By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday July 31, 2015
Stephen Harper to launch campaign as early as Sunday
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call an election as early as this Sunday, kicking off what would be the longest federal election campaign in modern history, CBC News has confirmed.
The election is generally considered to be set for Oct. 19, 2015, under the Conservatives’ fixed election law, although there is wiggle room. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Bloomberg News Wednesday that he considers that date to be set in stone.
Harper is expected to go to Rideau Hall Sunday or Monday to ask Gov. Gen. David Johnston to dissolve Parliament.
The Conservatives have sent out invitations to supporters for a rally in Montreal Sunday night. Harper is likely to head to Toronto after that.
Rumours about possible dates have swirled around Ottawa in recent weeks, partly because of a change in electoral law thought to benefit the Conservative Party.
Until last year, the spending limits were set no matter the length of a campaign, the minimum amount of time for which is 37 days (with voting day falling on the 37th day). But the Conservatives’ Fair Elections Act provided for the parties’ $25-million limits to be increased if the campaign is longer than 37 days: for each additional day the limit is increased by 1/37th, or an extra $675,000.
Candidates get an additional $2,700 a day to add to their usual limit of approximately $100,000. (Source: CBC News)