Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has flatly ruled out a Liberal-NDP coalition as a means to stop Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives from forming a government if no party holds a majority after the Oct. 19 vote.
“I do not believe in formal coalitions,” Trudeau said at a campaign stop in the tax-relief heartland of suburban Ajax, Ont. Monday.
“The Liberal Party is, of course, as it always has been, open to working with other parties elected in the House of Commons to pass the right legislation to help Canadians.”
Forever championing his plan to offer tax cuts to the middle class, Trudeau threw out the possibility of forming a partnership in government with NDP leader Tom Mulcair, saying his party’s left-wing rivals are weak on economic policy.
“I don’t believe in backroom deals or arrangements among leaders,” Trudeau said. “I believe that Canadians should have the full range of choices so that they can pick the team with the better plan.”
According to the Canadian Press, Trudeau said the NDP would increase taxes on corporations, which would stall economic growth, but Mulcair does not possess the gaul to hike taxes on high income earners to alleviate the government burden on the middle class.
“You deserve a plan that offers real growth for the middle class, not just a different government, but a better one,” the son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said. “We will stop giving government cheques to wealthy families so we can give more to the middle class and lower-income families.”
Not forgetting to continue his verbal onslaught on the Prime Minister’s legacy, the former drama teacher added: “The Conservatives believe the way to grow the economy is to make wealthy people wealthier, to give the most to the people who need it the least. This is a tougher economy than it needs to be for the middle class and those who wish to join it. Mr. Harper doesn’t see that from 24 Sussex (Drive).”
The Liberal plan promises to reduce taxes to 20.5 per cent for Canadians making between $44,701 and $89,401 per year. Trudeau’s team intends to introduce a new tax bracket of 33 per cent for incomes over $200,000.
Scheduled to join Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne for a rally in downtown Toronto Monday, Trudeau reportedly brushed off questions about police investigations into the Ontario Liberal-led provincial government and how it could impact his party’s federal campaign.
In an attempt to manufacture a controversy of their own, Mulcair, Trudeau, Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe and Green Party leader Elizabeth May attacked Conservative leader Stephen Harper for not taking part in Montreal’s annual Pride event Sunday.
Speaking to reporters, Mulcair said: “There’s a lot that the federal government can and should do to remove discrimination in society. Mr. Harper should show up at some of these events, but it’s clear from his systematic refusal to take part that it’s not very important to him.”
Duceppe slammed Harper’s “completely outdated mentality” and accused the Prime Minister of doing nothing for the rights of people within the LGBTQ community.
“The fact that Mr. Harper continues to choose not to attend Pride events, not just here in Montreal, but right across the country, once again shows that he is not choosing to be the Prime Minister for all Canadians,” said Trudeau, offering his two cents.
Jumping on the bandwagon, May expressed her “disappointment” at Harper’s absence.
According to CBC, the Conservatives responded to the incoming fire by referring to the following statement: “The Conservative Party was represented at [Sunday’s] parade by two local Conservative candidates.”
Steve Shanahan, the Conservative candidate for Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—L’île-des-Sœurs, and Richard Sagala, who is competing for the seat of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, were reportedly in attendance.
Meanwhile, Harper unveiled a plan to increase the ranks of the Canadian Forces reserves by 6,000 to 30,000 personnel in the next four years during a campaign stop in Fredericton, N.B. Monday.
Under the proposal, which includes streamlining and shortening the recruitment process and improved training for reserve personnel, the Conservatives would oversee an increase in the expansion of the primary reserve, with the target strength of 30,000 being achieved within the party’s next mandate, if elected, instead of by 2028 as previously stated under the Canada First Defence Strategy.
Appearing alongside Fredericton Conservative candidate Keith Ashfield, Harper said: “These measures will provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the strategic depth they need to respond to varied and sometimes multiple, national and international emergencies and challenges.”
“Ensuring the Canadian Forces have the tools and the people they need has always been a top priority for our government.”
SIGN UP FREE for exclusive Election 2015 coverage from The Rebel team!
JOIN OUR CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN to bring you fearless Canadian election reporting!