The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

The Race Is On - Federal Election Called For Oct. 19, 2015

Web posted on August 02, 2015

Prime Minister Harper has officially confirmed he has met with Gov. Gen. David Johnston, requesting the dissolution of Parliament over the weekend. The 42nd general election will be held on Monday October 19, 2015.

By calling this election so early the campaign will last 11 weeks, or 78 days, which is one of the longest racing in Canada's history. Only three other campaigns lasted as long. According to The Canadian Press, the 1867 campaign lasted 81 days, the 1872 campaign went for 96 days and the 1926 campaign lasted 74 days.

A longer campaign will also cost Canadian taxpayers more. By Elections Canada's estimate, a traditional five-week, 35-day campaign costs about $375 million to run. Parties are also reimbursed for half the money they spend during an election campaign.

Parties are also allowed to spend more money. During a typical 37-day election period, each party can spend a maximum of $25 million. For each additional day, that limit is increased by 1/37th, or an extra $675,000, meaning an 11-week campaign would allow parties to spend more than $50 million.

The spending increase also applies to individual or independent candidates. They also get an additional $2,700 a day to add to their usual limit of approximately $100,000.

Following the release of 2011 census population numbers, federal electoral boundaries were revised, which led to an increase in the number of seats in the Commons to 338. Which means there are more seats up for grabs.

The new ridings are located in:

  • Ontario: 15 more seats (121 seats in total)
  • British Columbia: 6 more seats (42 seats in total)
  • Alberta: 6 more seats (34 seats in total)
  • Quebec: 3 more seats (78 seats in total)

The seat total in all the other provinces and the territories remains unchanged.