Canada John Ivison: Jagmeet Singh's crafted play on 'selfish' Trudeau may serve NDP well in election
Live updates: Leaders face off in second federal election debate in French
This is the Montreal Gazette’s live coverage of tonight’s federal leaders’ debate. Questions/comments? email@example.com Top updates: Trudeau and O’Toole neck and neck with less than two weeks left in campaign: Leger poll Welcome to our live coverage Tonight’s French debate, Thursday’s English debate pivotal for federal leaders In 2019, the Liberals narrowly outpaced the Bloc in Quebec The Greens were poised for a breakthrough in 2019. Now their woes may impact the wider election Opinion: With two weeks to go, the real campaign is beginning Opinion: No room for error in Round 2 of federal leaders’ debates Opinion: With two weeks to go, can Justin Trudeau reverse th
TORONTO – Another day, another gross invasion of privacy as a political candidate (and the travelling media circus) expropriated someone’s lawn for a photo op.
Jagmeet Singh was in the Davenport riding, just west of Toronto’s downtown, to hammer home his party’s affordable housing plan. “Families can’t afford Justin Trudeau’s housing crisis and billionaire handouts any longer” was the message of the day – one Singh hopes will resonate in a riding the NDP held between 2011 and 2015; a riding that was lost by just 1,500 votes in 2019.
FIRST READING: The Conservatives’ enthusiastic abandonment of conservatism
Throughout Election 44 we are publishing this special daily edition of First Reading, our politics newsletter, to keep you posted on the ins and outs (and way outs) of the campaign. To get an early version sent direct to your inbox every weekday at 6 p.m. ET, sign up here. DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS Last night was the only English-language debate of Election 44. Find the National Post’s full recap here. What follows are First Reading’s highlights from the Wednesday French-language debate (or “debat des chefs,” as they call it). “ I’m sorry Mr. Trudeau, but this is an undesired election ,” was how moderator Patrice Roy opened the debate .
If the New Democrats do take this riding on Monday, it probably means Trudeau will be looking for new accommodation.
The leader stood alongside a graph that simply read: “Trudeau’s housing crisis”, with a red line that rose from bottom left to top right, with no information on what it portrayed. The message was as clear as the details were vague. But that could be said about the NDP writ large.
Singh’s solution to the housing crisis is to build an additional 500,000 social and affordable homes over 10 years, with $14 billion invested in the first mandate of an NDP government.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh promises cap on cellphone bills during Windsor stop
Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh returned to Windsor Tuesday night repeating a promise to cap cellphone bills, bring in universal pharmacare, make housing more affordable and tax the super rich with “unlimited zeal.” “There are some people out there we think should start paying their fair share,” Singh told a crowd of supporters at Gateway Aviation Windsor. “People keep on telling me it’s getting harder and harder with the cost of living.” Singh’s campaign bus rolled up to Windsor’s Gateway Aviation Windsor shortly after 8 p.m. This was his third campaign visit to Windsor.
That big ticket item is part of a platform that would spend $215 billion (on top of the $100 billion in the last Liberal budget) on programs like universal pharmacare, student grants, dental coverage and Indigenous children’s welfare.
The platform would be funded, in part, by $166 billion of new revenue, generated by an “excess” profit tax, an increased top marginal tax rate, a rise in the corporate tax rate, a crackdown on tax havens and a wealth tax the party suggests will generate $60 billion over five years. The Parliamentary Budget Office was asked to validate that claim, which it did with the caveat: “A behavioural response is expected, reducing total exposure to wealth taxation. To account for this behaviour, each economic family’s net worth was reduced by 35 per cent”. Why 35 per cent? Who knows.
I asked Singh why Canadians should trust such vague calculations. “We are proposing things that haven’t been done in a long time. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try,” he said, which sounded like a tacit admission the party has no clue whether this proposed tax will raise $60 billion or 60¢.
For NDP, an improved election turnout depends on unlikeliest of factors: support for Erin O’Toole
OTTAWA — The NDP have been riding high on the popularity of leader Jagmeet Singh, polling near historic highs just days out from the election. But another, less obvious, factor might provide an additional boost: a Conservative Party that’s lagging in the polls. Analysts are constantly weighing the impact of strategic voting in a campaign, which tends to be motivated by keeping an opponent out of power rather than getting a preferred candidate in. In recent Canadian elections, strategic voters have largely consisted of leakage between Liberal-NDP supporters.
