Blanchet Outlines Arts and Culture Policy

Yves-François Blanchet was in Baie-Saint-Paul, QC, on Saturday outlining the arts and culture policy of the Bloc Québécois.  Blanchet called on the government to:

  • Increase funding to Telefilm Canada;
  • Implement a "floor budget" of $300 million for Canada Council for the Arts;
  • Ensure French-language productions receive 40% Canada Media Fund allocations;
  • Maintain the Canadian Economic Recovery Benefit (CERB) for arts and culture workers, while suspending it for sectors no longer in need; and
  • Remove the GST from books. 

Singh Pledges to Eliminate Interest on Student Loans

Jagmeet Singh was in Sudbury, ON, on Saturday pledging to tackle student debt by permanently removing interest from federal student loans.  According to the New Democratic Party's background material, if elected, the New Democratic Party would forgive up to $20,000 of student loan debt, and would give students five years until they are required to begin repaying their loans. The New Democratic Party also pledged to double federal student grants. Singh continued to push messaging aimed at contrasting the Liberal track record with the New Democratic Party on progressive issues. "The Liberals, literally, over the past six years have taken $4 billion from students, while giving $750 billion to banks," Singh stated. "That's the choice we have in this election." The current government has temporarily set the interest rate for Canada Student Loans to zero per cent for the period from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023.

O'Toole Discusses Affordability and Outlines Job Creation Plan

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole was in Fredericton on Saturday outlining a number of regulatory and legislative measures he would take as Prime Minister to address affordability. O'Toole pledged to increase the maximum penalty for price-fixing from $24 million to $100 million and introduce criminal penalties for executives convicted of price-fixing. O'Toole also stated that he would order the Competition Bureau to investigate bank fees; require the banks to be more transparent with fees they charge to Canadians, and table legislation to introduce greater competition in the financial services sector through open banking. Finally, the Conservative leader pledged to reject mergers that "substantially reduce competition." 

On Sunday, O'Toole was in Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, highlighting his plan to help small businesses. O'Toole stated that a Conservative government would incentivize investment into small businesses by creating a 25 per cent tax credit on amounts up to $100,000 that Canadians personally invest into a small business over the next two years.  O'Toole also pledged to create a $200,000 interest-free loan to help small and medium businesses rebuild, with up to 25 per cent forgiven. The Conservative platform also includes a "Canada Investment Accelerator" tax credit, which will provide five per cent back for any capital investment made in 2022 and 2023.

Trudeau Announces Climate Action Plan

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was in Cambridge, ON, on Sunday announcing the Liberal Party's climate action plan. The Liberal leader committed to re-introduce five-year carbon reduction targets previously contained in Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. Speaking directly to the energy sector, Trudeau stated, "We'll make sure the oil and gas sector emissions don't increase, and instead go down with achievable milestones every five years, from now until Canada reaches net-zero in 2050." In addition, the Liberal campaign's background material noted that a re-elected Liberal government would require oil and gas companies to reduce methane emissions by at least 75% below 2012 levels by 2030. 

Trudeau also stated he would take action to ensure all passenger vehicles sold in Canada would be zero emission by 2035. The Liberal plan pledges to provide $5,000 rebates to "over half a million Canadians" for zero emission vehicle purchases and commits to building 50,000 more zero emission vehicle chargers. The Liberals stated -- by way of their campaign material -- that they will build a "net-zero electricity grid by 2035," by developing "additional investment tax credits for clean energy."

Conservatives Continue to Make Gains in National Polls

While still close, the Conservatives continue to make gains, according to the Nanos Nightly Ballot Tracking report(pdf). If a federal election had been held on August 28, 2021, Nanos' poll indicates the Conservatives would win 33.3% of the vote, the Liberals 31.1%; the New Democratic Party 19.9%; the Green Party 5.7% and the Bloc Québécois 5.5%. More than ten percent of Canadians, according to the poll, remain undecided.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.