Election 2015: The day that was, Sept. 29

Housing, high-tech, the NDP split on the niqab, the Liberal who thought 9/11 was a ‘lie,’ and signs of the times

The Important

In Stephen Harper’s pitch to keep his family living at 24 Sussex Drive, the Prime Minister visited the Toronto suburb of Vaughan on Tuesday morning to announce his party’s target to create 700,000 new homeowners by 2020.

Harper didn’t unveil any new policies to go with his announcement, saying this target could be achieved with the government’s previous tax breaks and new incentives, such as the home renovation tax credit. In Vaughan, the average price for a single-family detached home is more than $800,000, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, spent Tuesday in Winnipeg, where Liberal support has nearly doubled since 2011 and some polls have the Grits ahead of the Tories. Trudeau talked of boosting high-tech innovation with his pledge of $200 million annually for the next three years for research facilities, small business incubators and exporters. The Liberal leader also promised another $100 million per year would be spent on an industrial research assistance program.

The Interesting

Though it may be part of the reason for his slip in Quebec polls, Tom Mulcair stood firm earlier this week in opposition to the Conservative government’s position to ban the niqab at citizenship ceremonies, saying: “No one has the right to tell a woman what she must—or must not—wear.” But several NDP candidates are now saying they don’t agree with their federal leader. Romeo Saganash, the NDP incumbent from the Quebec riding of Abitibi–Baie-James–Nunavik–Eeyou, said at a local debate, in French: “The niqab, for me personally—and my party would not necessarily agree with me—the niqab is a clothing oppressor.”

Saganash wasn’t the only NDPer in Quebec to speak up about the divisive issue that day. Danielle Landreville, the NDP candidate in Joliette, told Le Journal de Joliette on Tuesday morning that she thinks it’s important that a woman’s face is revealed to clearly identify her during the citizenship oath. Landreville’s statement came out after Monday’s election-registration deadline, which means that if the NDP decided to remove her from the party’s ballot, she could not be replaced.

Regarding replacing candidates, the Liberals barely beat the deadline for Maria Manna, who was previously seeking a seat in the Vancouver Island riding of Cowichan–Malahat–Langford. Manna stepped down on Monday afternoon after Facebook comments surfaced in which she called the official account of the 9/11 terrorist attack “the lie.” She was replaced by Luke Krayenhoff, who will only have three weeks of campaigning until election day.

The Fun

It was a cheeky bit of campaigning on the part of NDP’s Matt Masters Burgener, until a Tory supporter tried to join in on the fun. Instead of having signs with his name plastered all over town, Burgener, who is running against Harper in the Prime Minister’s own riding of Calgary Heritage, asked folks to donate $50 to the NDP in exchange for a personalized sign that would “send Harper a message.”

But when a Harper supporter from Manitoba heard about the campaign, he donated $50 to the cause, except he wanted his sign to say: “Let’s make it four in a row. Go Harper go!”

The NDP candidate said they held the right to refuse any message and, in this case, opted to refund the donor’s money, telling media: “We’re running an NDP campaign supporting an NDP candidate: me.”