In the absence of a fixed polling day, no election spending rule hinders advertising by political parties – National

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Canadian party leaders have toured the country this week, which some see as a sure sign that the pandemic is drawing to a close, but also proof that a federal election is on the way.

But more than two years from the date of fixed elections, is a pre-election campaign that looks like a pre-election campaign and smells like a pre-election campaign, is it really a pre-election campaign?

Not under Canada’s new electoral law.

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The 2018 Election Modernization Act would normally mean politicians can cheer – or nudge, in times of a pandemic – as they please the summer before an election. But they can only spend a limited amount on advertising. This year, this law does not apply.

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Indeed, due to fixed date law, Canada’s next federal election should not take place before October 2023. But a minority Parliament like this one, where the Liberals in power are more numerous in the House of Commons than opposition MPs, may fall. Or, a prime minister can go to Rideau Hall and call for an election sooner.


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Prime Minister makes campaign-like child care announcement in Coquitlam


Prime Minister makes campaign-like child care announcement in Coquitlam – July 8, 2021

Lori Turnbull, principal of the School of Public Administration at Dalhousie University, said the Election Modernization Act which sets advertising limits for the pre-election period only applies to the summer months before a fixed election date, not when an election takes place earlier.

This loophole could have an effect. The Conservatives spent millions on advertising in May and June of 2019, including during the expensive airwaves of the NBA playoffs, when the Toronto Raptors rode their historic run to win the Larry O’Brien Championship trophy.

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The Conservatives said they made these purchases knowing they had money to spend that they could not spend on advertising in July or August of that year because the election was set for October 21.

But during the recent Stanley Cup hosted by the Montreal Canadiens this year, no party bothered to fork out advertising money to appear in front of this captive audience. It appears that this time around, they are saving their big expenses to get closer to the August election call because they can.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not fallen for the multiple attempts by journalists to encourage him to say that an election is approaching. The more than $ 6 billion he announced last week for light rail projects, child care and climate action? It’s just “something we’ve been talking about and working on for a long time,” he said on Wednesday when asked if this was a pre-election tour.

Turnbull says there aren’t any rules preventing leaders from campaigning before a campaign, and she added there probably shouldn’t be.

“To me, it’s clear now that it’s gearing up for an election and that’s exactly what we would expect from campaign style behavior and pre-campaign behavior,” Turnbull said. “I don’t think we can start banning prime ministers and political leaders who are political.”

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She said that ultimately it is up to party leaders to decide what is ethical and what voters will see as acceptable behavior.


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“Elected leaders work hard for them every day”: Trudeau answers questions about future election


“Elected leaders work hard for them every day”: Trudeau answers questions about future election – July 7, 2021

Trudeau’s trip to four provinces was his first national tour in months. His ministers also walked, sometimes with him, sometimes alone, with their own promises in tow.

Trudeau did not just organize press conferences. He met with prime ministers and mayors and did local photo ops. This included a Thursday lunchtime visit to a White Spot restaurant in Coquitlam, B.C., where he ordered cheeseburgers, but bumped his elbows and posed for selfies with locals who weren’t expecting it. let the Prime Minister introduce himself.

His spokesperson said the trip was a government tour and did not include any Liberal Party events.

Trudeau’s opponents did not leave him the field on his own.

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Curator Erin O’Toole was in Calgary for a series of official events and some fundraisers. The latter was covered by party funds, but the overall trip was “in his capacity as leader of the official opposition,” spokesman Chelsea Tucker said.

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She said O’Toole “meets with stakeholders to hear their concerns, how they have been affected and to share her vision of securing the future of all Canadians in every region, within the framework of the parliamentary budget.”

This weekend, O’Toole heads to what has long been a staple for any Canadian political leader in July – the Calgary Stampede.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is in the middle of a multi-day tour of British Columbia, first to the Vancouver area and then to Vancouver Island. He meets and greets supporters, talks about affordable housing and says that if Trudeau calls an election it will only be a takeover to try to win back a majority government.

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet spent the week visiting Quebec’s Côte-Nord region, meeting with mayors and organizing photo ops with MPs.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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