Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were reduced to a minority government in the 2019 federal election and will need the support of another party in order to pass any legislation when they return to the House of Commons.
“To my fellow Canadians it has been the greatest honour of my life to serve you for these past four years and tonight you are sending us back to work for you,” Trudeau told supporters in Quebec. “To those who did not vote for us, know that we will work every single day for you, we will govern for everyone. Regardless of how you cast your ballot ours is a team that will fight for all Canadians.”
The Liberals campaigned hard on a promise to improve the lives of the “middle class” with several key pledges that include a tax cut to make the first $15,000 of income tax-free for people making less than $147,000. They’re also proposing a new tax on luxury items, eliminating tax breaks for high-income earners and increasing taxes for large companies.
The Liberals’ election platform includes $9.3 billion in new spending in 2020-2021, with the deficit rising to $27.4 billion. They aren’t projecting a balanced budget until at least 2040.
Trudeau also promised to make all maternity and parental employment insurance (EI) benefits tax-free at source and say they’ll expand the Canada child benefit (CCB) by 15 per cent for families with kids under the age of one.
They will also look to create up to 250,000 new child care spaces for before and after school.
“From coast to coast to coast. Canadians rejected division and negativity,” Trudeau said. “They rejected cuts and austerity and they voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change.”
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To help younger Canadians get into the housing market, they’ve promised to make the First-Time Home Buyers Incentive more easily accessible for people living in Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria by raising the maximum eligible home price considerably to $789,000. They’ve also promised up to $40,000 in interest-free loans to help people renovate their homes to make them more energy-efficient.
And for workers and students, the Liberals have also promised to boost the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and will increase post-secondary grants up to $1,200 more a year.
On pipelines, the Liberals support Line 3, Keystone XL, the massive LNG project running to B.C.’s coast and will continue to push for the Trans Mountain pipeline extension, which they bought for $4.5 billion.
Other pocketbook promises include a pledge to lower cellphone bills by 25 per cent. The Liberals also want to lengthen EI sick benefits from 15 to 26 weeks and create a Canada Training Benefit, to improve employee training.
For seniors, meanwhile, the Liberals are pledging to increase Old Age Security payments for those 75 years and older and augment Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits for single seniors.