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

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

The Cowichan Valley Arts Council is offering courses in drawing May through August 2021. (Submitted)
A&E column: Art is everywhere in the Cowichan Valley

What’s going in the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

The CVRD introduces new app to contact residents during emergencies, a tool that chairman Aaron Stone says will improve communications. (File photo)
CVRD launches new app to spread information during emergencies

Cowichan Alert is a free app that can be downloaded onto smartphones, computers

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

FILE PHOTO
Editorial: Time to roll up our sleeves and pitch in

They’re just not quite sure they want to get a vaccine — yet

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

Most Read