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Guelph’s federal election candidates ready to take on snap election

Federal election is called for Sept. 20
20191021 Lloyd Longfield KA 02
Lloyd Longfield speaks to a crowd of supporters during a victory party held at eBar. Longfield was re-elected in 2019 to represent Guelph in parliament as the Liberal member of parliament. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday file photo

While they might not agree about the timing of the election, Guelph federal election candidates are ready to campaign before Canadians cast their vote in 36 days.

On Sunday morning, Gov. Gen. Mary Simon approved Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s request to dissolve Parliament, which began Canada’s 44th federal election. 

Guelph's Liberal candidate Lloyd Longfield, who is running locally for the third time, said an election will give Canadians a mandate that will allow the public to give input on recovery and growth going forward in the pandemic. 

“The public will decide whether what we've been doing for COVID is the right thing, and whether our plans for recovery are the right plan,” said Longfield.

“If the public doesn't think that they're the right plans, then we won't get a mandate. If they do think we're on the right track, we will get it. That's putting it over to democracy.”

Longfield said there is a lot of work ahead and the timing of an early fall election is good because it will be early into the school year and there’s a lot of work to be done. 

“So let's get permission to do the work or not,” said Longfield. “Of course, we don’t know the future of the fourth wave. The concern is having a safe election.” 

On Sunday morning outside Rideau Hall, Trudeau said Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against COVID-19 and build back better. 

“We've had your back. And now it's time to hear your voice. The decisions your government makes right now will define the future your kids and grand kids grow up in,” said Trudeau. 

“So in this pivotal consequential moment, who wouldn't want a say? Who wouldn't want their chance to help decide where our country goes from here?”

Opposition parties have disagreed with the early election call. 

Guelph’s NDP candidate Aisha Jahangir who is running for the second time for the federal election said she feels there is no evidence to support a need to call an election during a pandemic, when public health safety should be the main concern.

“It's unfortunate that our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to call an election during the time where we have a pandemic on the go or the Delta variant, a variant of concern for folks,” said Jahangir.

“That being said,I certainly feel that our team here in Guelph and Jagmeet Singh are ready to take them on to fight for justice.”

Guelph Greens candidate Michelle Bowman said while she disagrees with the calling of an election during a fourth wave, she’s excited for the election because she believes Guelph stands a real chance to go green. 

“I'm excited to make it happen,” said Bowman, who is running for the first time as a Green candidate adding that she’s cautiously confident. 

“I'm doing it because I don't see what we need in the three parties we have right now. Three big parties we have now,” said Bowman.

"With our Prime Minister calling an election two years ahead of his mandate, he indicates that selfish political interests have superseded the government’s duty to the wellbeing of Canadians during the COVID-19 recovery efforts," said Ashish Sachan, Guelph's Conservative candidate.