Party leaders continued on the campaign trail today before gearing up for the first televised debate of the election campaign. Free trade, justice for residential school survivors, gun control and long-term care were among the main topics leaders focused on during day 19 of the federal election campaign.
Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau was back in Montreal on Thursday to prepare for the two-hour French-language debate with other party leaders, to be broadcast on Quebec network TVA at 8 p.m. ET.
In a post on Twitter, Trudeau said Canadians have an important choice in this election “about what the next 18 months, and the next 18 years, will look like.”
“Can’t wait to show you how our ambitious plan stacks up to the others,” he said.
Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole announced Thursday if elected, his party would expand “free trade with free nations” that create jobs, promote Canadian values, and protect national security.
His plan includes pursuing agreements with the U.K., Australia and New Zealand to build stronger trade, defence and diplomatic ties, deepen economic ties with India, and expand partnerships across the Indo-Pacific, but away from China.
“We’ll protect jobs and national security, by making it harder for foreign firms, particularly state-owned companies from non-free countries, to buy Canadian companies,” he said in a video post on Twitter.
During a campaign stop in Montreal on Thursday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called for justice for the survivors of St. Anne’s Residential School in Fort Albany, Ontario.
Singh said survivors have been “forced to suffer a massive miscarriage of justice” after a lengthy legal battle over compensation from the federal government for historic abuse.
In a virtual meeting on Wednesday, Singh also pledged to provide relief to residents of B.C. ‘s interior affected by recent wildfires.
He said he would commit to another $3 billion—which builds on his party’s climate change plan—to help municipalities in their response plan and build climate resilience infrastructure for the communities.
While campaigning in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on Thursday, PPC Leader Maxime Bernier promised to adopt a “common-sense approach” to gun control that takes into consideration safety and threats of arbitrary criminal prosecution against legal firearms owners.
“Despite this group being exceptionally law-abiding and the most highly vetted segment in the Canadian population, the existing firearms legislation unfairly targets them, does not respect their property rights, and is highly arbitrary,” he said.
“We need a common-sense approach to gun control that promotes safety while removing the threat of arbitrary criminal prosecution.”
If elected, his party will require all firearms to be categorized based on function instead of “looks or arbitrary political whims.” He pledged to reclassify them based on the Simplified Classification system as proposed by the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.
The Green Party is calling for long-term care to be put under the Canada Health Act so that adequate care for seniors can be guaranteed.
“Long-term care with dignity is a right, not a privilege,” the party said in a post on Twitter Thursday.
In an effort to pay tribute to the lives lost in Afghanistan, Party Leader Annamie Paul urged Canadians to join her in an online vigil for a moment of silence and to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis happening there.