Who’s running in the Canadian election?

Canadians go to the polls on Monday, with opinion polls suggesting a close race between the two largest parties – the Liberals and the Conservatives.

But who are the different parties competing and what is their vision for Canada? Here is a quick breakdown of each of the parties and their manifestos.

Liberal Party

The Liberal Party is the oldest political party and currently the largest party in Canada. It is led by incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. As a centre to centre-left party, the party believes in social liberalism and supports multiculturalism, euthanasia, universal healthcare and reproductive choice.

In its manifesto, the Liberal Party pledges to introduce a national pharma-care system, complete the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and make student loans interest-free for two years after graduation.

Conservative Party

The Conservative Party, colloquially called the Tories, is the largest opposition party and was formed in 2003 from a merger of a number of right-wing political parties. It is run by Andrew Scheer, the party’s second ever leader after former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The party is economically conservative, supporting lower taxes, smaller government and takes a tougher stance on law and order.

In its manifesto, the Conservative Party pledges to eliminate the carbon tax, cut funding to foreign aid by 25 percent and reduce tax on incomes below $47,000.

New Democratic Party

The New Democratic Party is a democratic socialist party, sitting to the left of the Liberal Party. The party’s leader, Jagmeet Singh, is the first person of a minority to lead a national political party in Canada. The party supports LGBTQ+ rights, environmentalism and rights for the First Nations.

In its manifesto, the New Democratic Party pledges to end government subsidies to the oil and gas industry, implement a 1% wealth tax on incomes over $20 million and create 500,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade.

Bloc Québécois

The Bloc Québécois is a centre-left Quebec sovereignty party, advocating for the region’s independence from the rest of Canada. As such, the party only contests seats in Quebec. The party is led by Yves-François Blanchet, the party’s fifth leader in as many years.

The party also supports abortion and LGBTQ+ rights, the legalisation of assisted suicide and the abolition of the monarchy.

Green Party

The Green Party is a left wing environmentalist party, supporting greater sustainability, social justice and respect for diversity. The party is lead by Elizabeth May, who has been leader since 2006. Having only held one seat in Parliament since 2011, the party gained a second seat in a by-election earlier this year.

In its manifesto, the Green Party pledges to decriminalise all drug possession, ban the sale of non-electric cars by 2030, and implement a universal basic income.

People’s Party

The People’s Party of Canada is a right-wing and anti-immigration populist party, formed last year by former Conservative MP Maxime Bernier. The party holds only one seat in Parliament, following Bernier’s resignation from the Tories, claiming the party was ‘morally corrupt’.

In its manifesto, the People’s Party of Canada pledges to repeal the Multiculturalism Act, withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and create a streamlined process for approving oil pipelines.

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