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

Just Posted

Monterey Faces: Meet lifelong Oak Bay resident Audrey Bruce

Monterey centre volunteer Linda Foubister interviews Audrey Bruce

UVic alum creates a solution to smelly compost bins

BinBreeze make composting a more user-friendly experience by reducing odor and fruit flies

Puccini trio kicks off celebration of 40 years of opera in Victoria

Pacific Opera Victoria mounts massive five-show production of Il Trittico, starting Oct. 17

Cancer experts flock to Victoria for immunotherapy conference

Experts to converge on the ‘future of cancer care’

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

PHOTOS: Kipchoge becomes first runner to dip under 2 hours for marathon

Olympic champion and world record holder from Kenya clocks 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds

Most Read