Who are the federal party leaders — and how did they get to this campaign?

Who are the federal party leaders — and how did they get to this campaign?

They've been part of the Canadian political scene for years. But when the election campaign began, many Canadians still didn't know all that much about some of the party leaders vying to be prime minister. 

With this in mind, CBC podcast, Front Burner, did a deep dive into each of the six main party leaders beginning back in  August, just before the campaign began. 

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau 

Canadians are most familiar with Justin Trudeau, of course. Many would probably say he's a feminist, and that they know about his "sunny ways." They also know the controversies he has faced in his four years in power.

So is Trudeau running on his record or is it best to focus on the future? And why is he so prone to shooting himself in the foot?

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Even though he has been on the Canadian political scene for decades, many Canadians still say they don't know who Andrew Scheer is. He wasn't even the front-runner in the race to lead his Conservative Party.

So how did he wind up campaigning to be prime minister? 

Due to breaking news the day this episode ran, the Scheer profile starts about 4:08 into the podcast. 

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh 

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

He made history when he was chosen to lead the NDP. And while many saw Jagmeet Singh's victory as a positive comment on race and religious acceptance in Canada, it also brought the ugly truths about hate and discrimination in this country to the surface.

It was nothing new for Singh. 

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

As the leader of what some Canadians might consider a fringe party, Elizabeth May has never received the same level of scrutiny as her fellow federal leaders. But she would argue that in her 13 years at the helm, she has grown the Greens to more than just a one-issue party. 

And though she is often seen as being an open book and very accessible, there is a big part of May's life that very few Canadians are aware of. 

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet 

Cole Burston/Canadian Press

He's definitely not as familiar outside of Quebec as he is in his home province. But the Bloc Québécois has been the official opposition in the past and so it's important to know what Yves-François Blanchet stands for and what he would fight for on behalf of Quebec.

If nothing else, listen to learn Blanchet's nickname — and how he earned it. 

People's Party Leader Maxime Bernier

Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

He has been a separatist, a Conservative cabinet minister, even ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party. So how did Maxime Bernier wind up leading a brand new party in this election campaign?

And when did some of his more controversial positions take hold? 

Face to Face 

Once the campaign was underway, The National decided to try something a little different. The result was Face to Face — an opportunity for undecided Canadians to be in the driver's seat and spend five minutes with a leader. And the leaders were grilled. 

You can watch all four episodes below. 

By the way, Bernier was invited to take part in Face to Face but declined, citing scheduling issues. Blanchet was not invited as the Bloc Québécois is only running candidates in one province.