Haliburton County voters are headed back to the federal election polls less than two years after they last cast their ballots.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dissolved Parliament Aug. 16, setting up a snap Sept. 20 election.

In what is shaping up to be a replay of 2019 in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, Conservative incumbent Jamie Schmale will again face Liberal, Judi Forbes.

The Green Party candidate is Angel Godsoe. No other party had announced a candidate as of press time.

The Highlands convincingly re-elected Schmale on Oct. 21, 2019, with 49.2 per cent of the vote. His nearest competitor was Forbes, whose party formed a minority government. Forbes had 25.9 per cent of the vote. The NDP’s Barbara Doyle received 14.7 per cent; Green Elizabeth Fraser 8.3 per cent and the People’s Party of Canada’s Gene Balfour 1.9 per cent.

Schmale is seeking to be a third-term member of parliament.

Addressing election timing, he said, “I don’t think too many people in Canada really wanted an election now.”

He cited reasons such as the pandemic, forest fires burning in certain parts of Canada and the situation in Afghanistan.

He added while the Conservatives were unsure of an election date leading up to this past Sunday, they had heard rumblings quite often from inside the Liberal party so are ready.

Responding to criticism over election timing, Forbes said if Trudeau had known Afghanistan was going to enter into crisis the day he made his announcement, he might have handled it differently.

However, she said “it is a good time to call an election”.

“During the last 17 months, we’ve had a once in a generation crisis. The last time Canada had a real crisis like this was probably during the Second World War.”

She said in 2019, the country was talking about issues that were key for the time but there are new issues now that need to be discussed.

How to vote

At an advance polling station: Advance polls will be Sept. 10-13. You’ll find the address and times on your voter information card, online or from Elections Canada.

At your riding’s Elections Canada office: You can vote even earlier at an Elections Canada office (every riding has one), until Sept. 14. You will need to complete a special ballot application, which you can get online or at your local Elections Canada office.

On election day: You can register to vote ahead of time or at your polling station when you go to vote. Bring proof of identity and address.

By mail: You will have to complete a special ballot application. This also applies to students who might be living on campus and away from home. Once your application is accepted, you will be mailed a special ballot voting kit. Follow the instructions and return your ballot using the pre-addressed return envelope provided. Make sure your vote makes it to Elections Canada by election day at 6 p.m. ET, or it won’t be counted. If you’re worried about the deadline, those voting from within their riding have the option to drop their completed special ballot off at their assigned polling station, or at any other polling location in their riding, on election day.

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