Campaign promises: Trudeau's pledges for a Liberal government
Throughout the marathon campaign, Trudeau pledged to boost the economy, help the middle class, and improve the way Canada’s government is run.
Sonja Puzic, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, October 20, 2015 1:46PM EDT
Justin Trudeau led the Liberal Party to a resounding victory Monday night, capping his 78-day campaign for “real change.”
Throughout the marathon campaign, Trudeau pledged to boost the economy, help the middle class, and improve the way Canada’s government is run. Here’s what he promised along the way:
Tax breaks for middle-class Canadians have been at the core of Trudeau’s promise to improve the economy. He promised to lower the federal income tax rate to 20.5 per cent on incomes between $44,700 and $89,401, and pay for it by raising taxes on the wealthiest one per cent.
He promised to bring in a new, tax-free child benefit, allow people to dip into their RRSPs more than once to buy a home, and reduce EI premiums.
Trudeau also said a Liberal government would bring the tax-free savings account contribution limit back to $5,500 per year, after the Conservatives increased it to $10,000.
Trudeau has pledged to run three consecutive “modest” deficits until 2019, in order to significantly increase spending on infrastructure and boost the economy.
He has also promised a “full and open public debate” in the House of Commons on the recently signed Trans-Pacific Partnership, full details of which have yet to be released publicly.
National security and military
Trudeau faced a lot of criticism when his party supported the Conservatives’ controversial anti-terror legislation, Bill C-51. But he said that a Liberal government would move quickly to amend the bill so that it protects the rights of individual Canadians.
Trudeau also raised eyebrows when he said he would scrap the purchase of the F-35 fighter jet and instead buy cheaper planes to replace the aging CF-18s. He said the Liberals would use the savings to pay for offshore Arctic patrol vessels for the navy being built in Halifax.
In the last weeks of the election campaign, Trudeau said that a Liberal government would begin working to legalize and regulate marijuana “right away.” He declined to set a firm timeline for legalization, but said he would make it an early priority.
Refugees, immigration and citizenship
At the height of the Syrian refugee crisis, Trudeau said the Liberals would bring 25,000 refugees to Canada by the end of 2015.
He has also promised to speed up family reunification for immigrants and scrap the visa requirement for Mexicans travelling to Canada.
As the party leaders debated the issue of face-covering veils, Trudeau said his government would not appeal a recent court decision that allowed niqabs to be worn at citizenship ceremonies.
Trudeau said a Liberal government would “immediately” launch a national public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. He called the disappearance and deaths of nearly 1,200 women and girls a “national tragedy that must come to an end.”
Trudeau also promised to add $515 million per year to funding for First Nations education, as well as an additional $40 million over four years for the controversial Nutrition North program, which aims to bring healthy and affordable food to remote northern communities.
Electoral reform and Senate
Trudeau said he would introduce electoral reform legislation within 18 months of forming government. He said the legislation would be based on the recommendations of a special, all-party parliamentary committee. One of the committee’s biggest tasks would be to consider doing away with the first-past-the-post electoral system in time for the next federal election.
He also promised to bring a merit-based appointment process for the Senate, and end the partisan nature of the Upper Chamber.
With files from The Canadian Press