Canadians began heading to polling stations across the country on Monday for the 44th general election, with polls indicating the outcome is uncertain as six parties vie for seats in Parliament.
More than 5.8 million Canadians have already voted in advance polls, and Elections Canada has received nearly a million special ballot papers, a record early turnout indicating an active electorate.
Polls begin counting votes tonight, but the result may not be known until tomorrow after many mail-order ballots are checked in hundreds of returning offices across the country.
This 36-day election featured a political talk on everything from housing, the government’s response to the pandemic, and Canada’s place in the world, but there were also heavy doses of partisan opposition as leaders maneuvered for the front-runner in a closely-knit race.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau called this election on August 15, saying he wanted Canadians to think about who should end the fight against the pandemic and lead the country to post-pandemic recovery.
“Canada today is at the crossroads of a moment when we have to make a really important choice,” Prime Minister Trudeau said at a rally in Ontario on Sunday, the last day of the campaign. “It is not only about what we will do in the coming months to end this pandemic for good, but also how we will meet the challenges of the future.”