The Green Party released their full campaign platform, Maxime Bernier is officially invited to the debates and Justin Trudeau made international headlines for donning both blackface and brownface. Learn more with the Federal Election Weekly Recap.
The Green Party Releases Their Campaign Platform
The Green Party of Canada released its campaign platform this past week, which details a vast array of social spending, including a guaranteed livable income, as well as a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change.
“We call it mission possible, it’s not mission easy, but it’s possible,” said Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, regarding their party’s climate plan. “This platform represents something bold in every single category. We don’t have time anymore for incremental steps.”
The platform makes several bold promises, including doubling Canada’s current greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, a national plan to retrofit buildings across the country to be carbon neutral in 10 years, as well as free university tuition, universal pharmacare and a guaranteed livable income.
May has promised that the plan will be fully costed, though the Parliamentary Budget Office has yet to complete that process at this time.
The New Democratic Party Unveils Their Dentalcare Plan
Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada, made a campaign promise at a town hall in Sudbury this week that if elected the NDP would offer fully covered dental care for households with total incomes below $70,000, with a sliding co-payment for those who fall between $70,000 and $90,000.
The party estimates that this plan would provide care for 4.3 million Canadians.
The Parliamentary Budget Office found that execution of the plan would cost approximately $1.9 billion in its first year, and upwards of $850 million per year going forward.
“It is bold, it is exciting, I’m kind of getting goosebumps when I think about it because we can actually cover so many Canadians that don’t have coverage,” said Singh.
Andrew Scheer Campaigning in Ontario without Premier Doug Ford
Recently, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer was campaigning in Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area without Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, despite being only blocks away from Ford’s own house.
Many believe that it is due to Ford’s recent drop in popularity in Ontario. According to Vassy Kapelos, host of CBC’s Power & Politics, those involved with the federal campaign have been saying privately that if they lose ground in Ontario it will be due to the Ford government.
While Scheer has denied that they are deliberately avoiding the Premier, Doug Ford recently revealed to reporters at an event that they have not been in contact with him at all during the election so far.
The Liberals have been regularly airing ads that attempt to link Scheer with Ford, which is said to be integral to their strategy to win Ontario on October 21.
Maxime Bernier Officially Invited to the Federal Election Debates
This past week the leader of the newly founded People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier, was officially invited to take part in the French and English federal election debates organized by the independent Leaders’ Debate Commission.
“Canadians will be able to look at all the options,” said Bernier following the announcement. “I can tell you that the People’s Party is a real, national party with serious reforms that need to be done for a freer and moreprosperous country.”
“The decision to include another party is important because debates have the potential to alter the outcome of elections and voter evaluations of leaders,” said Dr. Livianna Tossutti, an associate professor of Political Science at Brock University. “While debates tend to reinforce previously-held political preferences, they also offer opportunities for parties and candidates to win over the undecided or the ‘soft’ supporters of other parties who are open to persuasion.”
Tossutti went on to note that the inclusion of the People’s Party will expose voters to a broader diversity of views, something she says has the potential to be beneficial for Canada’s democracy.
With Bernier’s inclusion, there will be six parties represented at the Commission’s debates. This high number, according to Tossutti, will mean less time for all candidates to lay out their visions as well as less time for substantive one on one interactions between candidates.
While Tossutti was more optimistic about Bernier’s inclusion in the Commission’s debates, some had a different take on the matter.
“I think there’s no question [Bernier] will change the tone,” said Dr. Matthew Hennigar, an associate professor of political science at Brock University. “[This decision] will give a platform to anti-immigration sentiments, climate change denial and radical libertarianism on government spending that is absent from the other parties, though Mr. Scheer and possibly the [Bloc Quebecois] on immigration, may now feel more pressure to defend their flanks.”
Hennigar also went on to note that this decision will likely benefit the Liberal party, as Bernier and the party’s controversial stances will divert attention from the Prime Minister’s recent scandal.
Photos and Video Surface of Justin Trudeau in Brownface and Blackface
Several photos and a video were released this past week depicting Liberal Party Leader and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in brownface and blackface just over a week into the campaign.
The initial photo, part of an article published by Time Magazine, was from a 2001 yearbook from a private school in British Columbia where Trudeau was teaching at the time.
Trudeau quickly apologized for the incident after it went public.
“I take responsibility for my decision to do that. I shouldn’t have done it. I should have known better. It was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time, but now I recognize it was something racist to do and I am deeply sorry,” said Trudeau.
Following his apology, additional photos and a video released of him in high school donning blackface for a talent show singing performance. He later apologized for these incidents as well.
When asked how many times he has donned blackface or brownface throughout his life, the Prime Minister said that he could not remember.
While some calls for his resignation swirled momentarily, it is unlikely as many have deemed his subsequent apologies sufficient.