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Friday, October 22, 2021

Election primer: Everything you need to know before you vote

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TORONTO — With the 36-day election campaign in the books, Canadians head to the polls on Monday to elect the members of the 44th parliament.

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic means that this will be a federal election unlike any other in Canadian history. Polling stations will follow local distancing and masking regulations, voters will mark their ballots with single-use pencils, and there will be plenty of hand sanitizer to go around.

Perhaps owing in part to pandemic-era fears, a record number of Canadians – nearly 5.8 million – have already voted at advance polls. Others have selected their preferred candidates via mail-in and special ballots.

CTVNews.ca looked back at our coverage of the past five weeks and compiled a guide that may help you be better informed before you vote and after the results start to come in.

Although the latest data from Nanos Research suggests the battle to form government is a two-way race, there are more than 20 parties running candidates in multiple ridings.

Before the campaign began, we profiled the leaders of the six parties expected to have the best showings in the election results: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, Green Leader Annamie Paul, and People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier.

Several of those leaders also spoke to us in other settings. CTV News National Affairs Correspondent Omar Sachedina sat down with Trudeau, Singh, and Paul, while Question Period Host Evan Solomon talked to both Singh and Paul.

Five of the leaders also squared off at two debates produced by the Debate Broadcast Group, one in French followed by one in English. During the English debate, we had a team of journalists providing live fact-checking and analysis.

Our quest to find the facts behind campaign spin didn’t stop at the debates. All campaign long, our Truth Tracker team separated fantasies from realities. Here’s what they were up to:

Those who have yet to make up their minds on voting might find it helpful to consult our platform guide, which shows what the five leaders who were invited to the debates are promising to do about 14 different policy files, if elected as government.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that no party will secure enough seats in Parliament to implement their agenda without help from others. We’ve been ruled by minority government for the past two years, and could well be again in the 44th Parliament. CTVNews.ca’s Rachel Aiello took a look at what each of the five leaders has said about minority or coalition governments, and how certain scenarios could play out.

We’ve also highlighted 27 ridings that could be make-or-break for parties’ hopes of forming the next government, and you’ll be able to track results in all 338 ridings on election night with our live results map.

A new wrinkle this time around is that it will likely be several days before we know the final result of the election. Elections Canada has said that the counting of mail-in votes will not start until Tuesday, and may take two to five days to complete. Media outlets may still declare winners as early as election night, if they do not believe the mail-in totals will substantially alter the outcome of the election.

Whatever happens Monday night and beyond, we’ll have you covered every step of the way. Special coverage helmed by CTV’s Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT Monday on CTVNews.ca, the CTV and CTV News apps, CTV, CTV News Channel, BNN Bloomberg, and CTV.ca.

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