OTTAWA – The federal political parties will put their popularity to the test today in five byelections.
There are two seats up for grabs in Alberta, two in Ontario and one in Quebec, all of which were held by high-profile politicians.
One of the Calgary ridings was previously held by former prime minister Stephen Harper who stepped down last year, while the other was occupied by former Conservative cabinet minister Jason Kenney who jumped to Alberta politics.
The other three seats were held by the Liberals – the Toronto-area seat of Markham-Thornhill and Montreal’s Saint-Laurent opened when Stephane Dion and John McCallum left cabinet and were given diplomatic posts earlier this year.
The fifth seat, Ottawa Vanier, was held by backbencher Mauril Belanger who died last year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under fire last month for campaigning in the byelection races. The opposition Tories said it creates questions about who is paying for the visits and puts public servants in a tough position.
The Conservatives and New Democrats both sent high profile candidates to campaign in some of the ridings.