Trudeau warns progressives to vote Liberal to ward off Conservatives, as O’Toole courts Quebec

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Justin Trudeau appeared on Tuesday with the former leader of British Columbia’s Green Party to make a final push for the NDP and Progressive voters, arguing that the Liberals are the only party that can stop the Conservatives as the race for the election intensifies. Has been.

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Meanwhile, Erin O’Toole sent a letter to Quebec Premier François Legault in an attempt to ease concerns about the Conservative Party’s child care plan, as the Tory leader looks to court Quebec voters in the campaign’s final days.

Six days before election day, the two front-runners are trying to consolidate support in an increasingly close race. For liberals, this means persuading progressives not to choose another leftist party, an argument they have deployed several times in the past. And the Conservatives are hoping to turn a profit in seat-rich Quebec, while Mr O’Toole has sharpened his criticisms of Mr Trudeau for calling the election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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At a campaign stop in Richmond, BC, on Tuesday, Mr Trudeau appeared with former BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver. Mr Weaver praised the liberals’ cost-effective climate plan, which includes increasing the carbon price and emphasizing zero-emissions vehicles, as scientific and comprehensive. “It’s a plan I’ve been dreaming of for most of my life,” said Mr. Weaver.

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The Liberal leader said it was “ongoing” that Mr Weaver stepped forward to encourage further action on climate change, as Mr Trudeau criticized the federal New Democrats for a plan he argued He is less.

Mr Trudeau made a direct appeal to progressive voters, urging them to support his party.

“Despite what Jagmeet Singh and the NDP say – it does matter whether there is a conservative or liberal government,” Trudeau said.

“We are the ones who can stop conservatives from getting elected and taking us back to climate.”

To counter the Liberal strategy of saying that a vote for the NDP is a vote for the Conservatives, New Democrats are addressing it face-to-face this week in new digital online ads.

“It happens in every election,” Mr. Singh says in the ad. “Justin Trudeau says he’ll stop conservatives, but when he wins they stop working for you.”

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Mr Singh’s press secretary Melanie Richter said the party hopes to reach out to voters who may be thinking of strategic voting, and instead persuade them to vote at their discretion. He also said that the current conservative leader has more liberal views than his predecessor.

“One thing that is working in our favor this year is that Erin O’Toole is not Andrew Shearer,” she said, referring to the previous Tory leader. He said this election is also different because Mr Trudeau has already won twice. “They gave him one chance in 2015, then another one in 2019… We are out of chances,” she said.

Mr. Singh used this logic in the campaign as well, reminding voters who had previously voted for Liberals that they had other options.

Meanwhile, Mr O’Toole’s campaign stalled on Tuesday to promote his party’s child care plan in the township of Russell, southeast of Ottawa. He targeted the Liberal leader for the second day in a row, calling the election a “$600 million power grab”.

The conservative platform focuses on tax credits for families, not $10-a-day child care, as the liberals have proposed. The issue is particularly volatile in Quebec, which has already signed a $6 billion child care deal with Trudeau’s government ahead of the election.

The Conservative leader wrote a letter to Mr Legault this week in which he offered the province more money for child care, which the Conservative Party outlined in its forum.

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“Within the first 100 days of a Conservative government, I will sit down with you to conclude an agreement that will allow Quebec and Ottawa to achieve their respective objectives. Will respect federal obligations to other provinces in the region,” Mr O’Toole wrote to the premier in French on Monday.

Mr O’Toole’s letter said the party’s most recent cost document included $9.7 billion for “fiscal stabilization and provincial agreements”, suggesting the amount is being set aside for additional arrangements with the provinces.

Mr Legault held a news conference last week in which he praised many elements of the Conservative platform, but also expressed concern that Conservatives were not committed to honoring federal agreements signed with provinces related to child care. Mr Legault has said the Quebec deal is worth $6 billion over five years and that his government is free to use the money in any area, noting that the province already has a publicly funded child care system. Is.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Legault’s spokesman Ivan Sauvs said that no matter which party wins the election on 20 September, “the federal government must keep its signature and its word.”

Asked by a reporter whether other provinces would be given the option to use the money differently for childcare tax credits, Mr O’Toole said he promised “partnership-based federalism”.

“I will work closely with all the provinces on federal transfers for everything from health to education to the well-being of our country.”

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Speaking in French on Tuesday, Mr Trudeau delivered a similar message to left-leaning voters who are preparing to support the bloc Québécois. He said the Liberal Party is in line with progressive views on issues such as culture, climate change and firearms policy.

“The bloc cannot stop a conservative government,” he said. “We need progressive Quebecers to elect a progressive government full of Quebecers, ready to fight for their priorities day after day.”

Asked about O’Toole’s letter to Legault, Trudeau said conservative leaders are trying to rewrite their platform. “For weeks and months, he said he would void our agreements on child care and make no room,” he said.

Nick Nanos, founder and chief data scientist at Nanos Research, said Mr Trudeau’s strategy of playing the “fear card” with progressive voters is part of the standard playbook that worked in both 2015 and 2019. He said it was too early to tell. Will the New Democrats “hold their noses and vote liberals” on September 20, but in previous elections, change only seems to be nearing the end.

“Voters remain loyal till the end but face an outcome they don’t like, vote strategically. The wildcard in this election is that O’Toole has made a solid showing, is pro-choice, and presented a platform to the government not with cuts but with new spending as liberals,” Mr. Nanos said. He cannot be as much of an ideologically problematic leader as the previous leaders of the Conservative Party.”

Mr Trudeau was asked Tuesday about his reaction to a protester in Burnaby, B.C., the day before, as he was outside the Global News Studios, Mr Trudeau was sworn in and a protester scolded his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. made derogatory remarks about In response, the Liberal leader pulled down his mask and asked sarcastically: “Isn’t there a hospital you should be bothered with right now?”

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“I am able to withstand every kind of abuse, especially if it means someone elsewhere is not harassing front-line health care workers or vulnerable Canadians,” Mr Trudeau said. “But he went after my family. He said hateful and spiteful things about my wife.

With reports from Maneka Raman-Wills in Kitchener, Ontario and Bill Curry in Ottawa

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