UPDATE: Parliament Dissolved, Federal Campaign Begins

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The federal election campaign is just hours old and party leaders have already hit the trail to appeal to Canadians for their support.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a visit to Rideau Hall Wednesday morning where he asked the Governor General to dissolve Parliament — with that, the campaign for an October 21 federal election is officially underway.

Polls suggest the Liberals and Conservatives are running neck-and-neck, while the NDP and Greens are fighting for third.

Rounding out the slate are the new People's Party of Canada and the Bloc Quebecois, which is hoping to recapture its leadership in Quebec.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer launched his campaign in Trois-Rivieres, Que, saying it's time to elect a government that helps Canadians get ahead, telling supporters at the outdoor rally that the countdown to getting rid of the Trudeau government is officially underway.

A small group of protesters carrying public-sector union signs tried to disrupt Scheer's speech, sparking pro-Scheer chants from the crowd until the demonstrators were ultimately asked to leave by police.

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and his wife Jill board a plane for Trois-Trois-Rivières, Quebec, September 11, 2019. (Photo courtesy of @AndrewScheer via twitter)

Green party Leader Elizabeth May says the Oct. 21 vote is the most important election in Canadian history.

Speaking to a packed room in Victoria, May says her party will talk about the scope of the climate emergency not to scare voters, but to inform them.

She says her party is also going to talk about free tuition for post-secondary students, child care and pharmacare, among other issues, during the campaign.

Meanwhile launching his campaign in London, ON., NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the election comes down to a clear question for voters: Who can you count on?

Singh believes the answer is him, telling supporters he plans to talk about providing services like pharmacare, dental care, vision care and mental health services, but only by taking on "lobbyists'" and "corporate interests."

Singh says Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will say one thing on the campaign trail, but then do something else behind closed doors once in office.

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh launches his campaign in London, ON., September 11, 2019 (Photo courtesy of @theJagmeetSingh via Twitter)

After emerging from Rideau Hall Wednesday morning, Justin Trudeau says Canadians get to vote for the kind of Canada they want to live in next month by giving his party another term, or taking a step back with the Conservatives.

The Liberal leader spoke about how poverty rates have dropped and job creation is on the rise and attributes both to his party's policies, including the Canada Child Benefit.

He says at the end of the day, politics is about people, and voters deserve a real plan for their future.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls Canada's 43rd election, September 11, 2019 (Photo courtesy of CTV News)

A political science professor at the University of Windsor believes the race in Windsor West will be a so called "Clash of the Titans."

Speaking on AM800's the Lynn Martin Show, professor Lydia Miljan says there will be some interesting races in this area during this election.

The biggest race, she says, will be Windsor West where longtime incumbent NDP Brian Masse, will be up against former Liberal provincial cabinet minister Sandra Pupatello.

"He [Brian Masse] is a member of the NDP, we know nationally their poll numbers are really down. His leader is not catching on fire with Canadians," she says.  "Sort of the perfect storm is that Sandra Pupatello, former MPP from that riding, former cabinet minister, former leadership contender for the Liberals is running against him so this is really going to be the Clash of the Titans."

She points out the Green Party is picking up the declining support of the NDP and Miljan believes the Liberals benefit from a weak NDP.

Miljan says incumbent NDP Tracey Ramsey has done a good job in Essex and says  "If she wins it is going to be because of her brand alone because the NDP nationally really isn't giving her much support but likewise, Chris Lewis could benefit if there is some sort of surge or uptick in Conservative National poll numbers."

Windsor-Tecumseh is also up in the air, according to Miljan.  " [Cheryl] Hardcastle has to really fight on her own record and on her issues and agenda and not really be able to rely that much on the NDP. The fact that there are competitive races for the Liberals in these Windsor riding tells me that Liberals are seeing these as somewhat vulnerable."

Windsor City Councillor Irek Kusmierczyk, Jeewin Gill and Linda McCurdy are seeking the Liberal nod in Windsor-Tecumseh.

Miljan is also curious about voter turnout because during the 2015 federal election, the Liberal party picked up 4-million new voters and she wants to know what is going to happen with those new voters during this election.

 

— With files from The Canadian Press