TORONTO — Install a Liberal government in next week’s federal election and the cheques for middle-class families are as good as in the mail, party leader Justin Trudeau said Friday.
Speaking at a grocery store in the suburban Toronto riding of Don Valley North, Trudeau said that would be the first piece of legislation to be introduced in Parliament by a Liberal government after election day Oct. 19.
“A Liberal government will introduce, as its very first bill in Parliament, a tax cut for the middle class,” he said.
“You’ll see more money on your paycheques right away.”
The Liberal leader says those earning taxable income of between $45,000 and $90,000 would each save $670 a year, or as much as $1,300 for a two-income household. But wait, there’s more.
Trudeau also promised that the party’s child benefit program would top a Liberal government’s agenda.
The party calculates that program would offer a family of four with a $90,000 income about $2,500 a year more than the Conservative plan.
“In just a matter of months, you will be receiving more money from a Liberal government,” said Trudeau, standing beside a pair of shopping carts groaning with the groceries the party says could be bought under his proposal.
“Our bigger tax-free cheques will be mailed out to Canadian families by the time Parliament rises for summer recess.”
To pay for it, Trudeau is also planning a new tax bracket of 33 per cent for those earning annual incomes of $200,000 or more.
On Friday, Statistics Canada reported that the national unemployment rose slightly, to 7.1 per cent from 7.0 per cent. Trudeau predicted that his middle-class tax breaks and benefits putting more money in the pockets of families would stimulate and grow the economy.
He also pointed to the party’s promised investments in infrastructure, clean technology and renewable energy.
Trudeau also ramped up his rhetoric around news that the Harper government delayed processing of some Syrian refugees but not for others. The ones who suffered the weeks-long delay this summer were mostly Muslim, while the unaffected, privately sponsored refugees were not.
“To know that somewhere, in the Prime Minister’s Office, staffers were pouring through (refugees) personal files to try and see which families would be suitable for a photo-op for the prime minister’s re-election campaign? That’s disgusting,” he said.
Don Valley North is a new riding in the 2015 election. The area has elected both Liberals and Conservatives in recent campaigns, but went solidly Conservative in 2011.
Statistics Canada reports nearly two-thirds of the riding’s residents are immigrants.
Bob Weber, The Canadian Press