The party leaders: Where they went and what they said on Monday, April 4
On Monday Conservative leader Stephen Harper toured the partly-rural Niagara region where he pledged to scrap the gun registry if his party won a majority. He also pledged to create a hunting and wildlife advisory panel made up of hunters, fishers and conservation groups to offer Ottawa advice on endangered species and wetland protection. In response to concern about having a hidden agenda, Mr. Harper ruled out introducing measures to restrict abortions or eliminate same-sex marriages should he win a majority government. Mr. Harper also responded to news reports that former PMO adviser Bruce Carson had revealed his past in security screenings. Mr. Harper said he wouldn’t have hired Mr. Carson if he had been aware of his past. (Photo: Mr. Harper speaks during a campaign stop at a farm in Wainfleet, Ont.)
(CHRIS WATTIE/Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Headed to Newfoundland and Labrador, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff made a vague pledge Monday to help the province develop its controversial Lower Churchill hydroelectric project. “We want to look at the deal in close detail, but we have talked favourably about a loan guarantee because it lowers the cost of borrowing money,” Mr. Ignatieff said in Halifax. The Liberals are hoping to keep their seats in Newfoundland and Labrador but those were gained with support from Danny Williams. The party also came under fire Monday for their platform proposal to scrap a $1-billion infrastructure fund and create the “Affordable Housing Framework” instead. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities says the Liberal plan would give cities money with one hand while taking with the other. (Photo: Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is surrounded by planets as he reacts on stage while speaking during a campaign rally in St. John's.)
(Nathan Denette/Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
On Monday NDP Leader Jack Layton was in Toronto where he reiterated his stance on Canada's government pension plan, saying the benefits are inadequate and must be increased. Since 2009, Mr. Layton has been urging the Conservative government to double CPP and QPP payouts from 25 per cent to 50 per cent of pre-retirement income, increasing the monthly benefit to a maximum of $1,817 from $908. The plan would be phased in over seven years. The New Democrats would also increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for low-income seniors – a measure that would cost the federal treasury about $700-million a year. Mr. Layton has not announced new policy on this campaign as much as he has reiterated ideas that his party has been espousing for years. Mr. Layton said he thinks voters will appreciate his consistency.
(Paul Chiasson/Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe was in Riviere-du-Loup on Monday. He visited a house-building plant and got behind the wheel of a forklift. In Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Que. Mr. Duceppe announced the party's protection and development plans for the St. Lawrence River. In La Pocatiere Que., he met with Bombardier employees union leader Mario Levesque.
(Jacques Boissinot/Jacques Boissinot)