IT can be difficult to remember that politics exists outside the bubble of Brexit and typhoon that is Trump, but Canada goes to the polls today in an election where climate change is proving the key issue.

Justin Trudeau wants to remain in power?

Liberal Party leader Trudeau, 47, is the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada, voted into power four years ago and now campaigning for re-election.

His father was PM?

Pierre Trudeau was the 15th PM of Canada and so, his eldest son is the first PM to be related to a previous holder of the post.

But the polls show he has lost his lustre?

He was initially popular, voted in with a sizeable majority, promising to govern "with a vision that is positive and ambitious and hopeful", maintaining high ratings for various progressive actions, such as appointing half of his cabinet positions to women.
But he has been beset by controversy and, of late, scandal.


In September, images emerged of him in blackface - one in video footage when he was in his late teens from a fancy dress party, another when he was performing the Banana Boat Song in a talent show in high school and a third from 2001, when he was a 29-year-old teacher attending an Arabian Nights gala.

His reputation took a hit?

Known as a champion of diversity and multiculturalism, he was forced to admit he cannot remember how many times he wore blackface, adding that he was "disappointed" in himself and that it was "dumb". He also said "it was something that I didn't think was racist at the time, but now I recognise it was something racist to do".

The other main issues?

Three years ago, environmentalists were outraged when he approved a controversial expansion of a crude oil pipeline. Torn between campaigners who wanted him to boost the oil industry and environmental groups fearing spills, he said it was “in Canada’s national interest to protect our environment and invest in tomorrow, while making sure people can feed their families today”.

Climate is crucial?

As the world’s attention shifts to climate change, one commentator described the most important issue in the Canadian election as, “The environment, the environment and the environment”. 
Trudeau has pledged to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while his Conservative rivals want to eliminate carbon tax and use an incentives programme.

Obama has his corner?

In an unprecedented endorsement, the former US President, Barack Obama, tweeted that he had been "proud" to work with Trudeau while in office, adding that: "The world needs his progressive leadership now.”

But Trump isn’t a fan?

Last year, the US President said Trudeau was “weak and dishonest”. The Canadian PM said last week that Canada needed to continue to have a strong government to keep “standing up” to Trump.

It’s likely to be a tight race?

Polls put the Liberals and the Conservatives neck-and-neck, so Trudeau has a fight on his hand to not be seen as a “one-term wonder”.