Trudeau seeks to one-up Conservatives with plan on maternity, parental benefits

Scheer offered to increase amount of money government gives towards RESPs

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau makes a campaign stop at a daycare in St. John’s, N.L., on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. Trudeau sought to one-up his Conservative rivals this morning by promising new parents won’t pay any taxes at all on maternity and parental leave benefits. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau sought to one-up his Conservative rivals Tuesday by promising new parents won’t pay any taxes at all on maternity and parental leave benefits.

The Conservatives had already promised that if they form government, they’d address the fact that those benefits are taxed, by giving new parents a tax credit that would effectively return the money.

But their promise meant the initial tax would still come off benefit cheques, something Trudeau said won’t happen if he’s elected.

“You’ll get every dollar right when you need it, since no taxes will be taken off the EI cheque when new parents receive it,” Trudeau said at a parent-and-child centre in St. John’s, N.L.

The pledge was part of a suite of new measures aimed at parents, which also include increasing the Canada Child Benefit for those with children under a year old and extending benefits under the employment-insurance program for parents who adopt.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer argued Monday that the CCB, which sends parents monthly cheques if their income is below a certain threshold, is effectively a Conservative policy. Under the previous Conservative government, there had been a similar program that saw all families — regardless of income — also receive monthly payments.

“That is a Conservative principle, knowing that moms and dads make choices for their kids better than bureaucrats in Ottawa,” Scheer said at an event in Winnipeg.

Scheer also threw back to the previous Conservative government days Tuesday, offering a variation on a pledge the Tories made in the 2015 campaign to increase the amount of money the government gives towards registered education savings plans (RESPs).

READ MORE: Housing, children, privacy to feature in leaders’ plans on Day 7 of campaign

Scheer said a new Conservative government would increase Ottawa’s contribution to such plans from 20 per cent to 30 per cent for every dollar families put in, up to $2,500 per year. Former leader Stephen Harper had also promised an increase, but at different rates tied to family income.

The Conservatives have spent the early days of the campaign making pledges that will cost billions of dollars, but have yet to explain how they’ll pay for them.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also faced questions Monday about how his party will achieve its goals as he promised to build 500,000 new affordable homes across the country in 10 years, if elected.

“We would make different choices, we would spend more and do it immediately,” he said at an event in Ottawa.

How little choice Canadians seem to have when it comes to how personal information gets shared was the subject of the day for the Greens.

Leader Elizabeth May promised she would bring in improved privacy laws and require companies respect the “right to be forgotten” — a principle that people should be able to control whether information from their pasts remains online.

People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier was in New Brunswick, for an evening meeting with candidates and supporters.

The Canadian Press

READ MORE: People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier invited to two broadcast debates

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Elizabeth Little Waterfront Park’ proposed in Qualicum Beach

It was first announced in 2018 that St. Andrews Lodge would be turned into a public space

RDN budget talks to include public consultation results

Director not impress with level of engagement

Three celebrations this summer in Parksville for city’s big 75th birthday bash

Beach party and street festival to be added to city’s roster of activities

New BC Cannabis store opens up shop in Parksville

Outlet at Wembley Mall open seven days per week

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read