Election 2015: The day that was, Oct. 1

A cleaner commute in Montreal, ‘life experience’ in campaign missteps, and speed-dating Whitehorse candidates in our roundup of the day in #elxn42

    The important

    As the NDP’s orange wave retreats in Quebec, Thomas Mulcair visited Montreal on Thursday with another colour offering: green. The NDP leader pledged to invest $200 million over four years to help retrofit 50,000 homes and 15,000 apartments with the goal of making them more energy efficient. He also promised another $150 million that would go to municipal governments in need of funding for cleaner transit and sustainable projects. And to set a good example from Parliament Hill, Mulcair said the NDP would install 150 electric-car charging stations on federal properties.

    Justin Trudeau was also in Montreal, given the second French-language debate is Friday night, but the Liberal leader made a more localized pitch. Trudeau pledged to help fund a light-rail line on the Champlain Bridge and rapid transit to the West Island. The money would come from Trudeau’s previous announcements to invest an extra $20 billion in transit over the next decade.

    Stephen Harper didn’t have any scheduled public events on Thursday, though former MP Stockwell Day was in Surrey, B.C. with Conservative candidate Dianne Watts to announce the party will spend an extra $2.5 million each year to help turn teens away from joining gangs. Joe Oliver, the finance minister, was making announcements too on behalf of his government, saying a re-elected Conservative government would add mandatory minimum sentences for financial fraud over $5,000 with multiple victims.

    The Interesting

    Two major polling companies have the Conservatives opening up a lead on their major rivals. Both the Angus Reid Institute and Forum Research have Harper polling at 34 per cent, while Mulcair and Trudeau are both deadlocked, with around 27 per cent support in both polls.

    Some projections even have the Conservatives edging towards the 170 seats needed for a second straight majority government.

    One Tory who may have some trouble with the  younger vote, however, is their candidate in a Nova Scotia riding. Robert Strickland, the Tory MP hopeful in Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook, was asked on his Facebook page about his plans to promote growth in a recession while balancing the budget. He was also asked for specific studies about Canada being a top performer in the world economy.

    Strickland says a young volunteer running his social media was to blame for what happened next.

    Strickland denied writing the comments posted under his name that asked his 22-year-old questioner to list three countries he would rather live in. Then the Facebook post followed up with: “So why don’t you live in any of them?” And finally: “Well Mitchell, from my perspective which spans residency in 3 countries, work in 5 countries including 8 provinces of Canada and 22 states in the US … I will wait for you to gain some experience in life. Please respond when you have a tenure higher than 1 year at any one employer and perhaps have completed a degree rather than talking about starting one.”

    The fun

    Looking for some one-on-one time with the your local candidates, perhaps over a nice glass of merlot with the lights down low?

    More than 100 Whitehorse locals showed up for a pre-election version of speed-dating at the Old Fire Hall Wednesday evening, where they got to sit down individually with candidates for the upcoming federal and municipal elections to chat. After two to three minutes went by, people would get up and switch seats. It was the first time the city had experimented with such an event, and it could very well be the first time anywhere.

    “It’s a neat way to get impressions of candidates that you don’t normally get in an election,” participant Eric Blake told the CBC. “It would be a nice thing to do at every election.”