Federal election 2019 roundup: People's Party of Canada invited to official leaders' debates

People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier reacts after a musical performance at the PPC National Conference in Gatineau, Que. on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. Justin Tang

Share Adjust Comment Print

Day six of the 2019 federal election begins with a batch of policy announcements this morning. In this live story, we’ll be tracking the campaign news as it happens.

3:15 p.m. — Breaking down the Conservative tax plan

University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe compared the new Conservative “universal tax cut” proposal, announced Sunday, to the Liberal “middle-class tax cut” announced in 2015.

According to Tombe’s analysis, the new Conservative proposal will be even bigger for those in the middle income brackets that range from $40,000 to $100,000.

2:00 p.m. — The Liberals and Conservatives are arguing about… Faith Goldy?

On Saturday, a Conservative candidate fled reporters, looking to avoid questions about her relationship with controversial right wing commentator Faith Goldy. In an attempt to fight back on Monday, at a press conference introducing new tax credits, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer accused Liberal leader Justin Trudeau of buying Goldy drinks.

The Liberals quickly responded with a statement sent to reporters: “”The Prime Minister hasn’t had drinks with Faith Goldy but if he were to talk to her he’d tell her to stop saying racist and hateful things. We encourage Andrew Scheer to do the same thing.”

 

1:30 p.m. — People’s Party of Canada invited to leaders’ debate

The Leaders’ Debates Commission has invited Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, to two debates on Oct. 7 and Oct. 10.

Although the PPC was deemed last month to be ineligible for the debates, the commission said the party has now satisfied all the criteria.

Bernier’s party was not invited to the recent CityTV/Maclean’s debate held on Thursday, and which Liberal leader Justin Trudeau declined to attend.

“With the benefit of more recent information, I am of the view that the PPC has attracted a significant number of party members, has established a notable presence in the media and on the political landscape and, based on recent polling data, has achieved a reasonable chance of success in more than one riding,” said debates commissioner David Johnston in a press release announcing the decision.

12:10 p.m. — Scheer introduces children’s fitness tax credit

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said he will introduce a children’s fitness tax credit if his party forms government in October.

The credit will allow parents to claim up to $1,000 per child for sports and fitness activities and $500 for academic services like school tutoring. Parents of children with disabilities will receive an extra $500 on both credits. The credit will be refundable and are reminiscent of credits brought in by the Harper government, which were phased out when Justin Trudeau’s Liberals took power.

Scheer told reporters that the credits were wildly popular in the Harper years, benefiting “hundreds of thousands” of Canadian families.

“That’s why they were so disappointed when Justin Trudeau cancelled them. He believes he can spend your money better than you can,” said Scheer.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates the cost of the fitness and arts credits at about $241 million and $56 million, respectively, in 2020-21.

10:10 a.m. — NDP announces former leader of Quebec Green Party as candidate

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh announced Eric Ferland as the party’s candidate in Quebec’s Longueuil-Saint-Hubert riding.

Ferland was the leader of the Green Party of Quebec in the mid-90s before being elected town councillor in Frelighsburg, Quebec.

The move is a neat illustration of the bickering going on between the two progressive parties currently battling for relevance. Former NDP candidate Pierre Nantel recently quit the party for the federal Green Party and he will be running against Ferland in Longueuil-Saint-Hubert.

9:50 a.m. — Trudeau announces childcare boost

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says he’ll create 250,000 spaces in before- and after-school programs if he’s elected. Trudeau says the plan, which wades into an area governed by the provinces, will lower fees by 10 per cent and could save some families up to $800 per year. The plan will also reserve 10 per cent of the spots for parents who work odd hours, either earlier or later than 9-5.

Trudeau also promised that he would have a new gun control policy to announce in the coming weeks.

9:00 a.m. — Scheer heads west, while Trudeau makes an announcement in Waterloo

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau will be in Waterloo at 9:40 a.m. this morning where he will be making a policy announcement and taking questions from reporters. Trudeau was criticized over the weekend for failing to take questions during a series of photo ops.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer will be in Kelowna, B.C. for an announcement scheduled for 12 p.m. EDT. Scheer spent the weekend dealing with questions about some of his candidates, including one who fled a reporter’s questions.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will be in Montreal this morning to announce what he’s describing as a “star candidate” at 10 a.m. and then will host a “cinq à sept” (a get-together) in the city with candidate Alexandre Boulerice.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May will be in Toronto at 10 a.m. to launch her party’s platform, before heading off to Kitchener for a media availability with a local candidate.

Comments