TORONTO >> Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party will win the most seats in Canada’s election, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and CTV projected tonight.
Trudeau gambled on an early election in a bid to win a majority of seats in Parliament, but it was not clear if he would do so.
The 49-year-old Trudeau channeled the star power of his father, the Liberal icon and late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, when he first won election in 2015 and now appears to have led his party to the top finish in two elections since.
Trudeau bet Canadians didn’t want a Conservative government during a pandemic. Canada is now among the most fully vaccinated countries in the world and Trudeau’s government spent hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up the economy amid lockdowns and he argued that the Conservatives’ approach, which has been skeptical of lockdowns and vaccine mandates, would be dangerous and says Canadians need a government that follows science.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole didn’t require his party’s candidates to be vaccinated and would not say how many were unvaccinated. O’Toole described vaccination as a personal health decision, but a growing number of vaccinated Canadians are increasingly upset with those who refuse to get vaccinated.
Trudeau supports making vaccines mandatory for Canadians to travel by air or rail, something the Conservatives oppose. And Trudeau has pointed out that Alberta, run by a Conservative provincial government, is in crisis.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, an ally of O’Toole, said the province might run out of beds and staff for intensive care units within days. Kenney apologized for the dire situation and is now reluctantly introducing a vaccine passport and imposing a mandatory work-from-home order two months after lifting nearly all restrictions.