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Here Is Your 2019 Federal Election Cheat Sheet

What time do polls open? What are the key platforms?

If you’re not one of the 4.7 million Canadians who voted in advance in this federal election, then Monday, Oct. 21 is your day to get out and cast your ballot.

Canadians have 12 hours to vote at their assigned polling station. Check out Elections Canada’s website here for the exact locations.

Voting hours are:

  • Newfoundland time - 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Atlantic time - 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Eastern time - 9:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
  • Central time - 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Mountain time (and Saskatchewan) - 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Pacific time - 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

What do you need to bring to the polling station? Check out the video below:

What am I voting for?

After over 40 days on the campaign trail, Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer, Jagmeet Singh, Elizabeth May, Maxime Bernier and Yves-François Blanchet have pitched themselves as prime minister.

That’s a long time to keep track of each party’s promises, so here’s a primer on where they stand on some key issues:

Climate change

With Canada warming at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the world, it’s not a surprise climate change has become a ballot-box issue. An Ipsos poll in the beginning of October ranked it as the second most important issue, just behind health care.

While most parties agree climate change is a pressing concern, how they plan to fix it is where they differ:

Child care and incentives for parents & guardians

It wouldn’t be a federal election campaign if there weren’t photos of politicians holding and kissing babies. But since you need to be at least 18 years old to vote, party leaders have been trying to woo moms and dads with benefits, tax credits and tweaks to parental leave.


Nearly 314,000 immigrants arrived in Canada in 2018-2019 according to Statistics Canada. Whether you think that’s too many or too few may influence which party you vote for.

Another hot button issue, particularly in Quebec, is the 50,000 irregular border crossers who have have entered from the U.S. since 2017 to apply for refugee status.

That’s in part due to the Safe Third Country Agreement and a loophole existing between Canada and the U.S.

For more details on that, and what each party plans to do (or not do) about it:

What happens after Voting Day?

The 2015 federal election ended with a Liberal majority but the chances of Trudeau pulling a repeat performance are up in the air, even by his own admission.

With polls painting the 2019 election as tight race between the Liberals and Conservatives, there is increased interest in minority and coalition governments:

For more on party platforms on topics ranging from deficits to transportation, check out these primers from CBC News and the Globe & Mail.

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