Federal party leaders kick off election campaign

BREAKING: Trudeau to call election tomorrow 

Let the races begin: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has officially launched the federal election campaign. Trudeau will set the process in motion to dissolve Parliament by meeting with Governor General Julie Payette at Rideau Hall. He will be then jetting off on the Liberal plane to well and truly get this election underway.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will formally launch the campaign for an October 21 national election on Wednesday, according to a statement, setting up what opinion polls now indicate will be a tight race.

"We're going to keep investing in Canadians and making life more affordable - so you can keep building a better future for your kids", Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

Last weekend, the New Democrats chose to just launch their own formal campaign, while the Conservatives were set to do so Wednesday in Quebec. British Columbia was more of a toss-up, with the Conservatives at 36 per cent, the Liberals at 33, the NDP at 15, the Greens at 10 and the People's Party at four.

And while the Greens have seen a surge in popularity in recent provincial elections and federal by-elections, the NDP under leader Jagmeet Singh has plummeted in the polls and heads into the campaign having lost one-third of its incumbent MPs, who opted not to seek re-election.

The Liberals and Conservatives are beginning the campaign in a statistical tie, according to some polls.

Rounding out the slate are the nascent People's Party of Canada lead by Maxime Bernier, and, in Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois. "There's no majority government in sight right now, and it's anyone's game", said pollster Nik Nanos. This campaign will be a relatively short 40 days, or just over five weeks. Canadians are less-engaged in politics than most countries until elections are called.

Since the 2015 campaign there have been changes to the federal elections law.

There are also new campaign spending limits.

After emerging from Rideau Hall, the Liberal leader spoke about how poverty rates have dropped and job creation is on the rise and attributes both to his party's policies, including the Canada Child Benefit.

The Bloc only runs candidates in that province. The 42nd Parliament also had eight independents as of dissolution.

Trudeau - who has suffered several scandals during his four-year tenure - will focus on the government's economic record, said a senior Liberal.

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