Prime Minister Stephen Harper has set the wheels in motion for a federal election campaign leading up to an October 19th vote.

At roughly 11 weeks this will be the longest federal campaign in Canadian history, but the major parties have already been on election footing in the area for months.

And, with some high profile retirements and rejigged riding boundaries, Vancouver Island is going to be sending new faces to Ottawa.

The only incumbents in the mix are Conservatives: John Duncan – who represented the old riding of Vancouver Island North, is running in Courtenay Alberni, and John Weston is seeking re-election in West Vancouver Sunshine Coast.

Political analyst, and former VIU prof, Allan Warnke says Stephen Harper and the Conservatives triggered the campaign now because they feel going 11 weeks works to their advantage.

Warnke says, out of the opposition parties the NDP might be in the best position to manage a longer campaign.

Warnke also says that with the campaign now officially underway, this Thursday’s leaders debate is going to attract a lot more attention. It’s the only one so far that will include all four major party leaders.

The confirmed candidates in the riding of Courtenay Alberni are:

  • Conservative: John Duncan
  • Liberal: Carrie Powell-Davidson
  • NDP: Gord Johns
  • Green: Glenn Sollitt
  • Libertarian: Troy Degerness

A full list of candidates covering the entire province can be found here.

To ensure you’re registered, and find other key voter information visit the Elections Canada website.