The upcoming September federal election is set to bee the most expensive of all time in Canada. The price? An estimated whopping $610 million.
In a statement , Elections Canada confirmed the price estimate for 2021, noting that the 2019 federal election cost around "$502 million or approximately $18.35 for each registered elector. The costs associated with delivering a general election typically span four years and include expenditures incurred well after election day, such as reimbursements for parties and candidates."
Given that the snap election is 36 days long — the shortest possible election period under federal law — it works out at around $16.9 million per day. Per CityNews, this would make it the priciest election Canada has ever seen.
Mount Royal University political scientist Keith Brownsey noted the following: “That this election is unnecessary and it’s very expensive, and do we do we need to do that right now? Spend $600 million in the middle of this pandemic? Couldn’t that money, shouldn’t that money be used for other purposes?” Brownsey said. “The cost of the election will surprise a lot of people, but it will also make it clear that this election may not be necessary.”
Reasons for the increased costs include COVID-19 safety measures like face coverings, single-use pencils and hand sanitizer, in addition to preparations for the expected flood of mail-in ballots.
The Prime Minister defended his calling of the snap election: "Who wouldn't want their chance to help decide where our country goes from here? Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against COVID-19 and build back better," Trudeau said.
Party leaders Erin O'Toole, Yves-Francois Blanchet and Jagmeet Singh have all criticized the timing of the decision to call an election.