Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks in Surrey on Aug. 30, 2019. (Surrey Board of Trade photo)

Policies on veterans, climate change emerge as leaders head back to the trail

Campaign discussions shifted back to meat-and-potatoes policy after fallout from blackface scandal

Discussion on the campaign trail shifted back to meat-and-potatoes policy Sunday after a steady diet of fallout from Justin Trudeau’s blackface scandal.

Recently discovered images showing Trudeau in black- or brownface at costume events before he entered politics dominated the last few days of the campaign, throwing Liberal re-election efforts off course.

After a break from the trail Saturday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer visited Prince Edward Island to promise more robust support for veterans after moves by Liberal and Tory governments angered them.

Scheer said as prime minister he would clear a backlog of veterans’ benefit applications within two years and create a reliable pension system.

“To every veteran who has struggled and who has continued to struggle without the support and benefits you have earned through your service, my message is this: You have been betrayed, but you deserve better,” he said.

Scheer is also promising to strengthen post-service transition supports, help more veterans get service dogs, enshrine in legislation a guarantee that every veteran is treated with respect and gets services in a timely manner, and support commemoration projects such as the National Memorial for Canada’s War in Afghanistan.

“As prime minister I will take a personal interest in ensuring the commitments we made today are followed through on,” he said.

READ MORE: Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

During a stop in Gatineau, Que., NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh pledged to add $2.5 billion to the federal government’s disaster mitigation fund.

Singh says the idea is to help people — like those in west Quebec who recently faced severe flooding — avoid disasters and be able to stay in their current homes.

The national Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund has already set aside $2 billion to support large-scale infrastructure programs that help communities better manage such risks.

The federal government says an increasing number of Canadian communities have experienced significant weather-related events and disasters triggered by natural hazards such as floods, wildland fires and droughts — events that are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

Singh said “we can’t just close our eyes” to the prospect of more weather-related calamities.

Trudeau, meanwhile, is promising a new policy announcement later Sunday at a residential subdivision in Brampton, Ont.

Green Leader Elizabeth May doesn’t have big plans Sunday other than a fundraiser in Victoria.

May was in Winnipeg on Saturday to talk up her party’s plans to combat the opioid crisis by decriminalizing drug possession and improving social supports for people who use drugs.

Asked about the proposal Sunday, Scheer said while he would not recriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, the Conservatives think making other drugs legal is a bad idea.

— With files from Kelly Geraldine Malone

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

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

Crime stats show a shift in Oak Bay during COVID-19

Thefts from automobiles, marinas up this spring

Victoria society purchases addiction recovery home after year of fundraising

Umbrella Society’s Foundation House is a second stage house for men in active recovery

Victoria dealer sells Batmobile replica at Arizona auction

Tim Quocksister sells Batmobile replica for $165,000 US at auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

When crisis hits: How West Shore RCMP has dealt with the pandemic

More front-line officers on road in mobile offices

Sidney staff recommends additional outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes

Report before council also leaves open possibility of closing a portion of Beacon Avenue

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Most Read