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First full day of Canada's election campaign begins with economic pledges

Last Updated Aug 17, 2021 at 11:59 pm EDT

The federal parties are beginning to lay out their plans to revive the country’s economy after months of pain from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Liberals are promising to extend a hiring credit first unveiled in their recent budget, aimed at boosting payrolls.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau also touted his government’s role in helping the middle-class.

“The very first thing we did when we formed government is raise taxes on the wealthiest one per cent so we could lower them for the middle class…” he said.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole laid out his party’s full platform, which similarly aims to create jobs, but also unwinds the Trudeau government’s child-care system.

“We want to help Canadians, we want to help get all people back to work in all sectors and all regions,” O’Toole said. “We want to help the most highly affected, that’s been a big miss with Mr. Trudeau. There are thousands of small and medium sized businesses in hospitality, tourism, restaurants, handing on by a thread. Our plan will secure those jobs…”

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is promising to pry money out of the pockets of CEOs who saw their compensation rise even as their companies received federal business aid.

Singh, who was targetted by a amplified heckler, vowed that an “NDP government is going to make sure any company that abused the system, that gook public money and then paid out dividends to their shareholders or increased executive pay, we are gong to stop that and make sure they reimburse that.”

The promises are all being laid out on the first full day of the federal election campaign after Gov. Gen. Mary Simon dissolved Parliament on Sunday at Trudeau’s request.

Voters will head to the polls on Sept. 20.