Stephen Harper’s latest comments on the niqab made waves on the campaign trail after the Conservative leader said he is considering banning public servants from wearing the face covering. Both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair criticized the proposal, suggesting it is an attempt to distract voters from issues such as the economy.
Harper made an announcement about parental leave benefits in Saskatoon, where he promised to protect parents’ jobs for up to 18 months. Harper also said they will have the option of spreading Employment Insurance benefits over that same time frame — up from a year — beginning next year.
Mulcair was in Enoch, Alta., where he released the NDP’s indigenous platform at a forum held by the Assembly of First Nations. Mulcair’s commitments include a promise to remove the two per cent cap on social transfers to indigenous communities. He also committed $4.8 billion over eight years for aboriginal education — the first $1.8 billion in the next four years with the rest to follow in a second mandate.
Trudeau was in London, Ont., where he said a Liberal government would sign a landmark global treaty to regulate the arms trade. Trudeau has criticized Harper for failing to sign the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May held an event in Langford to discuss the four key planks of her platform: a sustainable economy, strong communities, good government, and climate action. A public event at Carmanah Technologies in Victoria was postponed.