Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was not invited to the French language debate, Andrew Scheer states he’s pro-life but won’t re-open the abortion debate and a man tells Jagmeet Singh to cut off his turban. Find out more with this week’s Federal Election Weekly Recap.
Liberal Party Unveils Their Election Platform
Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau unveiled his party’s election platform at a rally in Ontario this past week. The platform includes billions in new government spending initiatives, increased taxes on corporations and the wealthy, as well as another term of budget deficits.
The focus of the announcement was on university students, with a promise to increase federal grants by 40 per cent and to lengthen the loan repayment grace period from six months to two years.
The plan also includes increasing the annual income threshold for when someone has to start loan repayment from $25,000 to $35,000 even after the two year grace period. New parents would also be able to halt their repayment without accruing interest until their youngest child reaches the age of five.
The Liberal Leader continued the trend of associating Andrew Scheer with Progressive Conservative Premier of Ontario Doug Ford, in order to capitalize on Ford’s fledgling popularity in the province since his election last year.
“Education matters to young people across the country, of course, but it’s especially top of mind here in Ontario, as Doug Ford slashes education funding and makes it near impossible to pay for tuition,” said Trudeau.
Andrew Scheer Says That He’s Pro-Life, But He Won’t Open the Abortion Debate
This past week Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer said that while he is personally opposed to abortion, he would not reopen the debate on the issue if he were to form government following the election.
Scheer, a devout Catholic, was caught between a rock and a hard place when he was pressured by the other leaders during the French language debate on the issue.
While he avoided answering the question in the moment, when questioned about the encounter by the media a few days later, he confirmed his personal views, but committed to keeping the issue left well enough alone.
Both leaders of the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party (NDP) went on the offensive following this announcement from Scheer.
Scheer says that instead of focussing on divisive issues, he hopes to govern in a way that will ‘unite Canadians’.
Scheer has personally identified as a social conservative throughout the entirety of his political career. Earlier in the campaign, a video came out from 2005 of Scheer speaking out against same-sex marriage in the House of Commons.
However, he has since announced his support for marriage equality, equality for blood donors and to ban conversion therapy.
Quebec Man Tells Jagmeet Singh to ‘Cut off His Turban’ to ‘Look Like a Canadian’
While campaigning in Montreal this past week, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was told by a man to cut off his turban in order to look more like a Canadian.
Singh greeted the man at a market with the media present, who caught the interaction on camera. After Singh shook the man’s hand, he leaned over to him and spoke in English.
“You know what? You should cut your turban off,” he said. “You’ll look like a Canadian.”
“Oh, I think Canadians look like all sorts of people,” said Singh. “That’s the beauty of Canada.”
“In Rome, you do as the Romans do,” said the man in response.
“Hey, but this is Canada, you can do whatever you like,” Singh said, at which point he began to walk away.
Singh, the first visible minority leader of a federal political party in Canadian history, has faced a great deal of blowback for his appearance throughout the country, especially in Quebec, where his party has taken a large hit in the polls.
“I’m hoping that by being in Quebec people can see maybe it isn’t a good idea to discriminate against people based on the way they look,” said Singh regarding the issue and his racial identity.
Elizabeth May Not Invited to the French Debate
Leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, was not invited to participate in the first French language debate of the federal election.
Despite the fact that the Green Party is expected to have its largest election showing in its history, the party was not invited to the first French language debate that was held in Montreal this past week, hosted by TVA.
“The debate on debates has been a perennial nightmare of my life as leader of the Green Party,” said May. “The world of murky criteria, back-room dealing, collusion between other parties to exclude Greens from debates, have been an anti-democratic scandal from 2008, 2011, and 2015.”
When the election was called, the party had two elected MPs sitting in the House of Commons, May and Paul Manly, who won a by-election in British Columbia back in May. Former NDP MP Pierre Nantel from Quebec was also running as a Green in this election.
The party is expected by pollsters to win four seats in the upcoming election, which would double their previous record. May also cited a recent poll that shows the Greens polling in second place in the province of Quebec.
The second and final French language debate of the election will be held on October 10, to which May was invited and is expected to take part in.
Vancouver Sun Does a One on One with Maxime Bernier
Recently, the leader of the People’s Party Maxime Bernier sat down with the Vancouver Sun for a one on one interview where he outlined his party’s vision for Canada, which includes slashing taxes and immigration levels, among other things.
When asked about how to address the red hot housing market, Bernier said that lowering immigration levels is one of the key answers, as 90 per cent of new immigrants to Canada settle in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto or Calgary.
He also argued that climate change is a natural process, not primarily the result of human activity.
“I am saying to Canadians, there is no climate emergency in this country,” said Bernier.
Bernier says that his biggest struggle while campaigning is that many Canadians don’t know about his party.
However, he was hopeful that the upcoming debates, to which he was recently invited, will help to change that. He went on to say that he is most excited to debate Jagmeet Singh, who has been incredibly vocal in criticizing Bernier and his party.