Justin Trudeau touts NAFTA, trade, jobs at Windsor campaign rally – CBC.ca

Justin Trudeau touts NAFTA, trade, jobs at Windsor campaign rally - CBC.ca
Truth Tracker: Do the Liberals plan to raise the capital gains tax?
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau attended a campaign rally at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts Monday, to promote the bonafides of his party and newly minted Windsor West candidate Sandra Pupatello.

Trudeau took to the stage after opening remarks from Chrystia Freeland — the Liberal candidate for Ontario's University-Rosedale riding — and recently nominated Pupatello.

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During her remarks, Freeland cited her party's handling of the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement on Trade — otherwise known as the new NAFTA — as well the handling of U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum as reasons for voters to support the Liberal party. 

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Who lost the last election again?

"We know that there are a lot of unpredictable factors in the world today," said Freeland. "And we know there could be fresh troubles over the next four years. So we need a fantastic Liberal team to come back to Ottawa."

Of course, New Democrats took it hard. But only because their benchmark was Laytons extraordinary 2011 breakthrough, when they won 31 per cent of the vote and 103 seats. By comparison, Mulcair managed 20 per cent of the popular vote and 44 seats. Look back before 2011, however, and the comparisons tell a different story. In elections from 1962-2008, the average NDP popular vote was 16 per cent, for an average seat total of 24. Taking that longer view, the 2015 outcome looks solid, and the subsequent decision to dump Mulcair dubious.

Freeland later introduced Pupatello, describing the former Ontario cabinet minister as "one of the smartest and toughest women I have ever met."

But 2015 was an entirely different story. Start with the obvious: the Liberal result was an unlooked-for triumph. Up until the last few days before the voting, a majority looked beyond reach, and a minority win would have sounded just fine to most Liberals. Then Justin Trudeau surged. The Conservatives? Sure, Stephen Harper lost, but the Tory vote total dipped only a bit to 5,600,496, from 2011s 5,835270, and the Conservatives returned a more than presentable 99 MPs to form the Official Opposition.

During her speech, Pupatello roused the crowd by introducing a number of Liberal candidates vying for riding in southwestern Ontario, including Essex candidate Audrey Festeryga and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex candidate Jesse McCormick. 

Inflating past campaigns is a notorious pastime of politicos and reporters hanging around bars. An old-timer recalls the 88 debates; an even older-timer gazes into the middle distance and invokes 68. Im not pitching for 15 to cast in that sort of nostalgic glow. Still, if the options on offer in Canadian elections are often decried as unimpressive, including this time, its worth noting when they’ve notched notably higher—especially when the outcome essentially confirmed it.

Pupatello roused the crowd gathered by referencing former Ontario premier Mike Harris, saying "we've lived that movie of Mike Harris and we are not going down that road again."

Which brings us to the NDP. They started out the campaign running first in the polls. Fully a month in, Tom Mulcair still looked solidly positioned to win—some pollsters even supposed he still had momentum. Then the niqab issue hit Mulcair hard in Quebec, while progressive voters preferred Trudeaus promise to run deficits to the NDP platforms pledge to balance the books. And the traditional third-place partys inexorable slide back into third began.

She also subtly minimized both NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, saying "we know that a vote down here for Jagmeet Singh brings Andrew Scheer closer to the prime minister and that is a no go for the people here in Windsor."

Trudeau presides over a strong economy and can point to achievements like the Canada Child Benefit, but the SNC-Lavalin affair dogs him and broken promises, like his failure to enact electoral reform, have dulled his sheen. Scheer lacks Harpers party-builder gravitas and is running on a make-life-affordable theme that falls short of stirring. Singh starts out far behind in the polls, supported by a diminished NDP operation, playing desperate catch-up.

"When we go knocking on those doors, that's what we are telling them: That an NDP vote is a throwaway vote, because it brings us closer to Scheer," Pupatello said.

It wouldnt be right to say Trudeau was the least well-known of the three. After all, Canadians old enough to have been around had known him, in the way of celebrity offspring, since his infancy. Yet he struck many as a fresh force. Unlike some other rookie leaders, he arrived in the federal big leagues with a close coterie of advisors who had gained Triple-A experience in Ontario. The combination of his newness and their experience proved potent.

Despite her comments, Pupatello's speech was light on specific policy, serving as a way to rally the crowd for Trudeau's appearance, rather than convincing those gathered to vote for the Liberal party. 

Mulcair was formidable. A veteran of Quebec City politics, which is a tough proving ground. Lauded for the efficiency of his stripped-down questions in the House, unleashed with a signature interrogative glare. And he inherited an NDP that had been thoroughly professionalized under his predecessor, making it far less a vehicle for union leaders and volunteers and far more a modern political machine.

"People across the country are putting up their hands to join our Liberal movement," said Trudeau. "They're choosing to serve, they are choosing forward."

Much like Freeland, Trudeau spoke to the work done to establish the new NAFTA partnership, speaking to the ways in which the three largest North American economies are integrated with one another.

"Windsorites understand more than just about anybody else how truly integrated our economies are with local plants like Fiat Chrysler and many folks crossing the border every single day for work, eating breakfast in Canada, lunch in the U.S. and getting back home to Canada for dinner."

No, thats not a prediction for the campaign now underway. Im pretty sure there will be losers this time. But the last one, the election of 2015, looks increasingly unusual in this particular sense the further it recedes in the rear-view mirror.

Of course, Trudeau took time to bash his chief opponent in his second race for the prime minister's seat, criticizing Scheer for wanting to "cave on NAFTA."

"He was wrong because workers were counting on us, families right here in Windsor were counting on us," Trudeau said. "So we went down to Washington and we fought for Canadian workers right across the country."

