As the campaign for the fall federal election officially begins, Star’s Ottawa Bureau has profiled each party’s leaders to reflect on their lives before politics, those featured during their terms thus far, and what to expect while They compete for the highest position in government.

Annamie Paul, Leader of the Green Party

Last fall, the newly appointed leader was unable to claim a by-election seat because of her leadership at the Toronto Center, which went to Marci Ien of the Liberal Party. But Annamie Paul was able to bring the race closer than expected in the Liberal stronghold. She came in second with 32.7 percent of the vote, while the Liberals got 15 percent fewer votes than in 2019.

His healthy entry has been sickened in recent months as internal party turmoil and his own stories of standing up to racism and sexism have been making headlines.

And yet the streets have not been all that hostile, according to Darcy Higgins, who is managing community outreach for Paul’s current run at the Toronto Center.

There is more to the 48-year-old lawyer than the vignettes on her resume, and supporters hope that a federal campaign will give her a chance to claim her story and the public’s trust.

This article details what her team members say she is facing, the new ideas that helped propel her to leadership in the first place, and what kind of campaign Canadians can expect from her in this election.

Read the full profile of Green Party leader Annamie Paul here.

Jagmeet Singh, NDP Leader

As evidenced by some life-saving brush with fate, Singh says, “Maybe the universe makes this happen when you’re good at something.”

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Whether it’s the tools to save someone from drowning, surviving a difficult childhood, or keeping their family afloat, the attorney has a strong desire to help people. And it has influenced his entry into politics from the beginning.

But after first ascending as Ontario MPP and then becoming the NDP leader in 2017, his momentum stalled.

Still, Singh’s genuine presence has maintained his popularity: the party has more than double the money to spend, better results in polls, and higher hopes of regaining seats lost since the “orange wave” of 2011.

It is no longer enough to defend the territory. Singh needs to expand it.

Here’s more than you can expect from his race, the serendipitous moments that have driven him, and how Singh’s vision of leadership is grounded in the Sikh traditions his mother taught him and meditation.

Read the full profile of NDP leader Jagmeet Singh here.

Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party

Erin O’Toole’s former classmates in military college remember him as an unlikely candidate for prime minister. The once absent with an affinity for his bed at school later trained for a long military service, which later inspired his political career.

O’Toole won the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2020 with a “true blue” campaign. Unlike his earlier, quieter attempts, last year he was an ideological cheat, threatening to withdraw funds from the CBC, take on China’s growing influence and cancel the “culture of cancellation.”

Still, the true blue line that he walked in the leadership race is becoming more challenging as he moves toward a general election.

Only 25 percent of a recent Angus Reid poll believe he would make a good prime minister, and the pandemic has made the process of being known as the new face of a party more challenging than in typical years.

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But there is more than one reason why some are not ruling out O’Toole and the Tories this time.

Read Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s full profile here.

Justin Trudeau, Liberal leader

An optimistic Justin Trudeau has led Parliament for two terms now, but the circumstances around both have proven to be more cloudy than his hopeful “sunny roads.”

Donald Trump in the seat of President of the United States changed Canada’s most important relationship during Trudeau’s first term. And just as the liberal leader screeched past with a minority mandate in late 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world.

Much changed between 2015 and 2021; not just in the world, but also in Trudeau’s leadership style; give it a call, if you like Trudeau 1.0 and Trudeau 2.0.

He has gone from big promises and a decline in scandals (SNC-Lavalin and brown face) to becoming a more entrenched leader leading Canada through a pandemic.

This time around, can Trudeau remain a symbol of hope and change while still being a battle-hardened veteran of some truly extraordinary moments in the life of this country?

Read the full profile of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau here.

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