- Advertisement -

Canadians led Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party to victory in Monday’s parliamentary elections, but it was unclear whether their gamble of winning the majority of seats paid off.

The Liberals were on track to win the most seats for any party. Trudeau, 49, channeled the star power of his father, Liberal icon and late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau when he first won elections in 2015 and now appears to have propelled his party to the top in two elections.

advertisement

Liberals were leading in 148 riding, Conservatives in 103, Quebec-based bloc Québecois in 28, and the leftist New Democratic Party in 22.

Canadians Vote In Election That Could Cost Trudeau His Premiership

- Advertisement -

Trudeau bet that Canadians did not want a Conservative government during a pandemic. Canada is now one of the most fully immunized countries in the world, and Trudeau’s government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up the economy amid the lockdown, which he argues is the approach of the Conservatives, who are skeptical about lockdowns and vaccine mandates. Has been, would be dangerous and says that the Canadian people need a government that follows science.

The opposition was relentless in accusing Trudeau of calling an unnecessary early vote two years before the deadline for his personal ambition. Trudeau entered the election, leading a stable minority government that was not in danger of being toppled.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was not required to vaccinate her party’s candidates and would not say how many were unconvinced. O’Toole described vaccination as a personal health decision, but a growing number of vaccinated Canadians are upset by those who refuse to be vaccinated.

Trudeau supports making vaccines mandatory for Canadians to travel by air or rail, which conservatives oppose. And Trudeau has pointed out that Alberta, run by a conservative provincial government, is in trouble.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, O’Toole’s aide, said the province could be out of beds and staff for intensive care units within days. Kenny apologized for the dire situation and is now reluctantly offering a vaccine passport and implementing a mandatory work-from-home order two months after nearly all restrictions were lifted.

A Conservative victory would have represented Trudeau’s rebuke against a politician whose name was recognizable, with a fraction of that. O’Toole, 47, is a military veteran, former lawyer and Member of Parliament for nine years.

O’Toole advertised himself as a “true-blue Conservative” a year earlier. He became leader of the Conservative Party with a pledge to “take back Canada”, but immediately began working to push the party towards the political centre.

Trudeau’s 2019 Book-Burning ‘Reconciliation’ of Canada’s School for Indigenous Peoples

O’Toole’s strategy, which involved rejecting positions held dear by his party’s base on issues such as climate change, guns, and balanced budgets, was designed to appeal to a wider cross-section of voters in such a country. which was designed to be far more generous than its southern neighbor.

The son of a longtime politician has faced criticism he will say and do anything to get elected.

Whether liberal Canadians believed O’Toole was the progressive conservative he claimed to be and whether he alienated the traditionalists became central questions of the campaign.

Vancouver resident Adrian Archambault, 53, voted Liberal and said he didn’t mind if the election was held during a pandemic. He said provincial elections have also been held during the pandemic.

“Everyone has been so preoccupied with COVID over the years that getting checked again probably wasn’t a bad thing,” he said.

Trudeau’s legacy includes embracing immigration at a time when the US and other countries closed their doors. He legalized cannabis nationwide and brought a carbon tax to fight climate change. And he upheld free trade agreements with the US and Mexico amid threats from former US President Donald Trump to scrap the deal.

Former US President Barack Obama and former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted their support for Trudeau. O’Toole didn’t have Trump support. Conservative campaign co-chair Walid Soliman said there is no alignment between O’Toole and Trumpism. Soliman had previously said that keeping Trudeau in a minority government would be a victory for O’Toole.

Associated Press writer Jim Morris in Vancouver, British Columbia contributed to this report.