According to the CBC News poll tracker, the Conservative party currently leads the Liberals, with 34.3 per cent support compared to 33.6 per cent support.

Did this have an impact on the outcome of the election? Probably not. Only in South Surrey-White Rock was the margin narrow enough that the loss of the original candidate might have cost the party a victory. But there were 47 ridings across Canada decided by 3.2 percentage points or less — suggesting that a last-minute loss of a candidate in any of these ridings could have made the difference.

Trudeau also spoke to Liberal investment in infrastructure, pointing to the party's support for the Gordie Howe International Bridge. 

Stepping beyond Windsor-Essex, the Liberal leader also spoke to his government's elimination of 87 boil water advisories in Indigenous communities across the country, the creation of "over a million new jobs" and the negotiation of new health accords with the provinces and territories, among other successes. 

"On Oct. 21, Windsor, choose a government that will fight for you and with you for a stronger middle class and for a better Canada for all Canadians," he said. "From coast to coast to coast, let us stand together and let's choose forward."

In the B.C. riding of South Surrey-White Rock, for example, the Liberals dropped a candidate over comments related to pregnancy and marijuana use. Her replacement improved on the Liberals' 2011 score in the riding by 22 points. But other Liberal candidates in the Fraser Valley and southern Lower Mainland experienced an average gain of 27 points.

The Liberal party held their rally several hours after NDP candidates announced a new $300 million auto plan at an event in Windsor. 

There were 13 candidates who were replaced over the course of the last campaign, five each by the Conservatives and Liberals and three by the New Democrats. The Liberal candidates were all in British Columbia and Alberta, while the Conservatives were in Ontario and Quebec. The NDP lost one candidate in Manitoba and two in Atlantic Canada.

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But the marginal gains to be made by forcing a local candidate to be replaced might be over-shadowed by the wider impacts on the campaign. Instead of talking about climate change, May was forced to spend her first campaign days answering questions on abortion and Quebec sovereignty.

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TORONTO — Allegations that the Liberal Party has a so-called secret plan to raise the capital gains tax on the sale of principal residences are 100 per cent false, according to the Liberal candidate targeted in a Conservative attack ad.

Last Thursday, the Conservative Party alleged in a tweet that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Adam Vaughan, candidate for Torontos Spadina-Fort York riding, have a secret plan to tax homeowners 50 per cent on the sale of their home.

This is Trudeaus hidden agenda: tax hikes to pay for his massive deficits. You work hard, you increase the value of your home, and Liberals take 50%. How is that fair? read the tweet, which has since garnered over 1,200 retweets.

So expect more of these unsavoury comments by candidates to be re-surfaced. And the worst might be yet to come. After Oct. 2, the ballots will be sent off to the printers — and parties will be stuck with the names that are on them.

[email protected] and @TOAdamVaughan have a secret plan to tax the sale of your home at 50%. This is Trudeaus hidden agenda: tax hikes to pay for his massive deficits. You work hard, you increase the value of your home, and Liberals take 50%. How is that fair? #NotAsAdvertised pic.twitter.com/Q8Nbb4O1jz

A highlighted section titled Campaign Platform 2019 reads, Another idea that has emerged from housing town halls is a sliding scale on the Capital Gains Tax on the sale of principal residences. A 50 per cent tax after one year of ownership, 25 per cent after two years, 15 per cent after three years, 10 per cent after four years, 5 per cent after five.

But the local impact of forcing a party to drop a candidate is not very strong — suggesting these efforts have a broader aim of knocking a leader off message and derailing the carefully laid plans of campaign managers.

The document continues, the idea would be to hit speculators who quickly flip houses in hot markets.

This new homeowner tax would cost Canadians who sell their homes thousands of dollars, Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt said in a press release issued Friday.

In public, Justin Trudeau pretends to want to help homeowners, but behind closed doors, his team is planning to hit them hard with a new tax that will cost them thousands. As usual, Trudeau is not as advertised.

In a statement issued to CTV News.ca via email Monday, Vaughan said there is no plan or proposal to change tax policy on primary residences.

Scheers claim is 100 per cent false. This is yet another example of the Conservatives misleading Canadians, Vaughan said in the statement.

Though the document is labelled as a policy proposal, Vaughan claims the document was a report meant to summarize ideas presented to MPs at consultations and town halls.

The document the Conservatives misrepresent and quote was a report to Caucus summarizing ideas presented to various MPs at consultations and town halls. It is not a recommendation, it is not an idea I support, and it is not a policy we will pursue, he said.

The Liberal Party reiterated Vaughans statement that the claim is 100 per cent false, noting "it was never a proposal."

When asked about the attack ad on the campaign trail Monday, Scheer deflected questions from CTV News about whether his team would stop making the claim about the capital gains tax, saying Trudeau has lied in the past.

Andrew Scheer and some of his CPC candidates claim Trudeau will raise capital gains tax on sale of principal residences. LPC says this is 100% false. Asked if Scheer and his candidates will stop making claim, he says Trudeau has lied in the past.

This idea was put forward by a handpicked Liberal member of parliament, someone who is very close to Justin Trudeau, Scheer said.

Justin Trudeau has lost all confidence from the Canadian people to tell the truth. When he says hes not going to do something, people just cant trust him.

Trudeau unveiled his partys housing platform last week, which includes a promise to expand the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive to help buyers in Canadas most expensive markets, including greater Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria regions.

The Liberals platform also includes plans for a one per cent tax that would be levied annually on properties owned by non-Canadians who dont live in the country in a bid to prevent foreign speculation from driving up housing prices.

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A sign advertises a new home for sale in Carleton Place, Ont., on March 17, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)