Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that Canada will hold federal elections on Oct. 21. Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party since 2013, is seeking a second term amid an ethics scandal.

Trudeau used the hashtag #chooseforward to advertise his campaign. "Politics is really about helping people. And that's what #chooseforward is all about – making a choice for a better today and a brighter tomorrow for everyone," he tweeted Wednesday. 

Trudeau, 47, the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has been seen as a charismatic figure on the world stage. He has championed progressive causes such as feminism and opening the door to Syrian refugees, yet his image has recently suffered due to the SNC-Lavalin affair.

The SNC-Lavalin affair involves Trudeau allegedly using his office as Prime Minister to pressure Attorney General Jordy Wilson-Raybould to quickly resolve a fraud case against engineering company SNC-Lavalin Inc. in order to spare the company from criminal prosecution. 

Opinion polls showing Trudeau in a close race with the Conservative Party and its leader, Andrew Scheer.

Scheer, 40, is a longtime political figure in Canadian politics. At the age of 25, Scheer was elected to the riding of Regina—Qu'Appelle and in 2011 he became the youngest Speaker of the House of Commons at age 32.

Scheer has criticized Trudeau's handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair, saying that Trudeau has lost the "moral authority" to govern. Scheer has promoted fiscal responsibility, tweeting Wednesday that a "new Conservative government will live within its means and put more money in your pockets so you can get ahead." 

Trudeau also faces opposition from the left. Some disappointed progressive voters may consider New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Jagmeet Singh, who is running on a platform of protecting the Canadian working class. 

Singh, 40, has headed the NDP since 2017 and has served as an MP for the riding of Burnaby South since March.

Trudeau was elected to office in October 2015 with 39.5% of the popular vote. Canadians sought new leadership after perceived polarization under conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. 

Canada holds federal elections every four years.