Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks in Surrey on Aug. 30, 2019. (Surrey Board of Trade photo)

Policies on veterans, climate change emerge as leaders head back to the trail

Campaign discussions shifted back to meat-and-potatoes policy after fallout from blackface scandal

Discussion on the campaign trail shifted back to meat-and-potatoes policy Sunday after a steady diet of fallout from Justin Trudeau’s blackface scandal.

Recently discovered images showing Trudeau in black- or brownface at costume events before he entered politics dominated the last few days of the campaign, throwing Liberal re-election efforts off course.

After a break from the trail Saturday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer visited Prince Edward Island to promise more robust support for veterans after moves by Liberal and Tory governments angered them.

Scheer said as prime minister he would clear a backlog of veterans’ benefit applications within two years and create a reliable pension system.

“To every veteran who has struggled and who has continued to struggle without the support and benefits you have earned through your service, my message is this: You have been betrayed, but you deserve better,” he said.

Scheer is also promising to strengthen post-service transition supports, help more veterans get service dogs, enshrine in legislation a guarantee that every veteran is treated with respect and gets services in a timely manner, and support commemoration projects such as the National Memorial for Canada’s War in Afghanistan.

“As prime minister I will take a personal interest in ensuring the commitments we made today are followed through on,” he said.

READ MORE: Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

During a stop in Gatineau, Que., NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh pledged to add $2.5 billion to the federal government’s disaster mitigation fund.

Singh says the idea is to help people — like those in west Quebec who recently faced severe flooding — avoid disasters and be able to stay in their current homes.

The national Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund has already set aside $2 billion to support large-scale infrastructure programs that help communities better manage such risks.

The federal government says an increasing number of Canadian communities have experienced significant weather-related events and disasters triggered by natural hazards such as floods, wildland fires and droughts — events that are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

Singh said “we can’t just close our eyes” to the prospect of more weather-related calamities.

Trudeau, meanwhile, is promising a new policy announcement later Sunday at a residential subdivision in Brampton, Ont.

Green Leader Elizabeth May doesn’t have big plans Sunday other than a fundraiser in Victoria.

May was in Winnipeg on Saturday to talk up her party’s plans to combat the opioid crisis by decriminalizing drug possession and improving social supports for people who use drugs.

Asked about the proposal Sunday, Scheer said while he would not recriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, the Conservatives think making other drugs legal is a bad idea.

— With files from Kelly Geraldine Malone

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Uu a thluck Community Dinner hopes to feed 400 at Christmas in Port Alberni

Biennial dinner takes place on Dec. 25 at Alberni Athletic Hall

BUDGET 2020: Alberni’s animal shelter to assume broader social role, says SPCA

Nanaimo manager lays out new educational role to Port Alberni city council

Port Alberni author Shayne Morrow holds book signing

Morrow’s true crime book is featured at Salmonberry’s at Harbour Quay

Motorhome catches fire in Port Alberni mobile home park

Space heater left inside thought to be cause of fire

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

WATCH: Christmas kettle campaign volunteer gets musical in Port Alberni

Salvation Army hopes to raise $100K to help families hard hit by forestry strike

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read