Federal leaders scatter across country as campaign ramps up in earnest [UPDATED]
The first five days were marked by numerous candidates across the partisan spectrum turfed from their rosters or forced to apologize for past homophobic and racist remarks
OTTAWA – The NDP made a play for the hearts of Quebec and Conservatives for the wallets of voters as federal party leaders scattered across the country Sunday.
Out in B.C., the Conservatives unveiled their latest idea for cutting back taxes: a cut to the lowest income bracket to take effect in two years time.
The party said the drop in the tax rate would see all Canadians pay less tax, but those who earn less than $47,630 would see their bill cut the most.
“You shouldn’t have to be a billionaire to get your government’s attention,” Scheer said while seated in a home in Surrey, B.C.
“Instead you deserve a government that respects how hard you work and how much you already pay.”
The volatile political landscape of B.C’s Lower Mainland was Scheer’s focus for the early part of Sunday; the party is hoping to take seats away from both the Liberals and the NDP in the area.
For their part, the NDP were out trying to hold onto—and increase—the seats in a province that once pushed them to Official Opposition status: Quebec.
There, leader Jagmeet Singh unveiled a sweeping set of policy promises including more money for immigration, an expansion of the province’s language laws and increased powers in areas such as environmental assessment and trade agreements.
The New Democrats made historic gains in Quebec in 2011, capturing nearly 60 seats in a province where they’d previously held only one.
The surge was known as the orange wave, and it’s receded quite a bit since. The party is down to 11 seats in the province now.
“We can make gains because we have a bold program, we want to address climate change, we want to recognize the importance of Quebec,” Singh said in French.
“So I have a lot of confidence that we can make gains but we’ll leave the decision up to Quebecers.”
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was in the Toronto area Sunday, not expected to make any policy promises but scheduled to appear at a massive rally for tennis superstar Bianca Andreescu who captivated the country with her win over Serena Williams at the U.S. Open last weekend.
People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier was also campaigning in his home province of Quebec Sunday, while Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is in her home riding on Vancouver Island, expected to travel to Toronto late Sunday in preparation for her party’s platform launch on Monday.