UPDATE: 43rd Canadian General Election kicks off
Justin Trudeau has kicked off his bid for re-election after emerging from Rideau Hall to ask Gov. Gen. Julie Payette to dissolve Parliament.
With that starts a 40-day campaign that will see the Liberal leader make the pitch to Canadians that he should be given a second term.
He says that the election is a chance for Canadians to vote for the kind of Canada they want to live in.
Trudeau's plan calls for him to fly immediately to British Columbia for a rally in the NDP-held riding of Vancouver-Kingsway.
Haunting Trudeau on the trail will be the SNC-Lavalin scandal, given fresh life this morning after the Globe and Mail reported the RCMP's investigation into potential obstruction of justice in the matter has been stymied by the shroud of cabinet confidence.
Asked what his government is hiding, Trudeau says his office gave the largest waiver of cabinet confidences in Canadian history but added anything more.
Before jumping on his own campaign plane this morning, a fired-up Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said the story showcases his belief that Trudeau has lost the moral authority to govern.
``Over the next five weeks I will be explaining the reasons why Justin Trudeau has lost that authority and our alternative plan,'' he said in French.
Scheer will spend Day 1 of the campaign in Quebec and Ontario.
Polls suggest the Liberals and Conservatives are running neck-and-neck, while the NDP and Greens are fighting for third.
The NDP are launching their campaign today in London, Ont., one of the regions of the province they feel they'll be able to hold onto seats. The Greens are in their own comfort zone of British Columbia, where Elizabeth May will launch her campaign in Victoria.
At the dissolution of Parliament, the Liberals hold 177 seats, the Conservatives 95, the NDP 39, the Bloc 10 and the Greens 2. There are eight independents, including former Liberal cabinet ministers Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould. The People's Party of Canada has one seat and former New Democrat Erin Weir sits as a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. Five seats are vacant.
Under the law, the election must be Oct. 21.