NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh holds a town hall meeting as he makes a campaign stop in Victoria on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

VIDEO: Liberals, Tories, NDP stay in comfort zones as campaign hits halfway mark

Election season is ramping up for all the parties

The Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats spent the day at the halfway point of the federal election campaign in their comfort zones.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau talked about gun control. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promised to improve access to a tax credit, this time for people with disabilities. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh promised, once again, his party would bring in universal and affordable child care nationwide.

All of them, meanwhile, went after each other for either promising to spend too much — or not enough, depending on who was talking.

Trudeau was in Toronto Monday to speak with health-care professionals about what he promised a re-elected Liberal government would do about guns.

That is a hot topic in a city that has seen 342 shootings involving 505 victims this year alone, according to Toronto police data. Twenty-nine of the injuries were fatal. The numbers changed throughout the day to reflect more incidents being recorded.

Those proposed measures include outlawing the semi-automatic AR-15, which was used in many recent mass shootings in the United States, a buy-back program for legally purchased assault rifles and working with provinces and territories to allow cities to further restrict or ban handguns.

“The choice for Canadians is crystal clear,” Trudeau said. “Liberals will strengthen gun control. Conservatives will weaken gun control.”

Those were fighting words from Trudeau, even as some of the people who shared the stage with him in Toronto said his proposals are not strong enough.

Scheer was also visiting familiar territory on Monday, as he went to Whitby, Ont., to propose legislation that would expand access to the federal disability tax credit, as well as make it easier for people to qualify for a registered savings plan for people with disabilities.

“It’s so important that Canadians with a disability can care for themselves and parents can support their children without worrying about their bottom line,” said Scheer, who made the announcement in the riding once held by the late Jim Flaherty, the former Conservative finance minister — at a facility for people with disabilities Flaherty helped birth.

Flaherty was an advocate for the disability community and so is his widow, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott. One of their sons has special needs.

The promise Scheer made Monday follows other pledges to re-introduce tax credits the Liberals have eliminated, including for public transit and recreation programs for children. It also comes after the Liberal government was accused, in 2017, of trying to make it harder for diabetics to qualify.

“Imagine being told you’re insufficiently disabled to keep more of your own money to manage your own health,” said Scheer.

VIDEO: Re-elected Liberals would still run big deficits, despite new taxes

Out in Vancouver, Singh was promising to bring in universal child care, costing no more than $10 per day, across the country by 2030.

“Our goal is to make sure that no kid goes without child care, that every family gets the child care they need,” said Singh.

The NDP has long been pushing for such a national program, and made a similar promise to create one million spaces costing no more than $15 per day a central plank in their 2015 election platform under former leader Thomas Mulcair.

Singh noted that the Liberals have also promised universal child care before, notably in the 1993 campaign that brought former prime minister Jean Chretien to power, but never brought it in. The Liberals did pledge $7.5 billion over 11 years to child care, but did not create a universal program.

READ MORE: Spotlight on B.C.: Setting the agenda on key election issues

Green Leader Elizabeth May is beginning her day in Vancouver, while People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier travels to Windsor, Ont.

Joanna Smith, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

TV star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Port Alberni Toy Run launches new fundraiser for 2020

Toy Run teddy bears will help replace funds lost due to COVID-19 changes

Missing Port Alberni man found deceased

47-year-old had been missing since late June: RCMP

Longtime volunteer retires from Port Alberni’s Abbeyfield House

Doreen Bissette honoured for two decades of volunteerism

Savard prevails with best gross score at Alberni Golf Club

Men’s club prepares for ‘waltz’ on July 12

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 110 km/h in a construction zone

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read