Labour Day Pledges

On Labour Day Monday, federal leaders discussed their plans to protect and promote workers during the pandemic and beyond. Here is a round-up of key campaign pledges made this Labour Day weekend.

O'Toole Pledges to Increase the Canada Workers Benefit

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole was in Ottawa on Monday highlighting his pledge to double the Canada Workers Benefit (which is currently a refundable tax credit) to a maximum of $2,800 for individuals and $5,000 for families. According to the Conservative Party's background material, the increase would amount to a $1/hour raise for someone earning between $12,000 and $28,000 per year.  "Making these changes," O'Toole stated, "will help 3.5 million families pay the bills, and put food on the table." In addition, the Conservative leader said he would reform the system to pay the benefit every quarter by direct deposit instead of by tax refund at the end of the year.

Trudeau Pledges to Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was in Welland, Ontario, discussing his government's plan to get Canadians working again. Trudeau highlighted his pledge to fund provincial vaccine passports to get people back to work and his plan to extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to March 31, 2022. A Liberal media release stated that a re-elected Liberal government would double the Union Training and Innovation Program to $50 million a year and introduce a "Labour Mobility Tax Credit" that would allow trades workers to deduct up to $4,000 in eligible expenses for travel or temporary relocation.

Singh Highlights Paid Sick Leave and Day Care

New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh was in Hamilton on Monday highlighting two elements of the NDP's plan for workers: paid sick leave and child care. Singh discussed his pledge to implement ten paid sick days for federal workers and work with provinces to establish a paid sick leave program for workers across the country. Concerning child care, Singh committed to implement universal $10-a-day child care. The NDP platform also commits to a "living federal minimum wage," starting at $15/hour and rising to $20/hour. 

Blanchet Outlines Key Priorities for Workers

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet was in Blainville, also outlining his plan to support workers. According to the Bloc Québécois's media release, they would advocate for workers in Parliament by:

  • Advocating for comprehensive reform of Employment Insurance, including easier access for self-employed workers and increasing sick leave for the seriously ill from 15 to 50 weeks;
  • Reintroducing legislation to make pension payouts a priority in the event of company bankruptcy;
  • Banning the use of "briseurs de grève" (Strike breakers); and
  • Maintaining the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for arts and culture workers, while suspending it for economic sectors no longer in need.

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