As the final days of the federal election quickly unfold, party leaders and other candidates were busy attempting to earn votes.
Bolstering small businesses, assisting young Canadians and the future effects of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) were all topics up for debate throughout the week.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday that a Liberal government would make significant investments towards jobs and employment opportunities for young Canadians.
“I’ve met and spoken with thousands of young Canadians across the country – young people who are unable to find good jobs when they graduate, pay off student debts, or afford to buy a house,” he said. “They are investing in their futures and in Canada’s future, but for 10 long years (Stephen) Harper has not lifted a finger to help them. It is time for a government that is focused on young Canadians. That is why, as part of the Liberal plan to create jobs, grow the economy and help the middle class, we will immediately invest in young Canadians.”
The Liberal government plans to invest $1.3 billion over three years towards creating jobs and opportunities for young Canadians. They also plan to create 40,000 youth jobs each year for the next three years through the Youth Employment Strategy. By increasing the maximum Canada Student Grant for low-income full-time students, they state it will be easier to get a post-secondary education.
“In this election, we are the party with the most progressive platform, and the only party that is being straight about what it will take to grow our economy,” said Trudeau. “Harper wants Canadians to believe that better isn’t possible, and (Thomas) Mulcair wants us to believe that change can wait. On Oct. 19th, together we can enact a vision of Canada that’s confident and positive, and bring real change to our country.”
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair announced on Wednesday the TPP deal may hike prescription costs for Canadians.
He stated health care and caring for the aging population are among the significant challenges the federal government will face. “The problems with health and seniors’ care started under the Liberals and were made worse by Stephen Harper,” said Mulcair. “I’m going to work hard to undo the damage they’ve done. Stephen Harper’s signature on his secret TPP deal also means your drug costs will actually go up. An NDP government will fight for a better deal because we know seniors and all Canadians deserve better.”
Under the NDPs management provinces and territories would be assisted in delivering quality and affordable health care for Canadians. The plan also includes more home care options, nursing home beds, doctors, nurses and clinics and reduced costs for prescriptions along with a universal drug plan.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Wednesday the Liberal’s high taxes, spending and plans for a deficit could lead to job losses and affect small business owners.
“Canada’s small businesses are the beating heart of our economy,” said Harper. “Yet Justin Trudeau doesn’t understand or appreciate the challenges they face and the hard-work they put into their businesses and our communities. His tax hikes will hurt Canadian small business owners, cause job losses, and result in business closures.”
To help small businesses grow and create jobs, the Conservative government has delivered substantial ongoing tax relief to small businesses and their owners, which includes reducing the corporate income tax rate for small businesses and increasing the amount of income eligible for the lower rate to $50,000.
In addition, a re-elected Conservative Government plans to cut payroll taxes on small businesses by more than 20%.
“Canadians face a clear choice on October 19th,” said Harper. “Our Conservative Party is the only party that will lower taxes on small businesses and keep them low. The Conservative plan to protect our economy will help it grow and create jobs. The Liberals are committed to a high-tax, high-debt agenda that has failed in other countries around the world, in provinces here at home, and that will ultimately wreck our national economy.”
The federal election is set for this Monday, Oct. 19th.
Local candidates for Red Deer-Lacombe include Blaine Calkins for the Conservatives, Doug Hart of the New Democratic Party, Les Kuzyk of the Green Party and Jeff Rock of the Liberals.
Polling stations across the Red Deer-Lacombe riding will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. the day of the election.
Visit www.elections.ca for more information.