On the eve of the federal election Sunday, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau made a stop in Winnipeg at a local pub where he met with leaders of the Manitoba Métis Federation, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Southern Chiefs Association.
Also on hand at the event was musician Lisa Muswagon who is supporting Liberal candidate Shirley Robinson who is trying to unseat long time NDP MP Niki Ashton in Churchill-Keewatinook Aski riding.
Muswagon said she wants to see young people vote in this election.
“I think sometimes our candidates get blanketed by a leader and a party so they don’t really get to hear what the candidate is saying because they’re hearing all the negative stuff that are out there,” Muswagon said.
Muswagon added she wants to see more youth vote in this year’s election.
“And also too, in the North, we come from overcrowded housing – you know, large families live together and sometimes we’re unfamiliar with issues,” she said, “so people go and vote as a unit and so it’s like a trend in the community.
“So we wanted to encourage young people to look at the candidate, understand what they’re standing up for, do they relate to you? And, also too, if they support you than we think you should, we encourage you to vote for that candidate.”
Dan Vandal is the Liberal incumbent in the Winnipeg riding of Saint Boniface-Saint Vital. Prior to the election, he served as minister of Northern Affairs.
Vandal, who is Métis, said having the Indigenous leadership in attendance was significant.
“It’s not only symbolically important, it’s the sense that we have a true partnership with the Manitoba Métis Federation, with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Southern Chiefs, MKO, where we’ve actually co-developed different policies, bills and we really are making some good progress. It’s not perfect, there’s miles and miles to go, but we’re going to get there,” Vandal said.
Vandal also had a message for those who would not be voting today.
“I think elections have consequences and people should be voting, exercising their right. All parties are not the same, I think that’s just an easy way out. Our parties are quite different and people need to get out there and see who best represents them.”
Trudeau spoke about a variety of subjects at the event, including wage subsidies and COVID-19 vaccinations.
Some of what he had to say involved criticizing the Conservatives and NDP, while also touching on what the Liberal government has done for Indigenous communities.
“When we took office there were 105 long-term boil water advisories. We have now lifted 118 of them across the country and we have a concrete plan and funding and a project team to end all of them.”
None of the Indigenous leaders spoke to APTN News about the election or the event.
On top of the election, the province of Alberta is seeing a massive spike in COVID-19 cases. As of Monday, Alberta has 19,201 active cases of the virus – triple that of Quebec that has the next highest case count with 6,810.
In Forest Lawn, a suburb in Calgary, voters lined up throughout the day to cast a ballot.
Many Albertans won’t be able to vote in this election because of the rising case count.
There are new restrictions in place and while curbside voting will be available for the upcoming municipal elections, that’s not the case for the federal election.
Watch Tamara Pimentel’s story from Forest Lawn
The same goes for the Northwest Territories where not all eligible voters went to the polls today.
According to our reporter Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs, many are staying home having to self-isolate because of a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to the virus.
Watch Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs’ story:
If this year’s federal election is anything like the 2019 federal election, it could be a fierce race to the finish for the five Yukon candidates vying for the role of member of Parliament for the Yukon riding.
Liberal MP Larry Bagnell has essentially had a stronghold in the territory since 2000.
But that grip almost loosened during the 2019 federal election.
While Bagnell garnered 7,034 votes, or 33.5 per cent of the vote in 2019, Conservative candidate Jonas Smith narrowly lost to Bagnell by 153 votes. Smith receiveed 6,881 votes, or 32.7 per cent of the vote.
While Smith would have had a second opportunity to lead the Conservatives to victory, he claims he was ousted from the party last month for voicing his views on vaccine passports and mandated workplace vaccines.
He is now running as an independent.
NDP candidate Justin Lemphers wasn’t far behind in 2019 collecting a commendable 4,617 votes, or 22 per cent of the vote.
Watch Sara Connors’ story:
Earlier this summer Bagnell announced he would not be running again.
Replacing Bagnell is Dr. Brendan Hanely, who is Yukon’s chief medical officer of health and a familiar face at the territory’s weekly COVID-19 updates.
Hanley has taken a leave of absence from the position to run for the Liberal Party, a move openly criticized by the territory’s Conservative Party’s leader Currie Dixon.
Smith’s replacement is Barbara Dunlop, a former public servant and self-described best-selling romance novelist.
Gunning for the NDP is Lisa Vollans-Leduc, a policy analyst for the Yukon government.
Meanwhile, lawyer Lenore Morris is taking a second shot at running for the Green Party.
During the last federal election, Morris placed second-last winning 10 per cent of the vote.
One third of the voters in the riding of Skeena Bulkley Valley, which covers northwestern British Columbia, are Indigenous.
The NDP have held this riding since 2004. Today, incumbent Taylor Bachrach will try and hold his seat.
But Green Party candidate Adeana Young, who is a member of the Haida Nation is trying to unseat Bachrach and the NDP.
Down in Cariboo-Prince George, where housing and the climate crisis are some of the top platform issues of the candidates, Conservative MP Todd Doherty is the incumbent.
Lee Wilson’s story: