World Canada's Trudeau under fire over high inflation as election race tightens
Has Justin Trudeau's snap election backfired? Sheen wears off Canadian Camelot
It seemed like shrewd politics when Justin Trudeau decided to call an early election in mid-August. © Provided by Washington Examiner He had a poll lead of nearly seven points, his government was thought to have handled the coronavirus pandemic well, and unemployment was falling. The Conservatives, meanwhile, were in disarray, with right-wing columnists having little time for the party leader, Erin O’Toole.Scandals, including the leak of a decades-old photograph of Trudeau wearing blackface, were disappearing in the rear-view mirror.
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) - The leader of Canada's main opposition party on Wednesday said a surge in inflation last month highlighted the failure of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's economic policies, and urged Canadians to vote out the government in an election next week.
Erin O'Toole, whose Conservatives are tied in the polls with Trudeau's center-left Liberals ahead of the vote, said it was clear Canadians were experiencing an affordability crisis.
"It's troubling that Justin Trudeau seems to not care about the sky-rocketing cost of living that is being imposed on Canadians through inflation," he said in a statement.
Touting Unity, Trudeau’s Election Instead Exposes a Nation Divided
Canada’s pandemic response had, for the most part, avoided becoming the polarizing issue it is in the United States – until Justin Trudeau’s election campaign made it one.The turmoil hasn't been as divisive in other places. In Canada, for example, lawmakers have largely agreed on some basic measures to combat the spread of the virus, and the political center has proved much stronger in preventing legal, cultural and social division.
Statistics Canada said the annual inflation rate in August accelerated to 4.1%, the highest level since March 2003.
The Liberals, in power for the past six years, spent heavily on measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, racking up record debt and the highest budget deficits since World War Two. Trudeau is promising more investments if he wins the election.
O'Toole said a Liberal victory on Sept. 20 would mean "more reckless spending, more massive debt and more rising prices," adding that only his recovery plan would make life more affordable.
The Conservative leader is promising to balance the budget within a decade without making cuts but has not explained how.
Trudeau, who heads a minority government that relies on the support of opposition parties to pass legislation, called the election last month, two years early, to seek voters' support for his recovery plan. The Liberals, however, have seen their early lead in the polls quickly fade amid voter fatigue and unhappiness with the early election call.
A rolling Nanos Research telephone survey of 1,200 Canadians for CTV on Wednesday put public support for the Conservatives at 31.2% with the Liberals at 30.5% and the left-leaning New Democrats at 21.4%. Such a result on election day could lead to a deadlock in which no party is able to form a majority government.
The survey is considered accurate to within 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Paul Simao)
Canada's tight election heads into final stretch .
Tensions are mounting four days ahead of Canada's legislative elections as Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on citizens to "vote strategically" to block a Conservative surge as he faces a potential defeat at the hands of rookie Tory leader Erin O'Toole. According to polls, the two major parties that have ruled Canada since its 1867 confederation are in a statistical dead heat, each garnering the support of 32 percent of respondents, while the leftist New Democratic Party trails far behind.