Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer confirmed Wednesday that he plans to release a fully costed platform in the next few days that will include a path to balancing the books within five years.
Mr. Scheer, who has previously said he would release his platform ahead of advance polls, has faced pressure from his political opponents to explain how a Conservative government would get out of the red within half a decade.
Economists have suggested the promises he has made to date would lead to a $15-billion deficit in 2024-25.
“When we put forward our platform, it will be fully costed," Mr. Scheer said Wednesday in Hemmingford, Que., adding that his party has already indicated areas where it would find savings, such as reducing foreign aid by 25 per cent.
He went near Quebec’s Roxham Road border crossing Wednesday, where he promised to close the loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement, which bars asylum seekers from claiming refugee protection in Canada if they arrive at an official border crossing from the United States. Migrants have been skirting the rules, however, by crossing into Canada at unauthorized entry points.
Mr. Scheer also promised to hire an additional 250 border agents and prioritize funding for immigration services such as language training.
“When it comes to immigration, the choice in this election is crystal clear,” he said. “A re-elected Liberal government under Justin Trudeau that will continue to ignore this critical issue.”
Mr. Trudeau, who campaigned early Wednesday in the vote-rich Greater Toronto Area, said he was pleased Canadians would see the infrastructure at Roxham Road with Mr. Scheer’s visit to the crossing, adding that every person who crosses the border there gets fully processed by the immigration system.
“They get full security screenings,” he said in Markham, Ont. “They get placed into our immigration system and go through every step of our immigration process. There are no shortcuts.”
He also pledged to make cutting taxes for the middle class the first thing he would do if his party were to secure a second mandate.
The Liberal Leader also faced questions about B.C. Liberal candidate Dave Birdi and public comments he has made about being pro-life. Mr. Birdi is running in the riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley.
The party will “obviously” be having conversations with the candidate, Mr. Trudeau said, adding that every Liberal MP needs to defend a woman’s right to choose.
“If they are candidates for us, they have agreed that they will not support any efforts by anyone in the House of Commons to limit women’s reproductive rights," Mr. Trudeau said.
“The Liberal Party is unequivocally a pro-choice party, and we will never support limiting women’s rights to choose.”
Both NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May were campaigning Wednesday in Montreal.
Mr. Singh addressed the Canadian Union of Public Employees convention, while Ms. May campaigned with Quebec Green MPs.
She promised to impose taxes on companies such as Netflix and Facebook.
According to the daily tracking survey from Nanos Research, the Liberals sit at 36-per-cent support while the Conservatives are at 35 – all within the margin of error. The New Democrats are at 13 per cent, the Greens at 9 per cent, the Bloc Québécois at 5 per cent, and the People’s Party at 1 per cent.
The poll was sponsored by The Globe and Mail and CTV, with a total of 1,200 Canadians surveyed from Oct. 5 to Oct. 7. It has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Respondents were asked: “If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your top two current local voting preferences?” A report on the results, questions and methodology for this and all surveys can be found at http://tgam.ca/election-polls.