Harper on the defensive on campaign trail

Speaking from the sidelines, Green party leader Elizabeth May said the debate “touched on climate, but never talked about the urgency”.

Advertisement

Whether the line was something Harper had prepared or just said off the cuff, one-liners are an essential part of a leader’s tool kit leading up to debates, as they can serve to crystallize complex policy ideas in a way that stick in people’s minds.

Harper: – you would rather have been the last 10 years?

Canadians who have lived overseas for more than five years lost the right to vote in a Court of Appeal ruling this summer, leaving number 99 on the bench. Keep our taxes down, and budgets balanced.

“Mr Harper put all his eggs into one basket and then he dropped the basket”, he said.

Mulcair continues to deal with his counter-image campaign, trying to convince voters he’s bent on balancing the budget, while promising programs such as universal child care and a much greater (and more expensive) role for Ottawa in health care.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a tight race for re-election, has won an endorsement from perhaps Canada’s best-known athlete, hockey player Wayne Gretzky, CBC news reported on Friday.

Trudeau said he would boost the economy by investing in roads, clean water, transit and jobs by running three years of “modest deficits”. “And at the same time, Mr. Harper says, ‘It’s OK, I’ve got a renovation tax credit.’ How do you renovate a house you can’t afford to buy in the first place?”

“You know, you look around the world where there have been all of these financial and other crashes – a lot of them centred around the housing market”. But when he’s asked to explain his own economic woes, it’s always the fault of the global economy. But that’s ample time to broaden the conversation, and, at the same time, reflect on what we want, from our politicians and for our future.

“There is no reason why, no reason why we should give a special health care plan, better than received by ordinary Canadians, to people who are clearly not legitimate”, he said, sparking applause from a room full of Tory supporters in Calgary.

Harper responded that the Conservatives are doing exactly that, without raising taxes and while balancing the books.

The issue took center stage when the debate moderator asked New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair about his party’s previous $21 billion cap-and-trade proposal.

Echoing the Conservative attack line on Trudeau, Thomson said it shows the Liberal leader is inexperienced.

He painted both the federal Liberals and Conservatives as cynical and scandal-prone. He said we must worry about both our fiscal deficits and our looming environmental deficit.

With little federal guidance on renewable energy and emissions reduction, the provinces have taken the lead in Canada.

Harper accused the opposition parties of ignoring security concerns in their rush to embrace the Syrian refugee flood that has captured the world’s attention.

“(The policy is) supported by Canadians who are themselves immigrants and also supported by the rest of us – by Canadians who have been the descendants of immigrants for one or more generations”, he said.

Advertisement

During the campaign, he added, the Conservatives have laid out plans that would encourage Canadians to spend even more on homes.

Canada PM admits things aren't great in debate