OTTAWA — The federal Liberal election platform is out, and it’s brimming with talking points not only for Justin Trudeau, but for his political rivals as well.
There’s billions in new spending — $57 billion worth, according to Conservative math — to be financed in part by new taxes on the wealthy, large international corporations, foreign housing speculators and tech giants.
There’s billions in red ink, too: the platform projects a $27.4-billion deficit next year, falling to $21 billion by year 4 of what would be a second Liberal mandate, should Trudeau’s growth-and-investment approach win out over what he calls the cuts and austerity of Andrew Scheer’s Tories.
Scheer will no doubt have plenty to say today about what the Conservatives consider Liberal disregard for the federal balance sheet — an image Trudeau seemed to lean into Sunday as an important point of distinction between the two parties.
Trudeau, for his part, will be in Toronto talking to health care professionals about what he has promised a re-elected Liberal government would do about guns — a hot topic in a city that as of last weekend had seen 325 shooting incidents this year alone, 26 of them fatal, according to Toronto police data.
Scheer, who is also in the Toronto area, will be facing questions, too. The Liberals are trying to make hay with the fact that the Conservative leader never finished the licensing process to become an insurance broker, a job description he says he had before politics. The party says he was accredited, but left the industry before getting his licence.
The Conservative campaign will begin the day with an announcement in the critical suburb of Whitby, Ont., with stops planned in Toronto and nearby Scarborough and Brampton — all part of the tactically important suburban belt ringing Canada’s most populous city. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh continues to focus his efforts on the Vancouver area, and his attacks on the Liberals.
Green Leader Elizabeth May is beginning her day in Vancouver, while People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier travels to Windsor, Ont.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2019.