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Three party leaders campaign in British Columbia, Scheer tours Quebec

Last Updated Sep 25, 2019 at 11:54 am PDT

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau greets supporters at a campaign event in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Summary

British Columbia is getting attention from three federal party leaders today

Trudeau, Singh, and Bernier are all campaigning in B.C. today as Scheer campaigns in Quebec

Elizabeth May has revealed the financials behind her party's platform in Halifax

OTTAWA — British Columbia is getting attention from three federal party leaders today, including the promise of a “new deal” from the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh.

Singh has already promised to cede authority in several areas to Quebec, including on the environment, immigration and justice, as part of his vision for more asymmetric federalism, in which the provinces don’t all have the same relationship with the federal government.

Singh is also to meet with Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, the former NDP MP whose old seat Singh now holds.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau started his day in Delta before flying back east to a rally in Thunder Bay, Ont.

He says his party, if re-elected, will develop a national plan to relocate Canadians whose homes are at risk of repeat flooding due to climate change.

Trudeau says in the coming years the world is going to be seized with mitigating against climate change.

Parts of eastern Ontario, western Quebec and New Brunswick were hit with major flooding for the second time in three years last spring, prompting a number of experts and governments to suggest climate change requires a rethink of disaster planning.

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier began a western tour on Wednesday, his first extended trip of the campaign, with an appearance at the Surrey Board of Trade.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is campaigning in Quebec, where he highlighted his promise to give Canadians a tax credit to help make their homes more environmentally friendly.

The 20 per cent refundable tax credit could be claimed by anyone who spends between $1,000 and $20,000 on energy-saving home renovations.

Trudeau has been trying hard to paint Scheer as backward on environmental issues, especially climate change, by tying him and his opposition to the Liberals’ carbon-pricing policy to unpopular Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

He hopes a string of environment-related promises will help draw back some of the support that got shaky after last week’s revelations of his history dressing up in black- and brownface.

Singh made climate-change promises of his own Tuesday, including pledging to electrify Canada’s public-transit fleets by the end of the next decade and to construct a coast-to-coast clean-energy corridor.

Trudeau’s climate-change policies are hypocritical, the NDP said, considering the $4.5-billion the government spent to buy the Trans Mountain oil-pipeline project.

Trudeau and Singh did speak late Tuesday about the times Trudeau darkened his skin for costumes, but neither camp would say just what they talked about.

Scheer has mostly been playing his own game in central Canada, talking about undoing Liberal changes to the tax treatment small corporations get and eliminating regulations.

Meantime, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has revealed the financials behind her party’s platform in Halifax.

Her party says introducing universal pharmacare would cost $26.7 billion next year — the biggest new spending item in a costed platform released today.

The party is the first to release a platform with price tags for its pledges as reviewed by the parliamentary budget officer.

May says pharmacare has a large cost, but is essential. To help pay for promises such as pharmacare, eliminating tuition and establishing universal child care, the Greens are proposing new sources of revenue, largely aimed at businesses and the financial sector.

The costed platform shows that by 2024-25, a financial transactions tax would bring in $18 billion a year, increasing the corporate tax rate from 15 per cent to 21 per cent would mean $16 billion in revenue, and closing a capital gains loophole would raise $15 billion.

The Greens propose to balance the budget by that year, though May says if economic circumstances demand increased spending, they would respond to that.