“The name Trudeau carries a history in Quebec”, said Mireille Paquet, assistant professor in political science at Concordia University. “We have a plan to relaunch the economy, to invest in families, that’s what we want to talk about”.
Canada’s opposition Liberals, locked in a three-way tie ahead of an October 19 election, promised on Friday to do more for the immigrant community, which used to vote en masse for the party but has since drifted away.
“We put together a plan that will help you directly”, he said staring directly into the television camera.
His attack strategy was clear: to paint his strongest opponent in Quebec – Mulcair – as a centralizing figure who would impose an Ottawa-centric vision on the provinces.
Trudeau also pledged to repeal a law allowing the minister to strip dual citizens of their Canadian citizenship if convicted of certain crimes – a law that has angered members of the ethnic community as well as civil-liberties groups.
During a campaign event to announce his immigration platform in Brampton, Ont., Trudeau was asked if his planned pause Saturday, is an attempt to “hide” from media questions about his soon-to-be-released economic framework.
Trudeau shot back saying, “A new Metro isn’t debt, Mr Mulcair”.
In previous decades, millions of immigrants loyally voted Liberal, but the Harper government has made steady inroads among those voters even as it overhauled the system that brought them to Canada in the first place.
The debate also touched on the fight against terrorism, military spending and refugees, with Trudeau repeatedly accusing Harper of destroying Canada’s reputation on the world stage.
While the Conservative government in 2011 introduced a two-year freeze on family reunification applications, Trudeau has announced four measure to make them easier.
The Liberals would immediately double the number of applications allowed for parents and grandparents to 10,000 each year, along with a doubling of the budget for processing those applications.