Election Campaign Day 32: Liberals Defend Indoor Rally, Tories Court New Voters

By Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac is a reporter based in Toronto.
September 15, 2021 Updated: September 16, 2021

As the federal election campaign continues in its final week, a Liberal indoor rally, a Tory effort to appeal to a new generation of voters, and an NDP pledge to end for-profit long-term care were among the highlights of the day.

Liberals

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau reiterated a commitment to deliver “better universal, public health care” if re-elected, at a campaign stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Sept. 15.

His party plans to hire at least 7,500 family doctors and nurses, and clear health system wait lists made worse during the pandemic. The plan also includes improving mental health services and requiring mandatory vaccination for travellers.

Trudeau was asked by a reporter to comment on whether a Liberal rally that saw 400 people gather indoors in Brampton, Ont., the previous day, was sending the right message to Canadians during the pandemic.

“We followed all public health guidelines around capacity, around people in the room,” he replied.

He added that since almost 80 percent of Canadians are vaccinated, it means “for those people being able to come back to doing the things we love, is more and more of a possibility.”

When pressed on how he could tell who was vaccinated in the room, Trudeau repeated that the event followed all public health guidelines.

Conservatives

Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole sought to appeal to new voters who may be considering a vote for the party for the first time as he campaigned in Quebec on Sept.15.

“We’re not your dad’s Conservative Party anymore,” he said at a campaign event in Saguenay, Quebec.

“From the first day of my leadership, my priority has been to build a Conservative movement where every Canadian can feel at home: inclusive, diverse, forward-looking, progressive, worker-friendly,” he said.

O’Toole also took aim at Trudeau for calling a federal election during the pandemic and for holding the indoor rally in Brampton, saying it was held “in contempt of common sense and social distancing guidelines.”

NDP

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reaffirmed his pledge to end private, for-profit long-term care during a campaign stop in Essex, Ontario on Sept. 15.

According to the party’s fiscal plan, the NDP will end for-profit care by investing $10 billion to improve long-term care homes, including increasing wages and benefits for workers.

He criticized Trudeau and O’Toole for voting to “keep profit” in this sector when he proposed a motion in Parliament in March to remove it.

People’s Party

While campaigning in Sarnia, Ontario Sept. 15, PPC Leader Maxime Bernier encouraged attendees to vote for his party on election day, characterizing the PPC as a defender of civil liberties amid pandemic health measures.

“That’s the beginning of a big fight. And I can tell you, they told us, ‘only two weeks to flatten the curve,’ but I’m telling you now, we have six days to flatten the lies,” he said.

In his next stop in Inwood, Ont., Bernier said residents there just wanted to live their lives without “Big Brother constantly telling them what they can and cannot do.”

Green Party

Speaking to supporters and media in Kitchener, Ontario on Sept. 15, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul stressed her party’s support for climate change measures, social safety nets, and indigenous reconciliation.

She emphasized the Greens’ track record on cross-party collaboration and said that when Green candidates “get elected, they stay elected.”

“We do what we say we’re going to do. We collaborate with other parties. We know how to play nice,” she said.

Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac is a reporter based in Toronto.