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

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Public art budgets could be used for gardens, Abbotsford councillor suggests

‘Gardens really are art,’ Coun. Brenda Falk says

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read