Too Close to Call | Your Campaign Spotlight from Summa Strategies

7 minute read

Dates to Watch

  • September 20th: Election Day! 

Leader’s Tour






  • Green Party Leader Annamie Paul was in Kitchener, Ontario, today for a 9:30 am press conference. 
  • Paul attended a rally with Charlottetown Green candidate, Darcie Lanthier, congratulating P.E.I. on its pandemic response. 
  • On Monday, Paul spoke with media in Victoria-by-the-Sea, P.E.I., joined by Green candidates Anna Keenan, for Malpeque, Darcie Lanthier, for Charlottetown, Alex Clark, for Egmont, and Michael MacLean, for Cardigan, P.E.I, all of which are currently held by the Liberals. 
  • On Sunday, Paul was out door-knocking with Guelph candidate, Michelle Bowman, and Ontario Green Leader, Mike Schreiner.
  • Paul participated in both Leaders’ debates in Ottawa last week, followed by a press rally in Ottawa on Friday, September 10. Paul took two days off the campaign trail this week to celebrate the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah.

Platforms and Policy

  • Standing with candidate René Villemure (Trois-Rivières), Blanchet announced on Tuesday morning his intention to pursue ‘an unbiased and transparent process for the appointment of judges’ following the election
  • On Monday, Trudeau announced that a re-elected Liberal government would make it a criminal offence to block access to buildings that provide health care, including hospitals, pharmacies, and abortion clinics. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh had made a similar announcement earlier on the party’s plan to protect healthcare workers and patients from violence.
  • Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole spent Sunday afternoon promoting the Conservative plan to support grieving parents, promising to extend EI benefits for an additional eight weeks following a stillbirth or death of a child and three days of paid bereavement leave in the event of a miscarriage. He followed up with an announcement to support new parents on Sunday, by extending eligibility for the Canada Child Benefit to the seventh month of pregnancy. 
  • Last week, O’Toole announced his plan to ban slave labour products, specifically citing “products the Chinese Communist Party forces Uyghur Muslims to make.”
  • On Tuesday, Singh announced his plan to roll out a price cap for telecom companies, usher in mandated unlimited data plans, and allow low-cost telecom operators to access existing infrastructure in an effort to reduce prices for Canadians. 


  • The only English-language leaders’ debate occurred last Thursday night. The topics covered during the debate included affordability, COVID-19 recovery, leadership and accountability, and Indigenous reconciliation. Each segment included a question from a voter, questions from the moderator or journalist to specific leaders, leader-to-leader matches, and a final, open debate portion. Although fierier than previous French debates, the debate was roundly criticized by pundits for the alleged outsized role of the moderators and a lack of substantive exchange on policy. Here’s our take on how the leaders fared.
  • Wednesday’s French-language Leaders’ debate saw the first appearance of Annamie Paul on the national debate stage, as the Green Leader was excluded in the first Face-à-Face French debate, on TVA. The debate’s most heated and discussed moment was the Blanchet-Trudeau showdown on Québécois identity, during which Trudeau accused the latter of falsely claiming a monopoly on Quebec interests. Some of the more contentious issues were the timing of the election call during the pandemic, the nationally subsidized daycare vs. tax credit program, the size of federal health transfers to provinces, and the ambitiousness of Canada’s emissions-reductions targets.   
  • Both Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau criticized English debate moderator Shachi Kurl’s characterization of Quebec’s Bill 96 and Bill 21 as “discriminatory laws.” In French, O’Toole released a video on Twitter, defending Quebeckers as “not racist” and unequivocally “rejecting the premise of the question posed during the debate yesterday” while reaffirming he would not contest laws that the National Assembly passes. Leader Justin Trudeau also condemned the question as not “acceptable or appropriate.”
  • Premier François Legault appeared to give his tacit support to the Conservative Party following the French debate, praising O’Toole’s promises to increase health transfers without conditions not interfere with legislation adopted by the province. However, Legault simultaneously criticized O’Toole’s pledge to end Quebec’s $6 billion child-care deal, stopping short of a full endorsement. 
  • Sticking close to Toronto-Centre, Green leader Paul says she won’t be traveling unless ‘wanted’, after coming under fire by Dalila Elhak, who is running under the Green banner in Beauport–Limoilou in Quebec. 

Provincial Updates


  • Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliot, Associate Minister of Digital Government, Kaleed Rasheed, and Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health, released the guidelines for organizations and businesses to enforce proof-of-vaccination requirements on Tuesday afternoon. Elliot said that “requiring proof of immunization in select settings will encourage even more Ontarians to receive the vaccine.”
  • Labour Minister Monte McNaughton extended Ontario’s paid sick leave benefit until the end of the calendar year rather than ending the program, as expected, on September 25th. The plan allows workers who lack employment benefits to receive up to three days of paid leave, with up to $200 in daily costs to businesses covered by Queen’s Park. 



  • On Monday, Premier Kenney released a statement about the hospital protests, stating, “ local law enforcement is fully empowered to enforce the law in a timely fashion, including the potential use of the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act”, which came into effect last summer. The Act “protects essential infrastructure from damage or interference caused by blockades, protests or similar activities, which can cause significant public safety, social, economic and environmental consequences.”
  • Alberta has opened field hospitals in Calgary, as existing hospital facilities are pushed beyond their operating capacities. Health Minister Tyler Shandro also announced over $22 million in funding to temporarily increase the wages of certified healthcare aides and a short-term, $14 million funding surge to hire more home-care workers, in order to alleviate some of the operations pressures on hospitals. 


  • The provincial government announced that it will end its state of local emergency when it expires on Tuesday, September 14, at 11:59pm. This decision is based on advice from wildfire experts and emergency management officials, who say that wildfire season is not fully over, but that cooler temperatures and rain have helped reduce the threat. Still, the government urges the public to “remain prepared and follow the continued direction of local authorities.”
  • Finance Minister Selina Robinson unveiled the province’s first quarterly fiscal report, on Tuesday. Robinson announced that the province’s projected deficit from Budget 2021 was halved from $9.7 billion to $4.8 billion, by the end of June. The majority of the higher than projected revenues came from $4 billion in higher tax revenues, and $913 million was sourced from higher federal transfers, amongst other higher than expected revenue sources. 


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