OTTAWA — For all the bluster among federal political leaders about not wanting an election any time soon, the political truth is as cold as a winter’s wind: the potential for one is a reality in 2021.
For now, political parties say getting through the long dark winter without the health-care system collapsing due to COVID-19 is a priority, as is ensuring vaccines quickly and effectively reach all parts of the country.
But running parallel to that is the ongoing debate over how to cushion the economic blow caused by the pandemic.
Who has the best ideas on that score and ought to be entrusted with running the country as Canada builds itself back up is expected to be the dominant ballot box question come the next election.
Here’s a look at some of the factors at play that could shape how or when that election is called.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau laid out the broad strokes of his vision for Canada in the fall throne speech and subsequent economic update. He’ll return to it again in the 2021 budget.
But with a minority government, his desire to “build back better” rests on continuing to get support from other parties for any legislation he seeks to advance.
That the Liberals have survived thus far is largely thanks to the New Democrats who have propped up the government in several confidence votes.
Should Trudeau want to go to the polls to seek a majority mandate — a decision he may make based on public polling suggesting one is possible — he may have to slip a poison pill for the NDP into a confidence motion to ensure they vote him down.
WATCH: Liberals table pandemic election bill. Story continues below.