Prime Minister announces longest campaign in Canada since 1872
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Sunday the start of the 42nd federal election campaign, following his meeting with Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall.
Canadians will go to the polls on October 19, 2015, after the Governor General indeed dissolved Parliament, launching the longest campaign in Canada since 1872.
“This is an election about leadership on the big issues that affect all Canadians: the economy and our country’s security,” said the Prime Minister in a release on the Conservative Party of Canada website.
“Given the serious economic and security issues facing the world, it is appropriate that Canadians should have time to consider the alternatives before them.”
“A national election is not a popularity contest,” Prime Minister Harper said. “It’s a genuine choice between practical, serious, real-world experience and a dangerous approach that has failed before and is failing in other countries.”
Conservatives enter the campaign lagging behind Tom Mulcair and the NDP in the polls, with the Liberals and Justin Trudeau running third.
However, it appears to be a horse race to the finish line October 19, as all three main parties have a legitimate shot at forming a government.
And Harper feels he’s still the man, despite the uncertainty of the global economy. The Prime Minister believes Canada has continued to perform well compared to other G7 countries.
“Our well-being depends on the economy and the wrong leader will do real harm,” Prime Minister Harper said.
“Now is not the time for the kinds of harmful economic schemes that are doing so much damage elsewhere in the world. Now is the time to stay on track and stick to our plan.”
“Wages are falling, incomes are stagnant and household debt is skyrocketing … middle class families are working harder than ever but can’t get ahead,” Mulcair said starting on the campaign trail in Gatineau, Que.
“The economy has shrunk in each of the last five months and many are claiming that Canada is already in another recession … clearly, Mr. Harper, your plan isn’t working.”
On national security, the Prime Minister noted that Trudeau lacks the experience and maturity to deal with the increasing threats posed by jihadi terrorists at home and abroad.
He also criticized Mulcair’s ideological foreign policy which opposes Canada’s mission against ISIS and Canada’s efforts to assist Ukraine against Russian aggression.
“Now is not the time for political correctness, inexperienced governance or an ideological unwillingness to act,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Now is the time to face those who threaten us with moral clarity, strength and resolve.”
Prime Minister Harper asked Canadians for a renewed mandate to continue to deliver sound economic management and to take the difficult decisions necessary to protect our country’s security.
“On October 19, Canadians will make a critical decision about the direction of our country. That decision will have real consequences,” he said. “Canadians will be asked to judge who has the proven experience today to keep our economy strong and our country safe.”
Trudeau was in Vancouver, accusing the Conservatives of planning to grow the economy by making “wealthy people wealthier.”
The son of former Prime Minister Pierre Tredeau, wants to give middle class Canadians a real and fair chance to succeed.
“You want change that works for you,” Trudeau said.
Meanwhile, Green party Leader Elizabeth May, said from Sidney, B.C., the early election call would cost taxpayers “tens of millions of dollars” and give the Tories an unfair advantage.
Canadians “deserve MPs who put Parliament ahead of party” and can set aside “hyper-partisanship for citizenship,” May said.
— With files from Huffington Post