BRAMPTON, Ont. — Justin Trudeau promised Sunday to cut taxes and cellphone bills, trying to return his campaign to one of its central themes of helping the middle class, after it was rocked by a blackface scandal.
The Liberal leader went to Brampton, Ont., to announce that if re-elected, he would make the first $15,000 of income tax free for most Canadians.
“Our plan lowers taxes the most for people who make less, gives the middle class some breathing room, and ensures that the wealthy don’t get an extra hand up,” Trudeau said.
“With this tax cut, we’ll lift about 40,000 people out of poverty — twice as many as the Conservative plan — and make life more affordable for Canadians.”
The Liberals said they would do this by raising the basic personal amount by almost $2,000 for people earning under $147,000 a year. It would save the average Canadian $292 a year, Trudeau said.
Trudeau also promised to cut cellphone bills by 25 per cent. He said he would encourage companies to reduce their bills by that amount over the next two years, and if they are unable to meet that target, the Liberals would introduce further competition.
“When I meet with Canadians, there’s one thing that’s near universal — everyone complains that they’re paying too much for cellphone service,” Trudeau said. “Bills that hit hundreds of dollars aren’t unheard of. And the data backs it up: Right now, Canadian cellphone plans are among the most expensive in the G7.”
Though Trudeau spoke of talking to community leaders, friends and colleagues about how he and the country can move forward from revelations that he had appeared in brown- or blackface multiple times before he was elected, he continued to face questions about his behaviour.
“I think there are a lot of Canadians through the past days who are reflecting on and learning more about the racist history of blackface and that is something... that we are all talking about and I am certainly reflecting on deeply, as we pledge ourselves as a party and as a government to move forward to continue to fight racism, discrimination and intolerance wherever it may be found,” Trudeau said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2019.