Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a snap summer general election as Canada enters into its pandemic fourth wave.
The general election comes as polls indicate his minority Liberal government looks within reach of forming a majority.
The 49-year-old Liberal leader says “Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against Covid-19”.
Canadians will vote on 20 September, some two years ahead of schedule.
On Sunday, Mr Trudeau visited Canada’s Governor General Mary Simon and asked her to dissolve Parliament.
The leader of the centrist Liberals said a general election was necessary so voters have a voice on the path forward at a “pivotal moment”.
In October 2019, voters handed him a minority, meaning he has had to rely on opposition parties to help him pass his agenda.
Opposition parties criticised the Liberals for calling a five-week long campaign during the pandemic’s latest wave simply for “political gain”.
According to a recent survey about 46% of Canadians believe the country is heading in the right direction – the highest it’s been in about five years.
The global coronavirus pandemic is sure to dominate the campaign, as it has much of Mr Trudeau’s second term. Over 25.000 Canadians have died from Covid, but the country fared better than others, such as the US.
Still, its record on the pandemic has been mixed.
It was slow to close its borders. The military had to be sent to some elderly care homes to help contain outbreaks. The initial vaccine rollout was slow, with Mr Trudeau facing questions over the lack of domestic vaccine production.
While the country is entering another pandemic wave, for the moment it seems life is returning slowly to normal.