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Three main federal party leaders on final campaign blitz

Last Updated Sep 18, 2021 at 12:53 pm EDT

There will be no let-up in campaigning today as the main party leaders count down the remaining hours and minutes to Monday’s federal election.

Justin Trudeau is touting the importance of getting vaccinated, while the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh is criticizing the Liberal leader for failing to push harder for paid sick leave and proof-of-vaccination certificates.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, meanwhile, insists his party is running a safe campaign but will not say how many of his candidates are fully immunized against the virus.

O’Toole has repeatedly taken Trudeau to task for calling an election during the pandemic.

Looking to a recovery, Singh stresses the importance of ensuring people don’t have to go to work sick, making big corporations pay their share and providing safe long-term care for seniors.

On Friday, the federal party leaders made a plea for voters to go to the polls even though they debated whether the election in the midst of the pandemic was needed at all.

The latest polling suggests Trudeau’s Liberals and O’Toole’s Tories are in a virtual dead heat with neither likely to land a majority mandate on Monday.

O’Toole wants voters to think of just two parties as they head to the polls on Monday.

O’Toole told supporters in London, Ont. on Friday that choosing smaller parties, such as the right-leaning People’s Party of Canada, will only dilute the vote and let the Trudeau Liberals win the election.

“Justin Trudeau wants you to stay at home on election day. He wants you to vote for smaller parties. He wants you to let him get away with this corruption,” O’Toole said.

There has been concern amongst Conservatives that growing frustration with the main parties will result in a splitting of the Conservative vote between the Tories and the People’s Party of Canada under the leadership of former Conservative M-P Maxime Bernier.

Singh, meanwhile, enters the weekend with support from a major U.S. political figure.

Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed the federal NDP leader on Friday.

“Canada goes to the polls Monday. There’s one party that stood up for working people in the pandemic,” Sanders wrote on Twitter.

“One leader who has the courage to make the wealthy pay their fair share so everyone gets the medication they need. That’s why I support the NDP and Jagmeet Singh.” 

Sanders’ endorsement follows similar vows of support from former U.S. President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton, who both tweeted their approval of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

“Wishing my friend Justin Trudeau the best in Canada’s upcoming election,” Obama wrote on Thursday. “Justin has been an effective leader and strong voice for democratic values, and I’m proud of the work we did together.”

In 2019, Obama said he was “proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President.”

Clinton, meanwhile, wrote: “I have seen my friend Justin Trudeau show leadership in the fight for accessible child care, protected reproductive rights, and ambitious climate action.”

“I’m wishing him and our progressive Canadian neighbors the best in Monday’s election,” she ended.