2021-09-18 18:09:00 Justin Trudeau Wanted an Election. Do Voters See a Power Grab?

Justin Trudeau Wanted an Election. Do Voters See a Power Grab?

Mr. Trudeau has a long list of accomplishments to his credit since 2015. His administration has implemented carbon pricing and other climate-related policies, legalized cannabis, increased funding for Indigenous issues, and made 1,500 military-style rifles illegal. A new plan will provide day care for $10 per day per child.

Mr. Trudeau’s star power remains, despite his declining popularity. A crowd quickly gathered when he stopped by the outdoor terrace of a cafe in Port Coquitlam, an eastern suburb of Vancouver, for elbow bumps, quick chats, and selfies with voters.

Joy Silver, a 76-year-old retired schoolteacher from nearby Coquitlam, told Mr. Trudeau, “We love you, we love you.”

But, as Election Day approaches, many Canadians are wondering why Mr. Trudeau is holding a vote now, two years ahead of schedule, when Covid-19 infections from the Delta variant are on the rise, taxing hospitals and prompting renewed pandemic restrictions in some provinces or delaying their lifting in others.

He was also chastised for holding the election on the same weekend that Kabul fell to the Taliban, when Canadian troops were struggling to evacuate Canadians as well as Afghans who had aided their forces.

“They’ve been struggling with answering that question throughout the campaign,” said Gerald Butts, a longtime friend and former top political adviser to Mr. Trudeau. “And that is one of the reasons they are having trouble getting the message across.”

Mr. Trudeau has stated that he needs to replace his plurality in the House of Commons with a majority in order to deal with the remainder of the pandemic and the subsequent recovery — though he avoids using the word “majority.” The Liberal Party calculated that it was best to strike while Canadians were still positive about how Mr. Trudeau handled pandemic issues, particularly income supports and vaccine purchases.

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Justin Trudeau Wanted an Election. Do Voters See a Power Grab?