Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is campaigning to unseat the New Democrats in Toronto, while making it clear he would be more likely to work with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair than Conservative Leader Stephen Harper in a minority.
One day after trying to appeal to former Progressive Conservatives in more right-wing parts of Ontario, Mr. Trudeau planned three stops in ridings that went to the NDP in the 2011 campaign.
“I’m not asking you to look at the polls, I’m asking you to look at our platform,” Mr. Trudeau told supporters at a coffee shop in the Beaches on Tuesday morning. “You told us what matters to you, and we listened. Together we built one of the most progressive platforms in Canadian history. In this election, the most progressive platform is the Liberal platform.”
While he was going after NDP voters, Mr. Trudeau repeated he would not support Mr. Harper in the event of a minority. He added he would not even abstain on confidence votes to keep the Conservative Party in power.
“There is no circumstance in which I could either support him, or even stand back and allow him to continue to be prime minister,” the Liberal Leader said.
The Liberals are campaigning on pocket book issues in the final week of the campaign, touting their tax cuts for most workers and their new child-benefit that will mean bigger cheques “for nine out of 10 families.” In addition, the party is arguing that, by going into deficit for three years, it will be able to “invest now” in a large infrastructure projects.
Mr. Trudeau contrasted his plan with the NDP’s promise of a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour, saying it will only apply to a minority of low-income workers.
“[Mr. Mulcair] was giving false hope to hard working Canadians,” Mr. Trudeau said. “Hard-working Canadians don’t need a symbol, they need a plan that puts money in their pockets.”
Overall, the Liberal Leader’s tour is making stops on Tuesday in ridings that were won by Matthew Kellway (Beaches-East York), Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park) and Andrew Cash (Davenport) four years ago.
Many New Democrats argue that Mr. Trudeau should focus his efforts on ridings that are currently in Conservative hands, instead of targeting the likes of Mr. Kellway. But Mr. Kellway’s rival in Beaches-East York, Nate Erskine-Smith, said he won’t hold back on his plans to join the Liberal team in Ottawa.
“I’ve been unrepresented for a majority of my adult life with Stephen Harper as my prime minister, and I want to change that. That is my central concern,” Mr. Erskine-Smith said in an interview. “When we talk about bringing 315,000 kids out of poverty, you don’t see the NDP talking about that at all. In fact, they’ll continue Harper’s plan to send cheques to families that don’t need them. There are major differences, and people who want to see a change are lining up to support us in this election for that reason.”
Asked about the findings that a Russian-made missile downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine last year, Mr. Trudeau vowed that he would not hesitate to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin if he becomes prime minister.
“Putin is being dangerous with his interventions in Eastern Europe, being irresponsible and harmful to peace with his interventions in the Middle East, and he is being unduly provocative with his actions in the Arctic,” Mr. Trudeau said.
“Canada needs to continue to stand strongly with the international community pushing back against the bully that is Vladimir Putin. If I have the opportunity in the coming months to meet with Vladimir Putin, I will tell him all this directly to his face because we need to ensure that Canada continues to stand strongly for peace and justice in the world,” he said.Report Typo/Error