Liberals to Release Platform on Wednesday Amid Tightening Polls and Debate

Liberals will release their full election platform Wednesday, a day ahead of the first televised leadership debate of the summer campaign.

The move comes at a time when polls suggest the Liberals, who entered the campaign eyeing a majority, have ceded ground to the Conservatives.

The CBC’s Poll Tracker currently has the Conservatives with a narrow lead after more than two weeks campaigning exclusively on their platform, dubbed “Canada’s Recovery Plan.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole released his 160-page plan the day after the election was called. Although it has not yet been costed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), the plan details billions of dollars in new spending and promises to recover one million jobs within one year.

Jagmeet Singh’s NDP also released platform commitments — including universal pharmacare and a pledge to create 500,000 units of affordable housing in the next 10 years — days before the election was called. The NDP’s promises have also not been fully costed by the PBO.

The Bloc Québécois unveiled its platform last week, while the Green Party has yet to produce its plan with less than three weeks to go before election day.

The Liberal plan will come out before a French-language debate Thursday hosted by Quebec’s TVA network.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau spent some early campaign moments promoting his government’s signed agreements with eight provinces and territories for a $10-a-day child-care program.

Yet he has also announced several new proposals the Liberals will pursue if re-elected, from spending billions more on health care to help provinces hire 7,500 new family doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners to raising the corporate income tax rate on bank and insurance company profits of more than $1 billion.

At a campaign stop in Granby, Quebec, on Monday, a reporter asked Mr. Trudeau when he would release a full platform for Canadians to consider, given that he has said the election is an opportunity to discuss “big ideas” about Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Mr. Trudeau said at the time that his platform would be out “in the coming days” but also said that he had been putting out “big ideas” since the start of the campaign.

Conservatives released a media statement Tuesday noting it was the 17th day of the campaign and chiding Trudeau for not having released a platform. “What is Justin Trudeau hiding in his risky plan for Canadians?” the party asked in the missive.

In the 2019 election, Liberals released their platform on Sept. 29 — 18 days after the campaign began. The Conservatives, led at the time by Andrew Scheer, released their platform on Oct. 16 — after debates had ended and, on the day, advance polling opened.


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