The Globe and Mail Explainer lays out the party leaders, key issues and policy platforms of the five major parties vying for our votes in the federal election slated for October 21st.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Social studies, current events

Key Question(s) to Explore:

  • Who’s who, and what are some key issues in the run-up to the federal election on October 21?

New Terminology:

Dissolution, impugned, LGBTQ, libertarian, infrastructure, digital spin, pharmacare, carbon-pricing, libertarian, disinformation

Materials Needed:

Globe article

Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

On October 21st, Canadian voters will be asked to choose a government formed by one of five major political parties. As part of their civic responsibility, students ought to inform themselves about the election issues, parties and the range of promises that will be paraded before us to win our vote.

This lesson is designed to provide students with a rudimentary overview, based on the attached article. Although the latter is rather long and detailed, students need not read it in its entirety; rather, they will search for answers to the matching exercise, below. In the process, they should get a picture of the unfolding campaigns. We recommend you distribute the article in hard copy, to avoid students’ using search tools to find the answers. To save you time, an answer key is provided.

Action (lesson plan and task):

Begin with a brief discussion about the coming election. Some questions/prompts to guide you (answers in parentheses for your benefit):

  • How old do you have to be to vote in a federal election in Canada? (18)
  • Show of hands—who knows the date of the next federal election? (Oct 21st). Why is it on that date? (Fixed election dates, every four years, were established by the previous Conservative government; therefore, the date is not moveable, as it was previously)
  • Which party has governed for the past four years? (Liberal) Official Opposition party? (Conservative)
  • How many party leaders can you name—and which parties do they lead? (Justin Trudeau, Liberal; Andrew Scheer, Conservative; Jagmeet Singh, NDP; Elizabeth May, Green; Yves-Francoius Blanchet, Bloc Quebecois; Maxime Bernier, People’s Party)
  • Trick question: How did Mr. Bernier’s People’s Party perform in the last election? (His party is new, created by Mr. Bernier since the last election.)

Task Sheet

Using the attached article as a source, match the items in Column A with the correct answer in Column B. Note that an option in Column B may apply to more than one item in Column A.

Answer key: 1, c; 2, d; 3, b; 4, h; 5, j; 6, a; 7, k; 8, l; 9, e; 10, m; 11, n; 12, o; 13, j; 14, p; 15, p; 16, f; 17, q; 18, r; 19, s; 20, i; 21, t; 22, g; 23, u; 24, w; 25, u

Column A

  1. Minimum number of seats needed to form a majority government
  2. Number of seats the Liberals held when this election was called
  3. Assumed the party leadership after Stephen Harper resigned
  4. Number of seats the Bloc Quebecois held when this election was called
  5. Party leader who was a cabinet minister in the last Conservative government
  6. Carbon-pricing
  7. SNC Lavalin
  8. Leader of a federal party since 2006
  9. Number of seats the Conservative held when this election was called
  10. Plans to phase out fossil fuel in Canada by 2050
  11. Was uncontested in winning the recent leadership of a party
  12. A party that had eight leaders since 2011
  13. A leader who has been compared to Donald Trump
  14. Party that plans to drastically reduce the number of immigrants
  15. Plans to address climate change by taxing large emitters of carbon
  16. Number of seats the NDP held when this election was called
  17. Replaced Tom Mulcair as leader of the party
  18. The first leader associated with this religion
  19. Bought by the federal government
  20. Number of seats the People’s Party held when this election was called
  21. Approximately one million
  22. Number of seats the Green Party held when this election was called
  23. False information, deliberately disseminated
  24. Has banned political ads
  25. Will cost $15.3 billion if implemented

Column B

  1. Designed to reduce consumption of non-renewable energy
  2. Andrew Scheer
  3. 170
  4. 177
  5. 95
  6. 39
  7. 2
  8. 10
  9. 0
  10. Maxime Bernier
  11. Related to of a breach of ethics charge against the Liberal government
  12. Elizabeth May
  13. Green Party
  14. Yves-Francois Blanchet
  15. Bloc Quebecois
  16. People’s Party of Canada
  17. Jagmeet Singh
  18. Sikhism
  19. Trans-Mountain pipeline
  20. The number of jobs created in Canada since 2015
  21. Pharmacare
  22. Disinformation
  23. Google

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Students discuss their work in class; you supply correct answers as needed.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Students can name the leaders of each party and some issues in the coming election.

Confirming Activity:

  • Ask students to report on political debates, or other news about the election.