Trudeau arrives to meet with governor general ahead of expected election call

WATCH: After months of speculation, the 2021 Canadian federal election is officially on.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived to meet with Gov. Gen. Mary Simon at Rideau Hall in what sources say will be a request to pull the plug on his minority government.

In a notice to journalists on Saturday night, the Prime Minister’s Office said Trudeau would be heading to Rideau Hall on Sunday morning to speak with Simon. He arrived around 10:20 a.m. ET alongside his family, making the short walk together from Rideau Cottage to Rideau Hall.

He is expected to take questions at some point afterwards.

It’s not clear how long the meeting will last — previous such meetings in other governments have lasted anywhere from brief discussions to longer talks over the course of several hours.

Trudeau is likely to face criticism, however, if he asks for an election given that he has not lost the confidence of the House of Commons and there’s been no indication he would not be permitted by the other parties to pass legislation if he tried to do so this fall.

The House of Commons had been set to return on Sept. 20.

Sources say that is when Trudeau plans to set the election.

READ MORE: Federal election can be held safely amid 4th wave of COVID-19, Tam says

Trudeau first became prime minister in 2015 when he won a majority government. But he was reduced to a minority government in the 2019 federal election, meaning he has needed the support of at least one other party — frequently the NDP — to survive votes of confidence and pass bills during the pandemic.

 

COVID-19 is expected to loom throughout any potential election campaign as cases of the Delta variant continue to rise among unvaccinated Canadians. Also likely to be a hot topic is whether to require vaccination for some workers, such as those in healthcare or federal workplaces.

Roughly 81 per cent of eligible Canadians have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, representing over 71 per cent of the total population.

More than 68 per cent of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated, which is about 60 per cent of the total population.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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