Jun 24, 2024

By Jane Brown

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It is federal byelection day in the riding of Toronto-St. Paul’s with some analysts saying this vote is a referendum on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Toronto-St. Paul’s has been a Liberal riding since 1993, held by former cabinet minister Carolyn Bennett for 27 of those 31 years.

Bennett was recently appointed ambassador to Denmark.

Sixty percent of constituents in Toronto-St. Pauls are renters.

Pollster Nik Nanos says domestic issues are clashing with international concerns.

“It’s probably going to come down to housing affordability, homelessness, and then also the hot button issue of what’s happening in the middle east between the state of Israel and Haas,” explained Nanos.

The Liberal candidate is Leslie Church who has spent most of her career as a political staffer, including as chief of staff to multiple ministers, most recently Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Her primary opponent, Conservative candidate Don Stewart, is a financial and marketing specialist.

Stewart previously worked for the public affairs firm owned by Jenni Byrne, a longtime Conservative campaign director and a key, if currently unofficial, adviser to party leader Pierre Poilievre.

The NDP candidate is Amrit Parharm, who is a director of programs for a non-profit and believes that storytelling and collective action are the keys to igniting social change.

In all, there are 84 candidates on the ballot which is said to be a metre long.

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