OTTAWA — A busy day for the main party leaders Tuesday as they ramp up their campaign ahead of the Sept. 20 federal election.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau began his day visiting supporters in Ottawa, and focusing his election push on health-related issues. They include a $6.5 billion pledge to mental health programs as well as a national suicide prevention and support hotline.
“We will make this investment through a brand new dedicated Canada mental health transfer to provinces and territories,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau also making news by addressing efforts from some provinces to decriminalize drugs.
“We are absolutely open to working with them in a responsible way to move forward,” Trudeau said on International Overdose Awareness Day.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole is also in Ottawa, where he renewed his promise to provide more treatment beds to those who struggle with addiction.
“We are also going to deliver on a 988 national suicide prevention hotline,” O’Toole said about his mental health action plan.
He was also asked about his party’s plans for reconciliation with Indigenous people.
“[My government will] bring people together to learn from our history, to make sure we commit to reconciliation…we all need to walk the road to reconciliation together and I will lead the road as prime minister,” O’Toole said.
His comments come as the Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations says she won’t be endorsing any party in the federal election. In a virtual news conference Tuesday, RoseAnne Archibald said she would remain non-partisan, both during and after the campaign.
“I commit to working with all parties after the election to ensure that Canada does all that it can to help us to heal. To create stronger First Nations, justice, equality, equity, which will lead to a stronger Canada for us all,” Archibald said.
Meantime, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is spending Tuesday in B.C.’s Lower Mainland with a housing announcement in Coquitlam. Singh is vowing to increase capital gains on house flippers, in an effort to crackdown on those profiting off B.C.’s hot housing market and affordability crisis. Later in the day, the NDP leader will be speaking with voters in Burnaby at his campaign office.
Green leader Annamie Paul is in Toronto to talk about food security as she tries to gather supporters in the city and its surrounding areas. She also is campaigning to win a seat as a Member of Parliament.
The federal election is just a few weeks away and a new poll suggests the Liberals are struggling to hold onto their early lead. It shows the support has shifted from the Liberals to the Conservatives and NDP in the last few weeks. Thirty-four per cent of decided voters who took part in the Leger survey said they support the Conservatives ahead of the Liberals.
With files from The Canadian Press and Irene Preklet