Federal election 2015

Election 2015: The day that was, Sept. 21

A Tory in a sea of red, on high alert for dirty tricks, and some star power in Newfoundland and Labrador in our daily round-up of the last 24 hours in #elxn42

The Important

Nine Veterans Affairs offices have shut their doors since 2012. Three of them were in Atlantic Canada. So, at a gathering at the Royal Canadian Legion branch in the Nova Scotia riding of Sackville–Preston–Chezzetcook, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair promised not only to reopen the offices, but also pledged $454 million over the next four years to improve mental health and long-term care for veterans.

In a riding held by NDP veterans affairs critic Peter Stoffer, Mulcair said Canada’s military veterans are currently “disrespected,” adding that these funds would also be used to increase survivors’ pensions, as well as to boost funding for a program that helps to cover some of the costs for veterans’ funerals.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, meanwhile, had a different-coloured background than many Conservatives are accustomed to seeing at his rallies.

A sea of red Home Hardware jackets filled the crowd of a fair for franchise owners in St. Jacobs, Ont., where the Prime Minister touted his previously announced Home Renovation Tax Credit. In what started under Harper’s government in 2009 as a temporary measure for renovation costs between $1,000 and $5,000, Harper promised to make the tax credit permanent. And for anyone worried about being off-brand with all the red uniforms, Harper sampled some blue paint for good measure.

The Interesting

Elections Canada staff are on the lookout for voter-suppression tactics, it was reported yesterday. In a presentation from 2014 released to the Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, the document noted: “We need look no further than the United States to find a vast overview of contemporary voter-suppression and surveillance practices.”

Voter suppression isn’t unheard of in Canada, either. Last November, former Conservative campaign worker Michael Sona was sentenced to nine months for his role in the robocall scandal that directed voters in Guelph, Ont., to incorrect polling locations.

Back on the campaign trail, both the Conservative and NDP leaders had thoughts on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s promise over the weekend to cancel the multi-billion-dollar F-35 fighter-jet program. In response to Trudeau’s pledge, Harper said the Liberals are “living in a dream world,” while Mulcair said Trudeau “showed a total lack of experience,” adding, “How can he decide in advance the result without a process?”

Trudeau’s announcement about scrapping the F-35 deal shouldn’t have come as a surprise, however.

The Fun

What does it take to defeat NDP incumbent Ryan Cleary from Newfoundland, who won with almost 50 per cent of the vote during the last election? His opponents are hoping the answer is TV star power. In their bid to win the riding of St. John’s South–Mount Pearl, both the Liberals and Conservatives are sending notable TV personalities.

After Conservative candidate Blair Dale was dropped last week in light of some of his past social media comments, the Tories announced on Monday that Marek Krol, star of the reality-TV series Living Wild, will run for office—and he’s not afraid to get out of his comfort zone.

The Liberals, meanwhile, are banking on the former host of CTV’s Canada AM, Seamus O’Regan, who announced his candidacy last year. Despite his on-camera experience, the Conservatives have already targeted him with one of their “Just not ready” ads, in which O’Regan walks off camera to get his notes when asked about policy issues.

In what’s expected to be a tight race in Newfoundland and Labrador, you can be sure the local constituents will be glued to their TVs on election day.