The nation’s billionaires – all 47 of them – will be relieved to know their ill-gotten gains (in the NDP’s eyes, all wealth is a sin) is probably safe. The New Democrats are polling near historic highs but are not going to form government next week.
Their real goal is to add to the 24 seats they won in 2019 and they look well-positioned to achieve that.
Singh has run an energetic campaign and, as his Davenport candidate Alejandra Bravo put it when she introduced him, he is “Canada’s most respected and loved leader”.
The scourge of the NDP in tight federal elections is the appeal by Liberal leaders to defect and prevent a Conservative victory.
Barack Obama will also have hurt the NDP cause by tweeting Thursday about his “friend” Trudeau and wishing him well in the election. Such an endorsement from the former U.S. president gives tacit approval for progressives to vote Liberal.
However, Singh is much better prepared – and crucially, the campaign is better resourced – to repel such last minute appeals than two years ago. He spent much of his press conference targeting Trudeau and his “selfish” election call.
John Ivison: As NDP, Conservatives accuse Trudeau of dishonesty, a question looms — Who can you trust?
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole are "bad for Canada." He was asked by reporters if there's any party he would not work with if Monday's vote elects a minority government.
Questions about the health emergency in Alberta and about the announcement of a defence pact between the U.S., U.K. and Australia received the same answer – Canadians would have been better served if their prime minister had not called an election for his own advancement. “He called an election knowing full well that the fourth wave was going to happen. He decided to call an election instead of continuing to help people out. It was a colossal failure of leadership,” Singh said.
The NDP’s chances of retaining its vote share over the weekend rest on whether progressives are as disillusioned with Trudeau as Singh says they are. He has made the case that there is a cost to voting Liberal – pointing out that Canada’s emissions have grown faster than any of its G7 peers since the Paris Agreement was signed. On the cost of living, Singh has made much of the 4.1 per cent CPI increase reported by Statistics Canada this week and highlighted the contribution of rising house prices as a driver of inflation. “Since (Trudeau) became prime minister, the cost of buying a home has increased $300,000 and the cost of rent has increased by 21 per cent,” the NDP said in a press release.
Above all, Singh has played on the anger and resentment around the election call, which is discernible from the briefest of conversations with cab drivers and waiters across the country.
John Ivison: Singh side-steps questions about post-election scenarios
SASKATOON — In the final days of a gruelling campaign, it is clear why no political leader wants to be knocked off message by musing about what might happen post-election. The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh was no exception. Four times he was asked if, on principle, he agreed that the largest party should have first crack at forming a government in a minority situation. Four times he answered with a variation of the following: “I want people to know where I stand. People are going to have to make a choice. While (Justin) Trudeau and (Erin) O’Toole want to defend the super-wealthy, we are going to make them pay their fair share.
Relieved Conservatives say their research shows that, while the NDP vote is “softening”, it has not nose-dived. That support is heavily-weighted to British Columbia, where polls suggest Monday will be a good night for the orange team. Alberta may yield more than the one seat the party currently holds, though Singh said his team is assessing whether he will visit the province, given the health emergency.
But it is, as usual, the performance in Ontario that will be key. The NDP came second in Davenport, Toronto Danforth, Oshawa and Kingston and the Islands in 2019. Singh visited all four ridings on Thursday – a sign that the party is not trying to save the furniture in seats it already holds. All four ridings have New Democrat provincial members at Queen’s Park, which suggests they are winnable.
The last days of a general election are not a time to be subtle and Singh’s message is as sophisticated as a brick through a window. “In this election, people can choose Mr. Trudeau, who is all talk and only wants to protect the rich. Or they can choose me and I will fight for them,” he said. “Better is possible. We just need to vote for it.”
Singh may not be a master of detail but he is audacious – as he has shown by purloining Trudeau’s “better is always possible” catchphrase. He has learned from mistakes made last time and appears to be on course to strengthen his position as kingmaker in the next Parliament.
Canadians head to the polls as political wildcards leave election outcome up in the air .
Canadians head to the polls today for the final day of voting in this 44th general election and surveys suggest the result is far from certain with as many as six parties in contention for seats in Parliament. More than 5.8 million Canadians have already voted in the advance polls, and Elections Canada has received nearly one million special ballots — a record-setting early turnout that suggests there's an energized electorate. Poll workers will start the vote count tonight, but the outcome may not be known until tomorrow after the many mail-in ballots are verified at hundreds of returning offices nationwide.