News of a Sept. 20 election was not welcomed warmly by Barrie MPs on Sunday, with both Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard and Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MP Doug Shipley calling out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after a Sunday morning event.
Trudeau visited Rideau Hall Sunday morning to ask Governor General Mary Simon to dissolve the minority Parliament, setting the stage for a September election.
Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard spoke to BarrieToday.com Sunday morning, minutes after the news hit that Trudeau had called an election.
“It's an unnecessary election. Most Canadians feel it's unnecessary and the only person who feels it is necessary is Justin Trudeau,” said Brassard. “The only reason he is calling the election is because he doesn't like accountability, parliamentary accountability, scrutiny, oversight or committee work. This election is about having complete control of parliament and I hope Canadians punish him for it.”
Brassard said he believes this election is being called at a time when Canadians are not thinking about heading to the polls, but rather trying to get through COVID-19.
“They’re focused on the pandemic, they’re trying to recover and are worried about their future,” said Brassard. “The Prime Minister should be more worried about what is happening now in this country, as opposed to letting his ego, pride and ambition get in the way and calling an election.”
Canada's next election was set for October of 2023.
As of Sunday morning, the Liberals hold 155 seats in the House of Commons, with the Official Opposition Conservatives at 119, the Bloc Québécois at 32, the New Democratic Party at 24 and the Green Party with two.
At least 170 seats are needed to form a majority government and current polls show the Liberals at around 35 to 36 per cent of public support.
Shipley believes the timing is wrong for an election to be called and that the weeks leading up to Sept. 20 will be much different than ever before.
“We need to be focused on helping people right now, not hitting the campaign trail,” said Shipley. “This whole election will look completely different than any other before it -- from where and how people will cast their ballot to how we meet people door to door. But, (Trudeau) has called it and we can’t just sit at home on our couch, we have to go out and win this election.”