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Price tags and platforms: A recap of Friday on the campaign trail

Last Updated Oct 11, 2019 at 11:55 am PDT

File photo: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh waves to a crowd of students at Ryerson University. (Courtesy Jagmeet Singh/Twitter)

The advanced polls are now open across the country, and leaders aren't taking any breaks from campaigning

Find out where your advanced polling location is on your voter ID card or online through Elections Canada

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Advanced polls are now open in the federal election, and party leaders are not taking any breaks from the campaign trail.

The NDP has released the price tags for its promises, with just 10 days left until the federal vote.

The costing shows a deficit of nearly $33 billion and no plan to get back to balance. It also doesn’t explain what Leader Jagmeet Singh plans to do with the Trans Mountain pipeline if elected.

“I don’t know what the exact value is of the asset and what the best way to move forward is, and I don’t want to commit to a path of action without knowing those details,” he said on Friday.

The NDP’s platform costing also shows $35 billion in planned new spending next year, as well as $30.5 billion in expected new revenues.

“I do believe in being prudent, and I believe people want us to live within our means,” Singh said. “That’s why we are talking about increased revenues to be able to pay for investments. But I am, certainly, very clearly opposed to cutting the services that families need. I do not want a cut in healthcare, which is already being starved of investments. So I want to invest more in people, and I’m confident that these investments will also spur more economic developments.”

The balance sheet shows many new investments would be front-loaded in the first year of a New Democrat government, as the projected deficit falls to $18 billion in year two, then sits at around $16.5 billion for the remaining two years of the look ahead.

The party says its plan would still see the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio fall over that time period.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May made a series of foreign policy promises in Ottawa, including aligning Canada with the global movements to ban nuclear and autonomous weapons.

The party’s platform acknowledges something that is now rote in Western military planning doctrine — that climate change is a major contributor to increased global instability. She wants the government to look at its alliances, and the other countries included in them.

“Crystal clear, I think NATO should review Turkey’s membership in NATO and I think Canada should review Canada’s membership in NATO to see if it meets our strategic needs in the 21st Century,” she said.

May said climate change is also the cause of natural disasters, and a rise in global conflicts over resources.

If elected, May said a Green government would sign the Treaty to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and ban autonomous weapons — so-called killer robots. A Green government would also ban Canadian arms exports to Saudi Arabia and ban the importation of Saudi oil, she added.

May also blasted Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s record on the environment, comparing his and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s commitment to addressing climate change while buying a pipeline to Thelma and Louise hitting the gas peddle at the edge of a cliff.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau held a rally in Ottawa before setting off for the west coast, where he encouraged supporters and staff to keep working hard.

At one point during the rally, which was held in a packed restaurant close to Liberal headquarters, Trudeau brandished a copy of his party’s platform, which he said he had made a point to bring to the event.

“It’s a little rumpled right now but it’s been two weeks since we’ve had our fully-costed platform out and we know that it’s a real and serious plan to fight climate change, to invest in Canadians and to move forward,” he said.

“Now the Conservatives are finally saying that they might release a fully-costed platform later today. The reality is, I think we all know it, you don’t release your best work at 6 o’clock on the Friday of a long weekend.”

Trudeau also used the occasion to urge Quebecers to side with his party rather than a resurgent Bloc Quebecois, saying Quebecers “want to be in action, not opposition.”

The Liberal leader is expected to campaign in B.C., in his NDP rival’s riding of Burnaby South later today. He’ll then hit the Lower Mainland, as he begins what is expected to be a gruelling last stretch of campaigning.

Meantime, Conservative Andrew Scheer is also in B.C. where he’s revealing his party’s full platform after holding off longer than the other party leaders.

People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier is on the other coast, staging a rally in Halifax.