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Federal Election Primer

By Don Fennell

Published 1:54 PDT, Wed October 16, 2019

• The 2019 Canadian Federal Election on Monday, Oct. 21 will elect 338 Members of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons, who will form the 43rd Canadian Parliament. Governor-general Julie Payette dissolved the 42nd Parliament on Sept. 11 on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Following a 40-day election campaign, the incumbent Liberals hope to retain the majority of seats they won in the 2015 election.

• Two of the three major federal parties are contesting this election under new leaders: the Conservatives under Andrew Scheer (suceeding interim leader Rona Ambrose) and the NDP under Jagmeet Singh (succeeding Tom Mulchair).

• There are 338 seats in the House of Commons. 170 are needed to form a majority government.

• Of the 13 minority governments in history, three were successive including the first two under Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper from 2006 to 2008 and 2008 to 2011.


Dustin Innes, NDP 

Steven Kou, Liberal 

Ivan Pak, PPC

Francoise Raunet, Green

Alice Wong, Conservative (incumbent)

Zhe Zhang, Independent


Ping Chan, Independent

Kenny Chiu, Conservative

Jaeden Dela Torre, NDP

Nicole Iaci, Green

Joe Peschisolido, Liberal (incumbent)


Leader: Andrew Scheer (since May 27, 2017)

Own riding: Regina-Qu’Appelle

Seats at dissolution of Parliament: 95 (28.1 per cent)

Campaign slogan: “It’s time for you to get ahead.”

Platform: Balanced budget by 2024

History: Founded in 2003 from the multiple right-wing parties that had been in place for more than a century. The party formed government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper from 2006 to 2015. The predecessor Tories formed government five times between 1911 and 1993.


Leader: Elizabeth May (since Aug. 27, 2006)

Own riding: Saanich-Gulf Islands

Seats at dissolution of Parliament: 2 (0.6 per cent)

Campaign slogan: “Not left, not right, forward together.”

Platform: Transitioning to a green economy.

History: Formed in 1983, the party has never formed government.


Leader: Justin Trudeau (since April 14, 2013)

Own riding: Papineau

Seats at dissolution of Parliament: 177 (52.4 per cent)

Campaign slogan: “Choose forward.”

Platform: Cut taxes for middle-class families.

History: Founded in 1867 (at Canada’s confederation), the party is the oldest in the country. The party last formed government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from 2015 to 2019. Liberals formed government for 69 years in the 20th century.


Leader: Jagmeet Singh (since Oct. 1, 2017)

Own riding: Burnaby South

Seats at dissolution of Parliament: 39 (11.5 per cent)

Campaign slogan: “In it for you.”

Platform: Pharmacare for all.

History: Founded in 1961, the party has never formed government but was the Official Opposition under Jack Layton in 2011.


Leader: Maxime Bernier (since Sept. 4, 2017)

Own riding: Beauce

Seats at dissolution of Parliament: 1 (0.3 per cent)

Campaign slogan: “Strong and free.”

Platform: Balance the budget in two years.

History: Founded in 2018 by Maxime Bernier, the party has never formed government.

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