CANMORE – Following a meeting with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau Sunday (Aug. 15), Governor-General Mary Simon approved his request to call a snap election.
The federal election campaign will last 36 days, the minimum length permitted by law, and take place on Sept. 20.
While the 2021 federal election is a very short election period, Lori Williams associate professor of policy studies at Mount Royal University said she was not surprised to see it called given the long life of the current minority government.
“This is actually a fairly long-lived minority government, 18-months is usually about the shelf life of a minority government,” Williams said.
In the Banff-Airdrie constituency, Conservative Party incumbent Blake Richards is expected to face-off against at least four opponents, including David Gamble of the Liberal Party, Tariq Elnaga of the Maverick Party, Nadine Wellwood of the People's Party of Canada, Aidan Blum for the Green Party and Derek Sloan as an independent.
A major factor in seeing an election called is currently the Liberals appear to have their best chance of doing well and potentially gaining more seats in parliament, or at least having a longer mandate given the timing of the election.
An election taking place on the heels of COVID-19 has left Canadians in a different position in regards to the election not only in regards to voter issues, but the voting process itself.
Canadians are questioning why the election is taking place, Williams said, especially in the face of the world health crisis.
The results of the election will likely take longer to process compared to a typical election, as many Canadians are expected to mail in their ballots or participate in advanced polls instead of voting in-person.
“In Canada, they're [ballots] hand-counted. We have to wait until they actually get to where they are going to be counted and that could delay things,” Williams said. “We may not know the outcome for days after the election.”
She encouraged people to vote, regardless of if they think their candidate or issue will win or lose, because every vote can make a difference in a tight race.
For those looking to research potential candidates and issues, Williams recommends connecting with your local public library. These resources can provide Internet access to those in need and help navigate reliable sources for information.
“There are some really good resources out there, folks that do a deeper dive and provide some deeper information on some of the candidates, usually in a relatively balanced and unbiased way,” Williams said.
She also recommended checking out local newspapers that share information on candidates in your area.