All three major party leaders kicked off their campaigns on Sunday. We've fact-checked the main talking points from their announcements.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper
Claim No. 1: "I feel very strongly that if we are going to begin our campaign and run our campaigns that those campaigns need to be conducted under the rules of the law that the money come from the parties themselves not from the government resources, parliamentary resources, or taxpayers resources."
Taxpayers will pay a heavy toll for a 78-day campaign. Not only are they responsible for at least $375 million needed by Elections Canada to administer the election, and whatever additional costs for the extra 41 days, taxpayers also subsidize up to 50 per cent of national campaign expenses of the major parties.
Thanks to a provision in the Conservative government's overhaul of election laws last year, during an extended campaign spending limits of $25 million per party and $100,000 per candidate are more than doubled.
The dropping of the writ also means that parties are allowed to spend $675,000 daily and third-party advertisers must cap their expenditures at about $428,000 per day.
Claim No. 2: "Canada has continued to perform well compared to other G7 countries but we cannot forget our focus or lose our course."
The International Monetary Fund slashed its forecasts for four of the G7 leading industrial countries last month, including Canada.
Claim No. 3 "Canada's growth prospects are the best of G7 countries over the long haul."
That depends on what you mean by “long haul.” The IMF's July World Economic Outlook Projection pegs Canada's year-over-year growth rate at 1.5 per cent, placing Canada below the United States, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom among other advanced economies.
Claim No. 4: "As a result, our economy and our employment have grown steadily over six years (and) our budget is balanced."
According to Statistics Canada, the claim that the country's unemployment rate has dropped over the past six years is correct. The agency reported that in 2009 the unemployment rate was 8.3 per cent and the latest numbers show a drop to 6.8 per cent. However, the claim that the federal budget has been balanced is misleading. Based on the Conservative's budget that was tabled earlier this year, the party forecasted a $1.4-billion surplus at the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year. But the Parliamentary Budget Officer warned late last month that instead, the country could be headed for a $1-billion deficit, based on a downgraded economic forecast from the Bank of Canada.
Claim No. 5: "(We need) security against the growing threat of an increasingly dangerous world."
Serious crime in Canada has fallen to its lowest relative level since 1969, according to Statistics Canada. The latest data from the agency from 2003 to 2014 shows 11 consecutive years of decline. However, some offences bucked the trend, including child pornography, terrorism and extortion.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair
Claim No. 1: "The economy has shrunk in each of the last five months and many are claiming that Canada is already in another recession."
The latest data from Statistics Canada shows that Mulcair is correct: the economy shrunk for the fifth month in a row in May, prompting fears the country may be in a recession.
The country’s GDP fell 0.2 per cent in May, a result one analyst called "sour."
Now, economists are waiting for June numbers to find out if the economy continued to shrink for a sixth month, causing the country to officially enter a recession.
Statistics Canada will release June data at the end of August.
Claim No. 2: "Today there are 200,000 more out-of-work Canadians than before the last recession in 2008."
According to Statistics Canada, Canada enjoyed a 32-year low in unemployment in 2007, just before the world was plunged into a global economic crisis.
That year, the unemployment rate was 6.0 per cent, and about 1,077,200 Canadians were unemployed but actively looking for a job, the agency said.
Meanwhile, Statistics Canada’s June 2015 numbers show that unemployment was at 6.8 per cent, and about 1,310,200 people were out of work.
That would mean, as Mulcair said, that unemployment was 0.5 per cent higher in June than the 2007 average, and that about 200,000 more people were looking for work.
However, what Mulcair didn’t mention is that unemployment has significantly rebounded since 2009, just after the economic crisis. Coming out of the global downturn, 1,522,800 Canadians were unemployed and the unemployment rate was 8.3 per cent.
Claim No. 3: "One-third of the Senate is under RCMP investigation."
Earlier this year, an auditor general’s report found that 18 sitting senators had filed questionable expense claims. The Speaker for the Senate then forwarded two of those cases to the RCMP.
The speaker also passed on seven cases involving former senators, who are no longer sitting in the senate.
But just because the cases have been forwarded, that does not mean the RCMP has formally opened investigations.
And even factoring in high-profile RCMP probes into spending by Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, Pamela Wallin, and Mac Harb, Mulcair’s claim seems to fall short.
With 83 senators currently sitting, 27 would have to be under investigation in order for his claim to be correct.
Claim No. 4: "In each of the last three elections, Conservatives have been convicted of wrongdoing."
Mulcair’s correct: the Conservatives have been found guilty of breaking rules in multiple elections.
After winning the 2006 election, the party was accused of exceeding their campaign limit and failing to report ad expenses in the “in and out scheme.”
Conservatives ended up pleading guilty to violating the Elections Act in that case, and forked over $52,000 in fines.
Following the 2008 election, another Conservative was found guilty of electoral fraud.
Dean Del Mastro knowingly exceeded spending limits, submitted a falsified document, and didn’t document a personal contribution of $21,000 to his campaign.
He was sentenced in June to a month in jail, four months of house arrest, and a $10,000 fine.
Finally, in the most recent federal election, the Tories were found to have broken the rules in the “robo-calls” scandal.
Ex-Conservative staffer Michael Sona was found guilty of election fraud in that case.
Claim No. 5: "(Harper) has added over $150 billion in debt."
Before Harper came into power, the Department of Finance reported that Canada had $481.5 billion in federal debt (accumulated deficit) in the year 2005-2006.
As Mulcair claimed, reports from later years show debt has grown since Harper gained power. However, the most recent report does not show a $150 billion increase.
The 2013-2014 report found that Canada had $611.9 billion in federal debt. That’s about $131 more than before Harper was elected, but still $20 billion short of Mulcair’s estimate $150 billion estimate.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau
Claim No. 1: "The NDP’s other answer for everything is to make the company you work for pay more in taxes that means fewer jobs and less investments all while our economy is stalled."
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has promised to raise the corporate tax rate, by an unspecified amount, to pay for expenditures, such as his child care plan.
Claim No. 2: "Mr. Mulcair … will even keep Stephen Harper's plan in place that sends child benefit checks to the wealthiest Canadians."
The NDP Leader has promised that an NDP government would keep in place the boosts to the Universal Child Care Benefit, which were rolled out by the Conservatives last month.
Claim No. 3: "Well, Stephen Harper had a different idea, he spent something alright: your money -- $125 million of it. Why? Because it’s the best idea he could come up with to help him keep his job."
The argument is that an 11-week campaign could cost millions more than the minimum 37-day campaign period required by law. The claim was echoed by Liberal MP Marc Garneau on Sunday. Elections Canada estimates that a 37-day campaign would cost roughly $375 million to administer, but the agency has yet to reveal how much taxpayers would be required to fork over in the case of a 78-day campaign.
Taxpayers will also be forced to partly front the bill of the major parties, as the public subsidizes up to 50 per cent of national campaign expenses.
This could potentially account for millions of dollars because during an extended campaign period the spending limit is more than double the cap of $25 million per party that exists during a typical 37-day campaign.
Claim No. 4: "We're headed into another recession."
Economists are waiting for June numbers to find out if the economy continued to shrink for a sixth month, which would officially indicate that the country had entered a recession.
Statistics Canada will not release that data until the end of August.
Claim No. 5: "We will make the wealthiest pay more in taxes; we think that’s fair. After all, they’ve had a pretty good 10 years."
This is in reference to the economic plank that Trudeau rolled out in May, which included a proposal to raise taxes on the wealthiest one per cent of Canadians. Trudeau also said that the party would scrap income splitting for couples with young children, which he said would only benefit wealthy Canadians.
With files from The Canadian Press