OTTAWA — The Harper government claims the $2-billion hole in the Liberal Party’s child benefit plan has grown by another billion dollars because they have miscalculated the cost of cancelling the existing Conservative program.
As a taxable benefit, the Liberals have ignored the nearly $1 billion in tax revenue generated by the government’s existing child benefit measure, the government said – a charge the Liberals deny.
Call it the new battle of Ontario.
Preaching his message of change, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau accused Stephen Harper’s Conservatives of all but ignoring Canada’s most populous province in a campaign-style speech in Ottawa’s Little Italy on Monday.
“It’s 2015. It’s an election year. Now election years are the time when, traditionally, Mr. Harper’s Conservatives suddenly locate Ontario on a map of Canada,” Trudeau told Liberal party faithful at Sala San Marco Banquet Hall on Preston Street.
OTTAWA — Canada’s Conservatives, after nearly eight years of power, have become the country’s Establishment Party.
Traditionally viewed as a collection of misfits who couldn’t keep power once they achieved it — and who stabbed each other in the back during opposition — the Tories are now a political powerhouse.
One look at the glum faces on the Conservative benches this week tells the tale: They’d been had, and they know it. Were the PMO’s word warriors not so caught up trying to discredit Justin Trudeau’s three-years-in-the-making plan to take back the middle class (formerly known as people who “work hard and play by the rules”) they might be tempted to admire it. Save for the niggling detail of a tax hike for the top one per cent of earners, it’s not unlike what the Tories themselves might have conceived, under a former finance minister named Flaherty.
Let no one weep for the Consortium. It is, on balance, good news that the cartel of major broadcasters has lost control of the televised leaders’ debates. Not only have they generally done a poor job of it — too few debates, too rigid a format, and so on — but it is objectionable in principle that the debates, the central, often critical event of a modern election campaign, should be in the grips of a bunch of corporate suits.
As the Senate scandal’s shadow grows larger over Parliament Hill, the ruling Conservatives are falling further behind the resurgent Liberals among voters.
A new Forum Poll for National Post suggests that if an election were held today, the Liberals would win a large minority government under Justin Trudeau.
Justin Trudeau made an assured and predictable start to his career as Liberal leader in the House of Commons today, attempting to make Canada’s middle class a battleground between the Grits and the Harper government.