Snap election: What does it mean for Canadian employers?

The opposing parties are all offering surprising promises

Snap election: What does it mean for Canadian employers?

Canadians will be heading to polls earlier than planned as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for a snap election this week. Trudeau told reporters that he’s already asked Governor General Mary Simon to dissolve the parliament, which the official granted to prompt the election campaign.

"Canadians will ... go to the polls on September 20," said Trudeau as quoted by Al Jazeera. The PM made the statement after his visit to Simon's residence.

Trudeau's announcement of a snap election comes amid growing concerns of the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic hitting Canada because of the highly contagious delta variant. New Democratic leader, Jagmeet Singh, sent a letter to Simon in July asking her to turn down Trudeau's request of an election, citing its schedule and the public's continued confidence on the House of Commons.

"It's not the right time to have an election," Singh was quoted by The Guardian as saying last week.

In a separate statement posted online, Conservative leader Erin O'Toole agreed that it was not the right time for an election because "Canadians are worried about a fourth wave of the COVID-19."

"We can all wait and go to the polls when it's safe," he said on the video released last week.

However, the prime minister shot down critics of the plan as he called on Canadians to decide how to end the pandemic.

"In this pivotal, consequential moment, who wouldn’t want a say? Who wouldn’t want a chance to help decide where our country goes from here? Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against COVID-19 and build back better," the official said. "Make your voice heard, have your say, and together let’s move forward for everyone.

The prime minister is seeking to reclaim the Liberal Party's 170-seat majority in parliament after only garnering 157 seats in the 2019 polls.

What does this mean for employers?

So, what are the opposing parties offering for Canadian employers? It’s no secret that Trudeau’s party racked up debt in their efforts to save businesses form pandemic failure – something the Conservative party won’t be quick to forget.

Speaking at a conference on Monday, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said that the government needs to get their finances in line. According to the Financial Post, O’Toole added that his party plans to fund one million new Canadian jobs.

As for the NDP, Jagmeet Singh revealed on Monday that his party plans to make companies that paid bonuses in the pandemic reimburse their government subsidies. According to the National Post, Singh said he planned to go after Canadian companies “that took public money and abused that”.

“We are going to make them pay their fair share and invest that into health care, housing, into justice for Indigenous people,” he said at a FP-covered news conference. 

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