OTTAWA — The Trudeau government will get a chance to test its popularity today with four federal byelections.
The most heated race is the British Columbia riding of South Surrey-White Rock where the Liberals are making a concerted effort to steal the seat from the Conservatives.
Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer have campaigned in the riding, which was held by Tory MP Dianne Watts who jumped to provincial politics.
The Conservatives have tried to stir up voter anger in the riding over the Liberal government’s tax reforms that include closing loopholes for small business owners.
The Conservatives are considered in the driver’s seat in the western Saskatchewan riding of Battlefords-Lloydminister, which has voted for right-wing parties since the 1990s.
The other two ridings, in Newfoundland and Labrador and Toronto, are considered safe Liberal seats.
The riding of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity became vacant last summer when the province’s representative in the federal cabinet, Judy Foote, resigned for personal reasons.
Foote had represented the area as a Liberal MP for the past decade.
The Toronto riding of Scarborough-Agincourt became vacant due to the death of Liberal backbencher Arnold Chan.
It has been in Liberal hands since the ’80s.
The Saskatchewan seat became vacant this year when former Conservative cabinet minister Gerry Ritz left politics.
In the last election the New Democrats were a distant second in Ritz’s riding and a distant third in the other three ridings.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh the day before the vote shaking hands and greeting voters at an outdoor shopping centre in Montreal, nowhere near any of the ridings in play.
Singh declined to speculate on his party’s chances, saying only that he’d “called and spoken” to all his candidates and was happy with their campaigns.
“They’re running great campaigns and I’m confident they’re going to put up a good representation of our values and what we believe in,” Singh said Sunday.
The Liberals hold a comfortable majority in the House of Commons so the outcome of the races will have little effect on the balance of power.
The Canadian Press