Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls general election for October 21

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Tall and trim, Trudeau channeled the star power of his father in 2015 when he defeated Conservative leader Stephen Harper, who ruled for nine years and was the most right-leaning prime minister in the country's history.

The prime minister and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, had just visited with Gov. Gen. Julie Payette at Rideau Hall in Ottawa to ask to dissolve Parliament and launch the election, scheduled for October 21.

After Mr Trudeau's first term in office, voting will no doubt reflect whether the Canadian public wants him to serve as PM for another term.

Who are Mr Trudeau's competitors?

"Canadians have an important choice to make".

The prime minister was found by a federal ethics watchdog to have improperly tried to influence a former minister over the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, a major engineering and construction company facing a criminal trial.

Speaking at a campaign event in Victoria, Trudeau also promised a one per cent annual vacancy tax to be levied on non-resident, non-Canadian owners.

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The Liberals now hold 38% support, versus 34% for the Tories.

The contest is regional (Trudeau is from Quebec, Scheer represents Saskatchewan), ideological (liberal versus conservative) - and personal (Trudeau cultivates a devil-may-care informality, Scheer bitterly characterizes his rival as the corrupt product of an entrenched political class).

At a campaign kickoff in London, Ontario, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh had a quick answer to a question this morning as he got off his campaign bus: "I'm ready".

The party, which led the pack at the start of the 2015 campaign but ended up coming in third place, is dipping in the polls and struggling to raise money this year.

The scandal rocked the government and led to multiple resignations earlier this year, causing a drop in the leader's poll ratings.

Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May announces the launch of the party's election campaign as she's joined by Green candidates during a news conference in Victoria, British Columbia, on September 11, 2019. That margin would not be enough to guarantee a majority of seats in the House of Commons.

Climate change is also a major issue, with a federal carbon tax imposed on four Canadian provinces proving controversial among voters.

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