    Do we really want to re-elect a government whose leader believes a crisis is an opportunity for greater spending?

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    No doubt about it, Canada has racked up a very large deficit due to the pandemic. What was the alternative? To not spend money(as other leaders suggested?), or to spend money on helping Canadians across the country. Like it or not, this pandemic rocked economies around the world – Canadians were well taken care of by the Liberals. People require social services of all kinds, for all of Canada – not (as was suggested) only on Quebec. I find it unsettling that misinformation – such as a 50 cent dollar would be used as a scare tatic – when such a thing has never happened since the 1929 stock market crash! Currently Canada’s economy is one of the strongest on the world – thanks to our current government. Let’s talk facts and not scare tatics.

  3. Henri Garand says:

    Canadians certainly deserve a say about whether to endure more Trudeau government. After record deficits (and therefore increased national debt) during the pandemic, the Liberal plan is to “Build Back Better” with enormous spending on a host of social policy initiatives. What can we expect from a full-term majority Trudeau government—burdensome debt if interest rates rise or a 50-cent dollar leading to inflation? But not to worry, everyone will feel good because of continued virtue signaling and appeasement of special interest groups, indeed, whole provinces like Quebec.

    It’s easy to find specific flaws in other parties’ platforms. But Trudeau has a demonstrated capability to screw up things regardless of cost. If minority government hasn’t constrained him, imagine what he will do with a majority!

  4. Dave Thomas says:

    $600M will be spent on this election to deliver another Liberal minority. What a waste.

  5. Dennis Fox says:

    No one really likes elections and all the utterings that go along with them. BUT Trudeau felt he needed a clear mandate and who can blame him? One one side, there is O’Toole who has done nothing but complain (for the last 18 months) about the amount spent on the pandemic – and now proposes to spend even more than the Liberals, but he doesn’t now by how much because he hasn’t costed it out yet?? Then on the other side, we have Jagmeet who wants to spend even more, but has no idea how to govern, but promises everything. Then there is Annamie Paul whose party no longer wants her, but had lawyers delay her fate. An election may not be wanted, but one is certainly needed.

    I think it is a great idea for the public to finally have a say in all this mess – and now we do!

  6. Susan says:

    Shame on Erin O’Toole for not demanding his candidates are vaccinated. That’s poor judgement going in.

  7. Bruce Nicholson says:

    I didn’t realize the pandemic was over.
    Back in May, Trudeau said he would not call an election during the pandemic.
    This is a selfish act to gain a majority two years prior to the deadline for the next election.
    Shame on him !

  8. Sharon armitage says:

    Didn’t need an election it’s all about him if he can’t work with people in government good luck to him.

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