Montreal, September 3
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his decision to call an election during the pandemic in first debate of the campaign for this month's election.
Trudeau is facing a tough re-election battle against his Conservative Party rival, Erin O'Toole. The vote is on September 20.
“Why did you trigger an election in the middle of a fourth wave?” O'Toole asked Trudeau at the French-language debate in Montreal.
Trudeau said he needs a mandate from voters. “We must give Canadians the choice,” he said.
He criticised O'Toole for not requiring his candidates to be vaccinated.
O'Toole said he believes the country can find reasonable accommodations for those who are unvaccinated, like rapid testing and social distancing.
Four provinces including Quebec and Ontario, Canada's largest, are bringing in vaccine passports that require citizens to be vaccinated to enter places like restaurants and gyms.
Trudeau called the election last month seeking to win the majority of seats in Parliament but polls show that is unlikely and that he might even lose power to O'Toole and the Conservative party. AP
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