While the Prime Minister’s Office claims that the recent string of government announcements is simply “business as usual,” the major parties appear to be in full pre-election gear, with their leaders travelling throughout the nation to meet with people.
Experts say it’s not surprising that minority administrations typically survive two years and prefer to call elections when they believe the conditions are favourable for gaining a majority. According to recent surveys, it is the position the Liberals now have.
The three major national federal political parties have recently begun putting their leaders in front of people, road testing policy announcements and planning campaign logistics. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau conducted two engagements in Quebec this week, and a short trip to Eastern Canada is planned for next week.
Trudeau will be on vacation during the first week of August. According to sources, Liberal party employees have been ordered to make sure their holidays are completed and they are back in Ottawa by August 9.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole visited Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan last week, and plans are in the works for him to travel portions of Atlantic Canada the following week, though a party spokeswoman warned those plans might change.
The NDP, according to a spokesman, is anticipating an election call is near and will keep leader Jagmeet Singh on the road visiting events until the call comes. Singh is now touring Southwestern Ontario before travelling to Alberta to attend the Calgary Stampede on Saturday and the Edmonton Stampede on Sunday.
The next week, Singh will be in Ottawa to meet with his caucus before embarking on a two-week road trip across Northern Ontario, Manitoba, and Nunavut. According to an NDP spokesman, the party’s campaign strategy is in place, and the plane and bus will be ready to travel by early August.
According to Monk, the parties are also attempting to acquire video and pictures for use throughout the campaign. She claims Singh’s crew filmed him while he was in British Columbia last week, much as Trudeau’s employees did in North Vancouver around the same time.
O’Toole’s journey out west this week, according to Powers, allowed him to make an early visit to safe Conservative ridings, allowing him to focus on Ontario and Quebec, where he desperately needs to pick up seats. The Liberal Party’s Trudeau Facebook account has spent $112,619 on advertising in the last 30 days, while the party’s solo account has spent another $53,616 on Facebook advertisements.
The NDP hasn’t spent any money on Facebook advertising in the last month, while the Conservatives have spent $31,989 on their own. Monk was shocked to see the Conservatives make such a tiny ad purchase, given the party’s financial prowess. According to a party spokeswoman, Canadians should “stay tuned” because more advertisements are on the way.
Observers continue to warn that, while a late-summer election call is expected, things may change rapidly.