Weeks one to five of the 2015 Canadian Federal Election
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
On August 2, Governor General David Johnston dissolved Parliament, thus beginning the election for Canada’s 42nd session of Parliament.
Political leaders were at different events across the country when the election was called. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was at Rideau Hall in Quebec. The NDP Leader, Thomas Mulcair, made an opening address from the Canadian Museum of Natural History, on the border of Ottawa and Gatineau. Justin Trudeau was in Vancouver as part of the city’s Pride Parade, and made his opening statements near the Olympic Cauldron. Elizabeth May of the Green Party made her first statements of the election from Sidney, BC.
On August 6, Maclean’s hosted the national debate that involved the leaders of the Conservative, NDP, Liberal, and Green parties.
During the first week of the campaigns, both Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau made it clear that their platforms will be based on helping out middle-class Canadians; a position both parties have held since before the election was called.
Throughout August, the Conservative Party came under increased scrutiny due to the ongoing senate scandal and trial of Mike Duffy, particularly about whether or not Harper was aware of Nigel Wright paying Duffy’s ineligible expenses.
Harper claimed that he was under the impression that all of the expenses would be paid by Duffy himself. However, a series of emails exchanged between Wright and Benjamin Perrin, the Prime Minister’s legal counsel, suggest otherwise. As reported by CBC, regarding Wright paying off the expenses, he wrote, “We are good to go from the PM.”
Premiers of several provinces have started to become increasingly involved in the election. Harper exchanged some heated words with Alberta’s NDP Premier, Rachel Notley, calling her government “a disaster.” Harper also had some comments for Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall saying that Wall should be more concerned about whether or not the NDP wins in Saskatchewan ridings. Tensions are assumed to be heated between Mulcair and Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, after Selinger did not attend Mulcair’s Winnipeg rally. This is most likely due to Selinger’s sinking popularity in the province.