O’Toole’s GTA Campaign Haunted by Vaccine Candidate Controversies, Islamophobia | The Canadian News

Candidate controversies over vaccines and Islamophobia haunted Erin O’Toole’s campaign on Saturday as the Conservative leader made his speech to residents in the greater Toronto area, a vote-rich region crucial to the election outcome. federals of September 20.

The GTA spans more than 50 constituencies, the vast majority of which are held by liberals, including the 25 seats in Toronto.

But O’Toole is targeting suburban and ex-urban voters as he aims to boost conservative share of the vote in the region as a whole.

The party won the majority of seats there 10 years ago, but lost to Liberals Justin Trudeau in 2015 and saw its share of votes drop another five points below then-leader Andrew Scheer in 2019.

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At a regional transit station in Whitby, Ontario, O’Toole emphasized housing affordability, rapid transit projects, addressing gang violence and improving health care among key campaign and local priorities.

But the playing field did not go smoothly.

A conservative candidate in Nova Scotia has apologized for social media posts influencing sharia law and endorsing a ban on the burqa worn by some Muslim women.

“In the past, I have shared posts on social media without thinking about how these posts could harm or offend others,” Central Nova candidate Steven Cotter said in a statement provided by the party on Saturday.

“I have removed these posts and fully apologize to those I have offended.”

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O’Toole expels a CCP candidate for Islamophobic tweets, but keeps another active

On Friday, when the Conservatives launched their final GTA tour in Mississauga, Ontario, the Conservative party confirmed that they had ditched Beaches-East York candidate Lisa Robinson after Liberal incumbent Nate Erskine-Smith , will highlight the Islamophobic tweets of 2017.

“We are carrying out a positive campaign based on uniting the country and putting it back on its feet from an economic point of view. And I want the people on my team to share that, ”O’Toole said Saturday.

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One post said that Muslim residents should “go home if our Canadian heritage offends you so much.”

Robinson denied that the Twitter account, titled “District 1 City Councilman Candidate,” was his.

“The information contained in Mr. Erskine-Smith’s post on social media was generated by a fake social media account that I reported to the police in 2018. I also signed a certification confirming these facts,” he said in a post on the page. Facebook of your campaign. Friday.

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“Racism and Islamophobia have no place in the Conservative Party of Canada or in my campaign.”

O’Toole also appeared to give tacit approval for conservative candidates who are not fully vaccinated to campaign in retirement homes, as long as they comply with public health measures.

The question arose after conservative Peterborough-Kawartha candidate Michelle Ferreri posted photos of herself on social media in a nursing home despite being given only one shot.

“We will follow all measures, including vaccinations, daily rapid tests, masking and social distancing, to keep people safe. That is not just an expectation, it is a commitment that all members of our team have to keep people safe in a pandemic election called by Mr. Trudeau, ”said O’Toole.

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Saturday morning’s event at a GO Transit parking lot marked the Conservative leader’s second visit to Whitby by Liberals in two days and came just before he flew to British Columbia to present his closing arguments to voters in the West Coast.

O’Toole’s public transportation platform board promises to “invest immediately in projects” that reduce travel times and create jobs, but does not allocate any particular funding amounts.

Click to play video: 'Election in Canada: O'Toole vows to support public transportation for the GTA'

Elections in Canada: O’Toole pledges to support public transportation for GTA

Elections in Canada: O’Toole pledges to support public transportation for GTA

When asked on Saturday if he would commit at least $ 5 billion for transit, O’Toole declined to provide details.

“I am going to make things build. I’m going to put shovels in the ground, I’m going to get things done, “he said, accusing Trudeau of not supporting” ambition “with” achievement. “

Conservatives say they will prioritize the construction of four rapid transit projects in the GTA: the Ontario line, which would include a section that runs under Queen Street; an extension of the Yonge subway line serving Markham and Richmond Hill; the controversial three-stop extension of the Scarborough tube; and a complement to the Eglington light rail line to west Toronto and neighboring Mississauga.

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O’Toole also focused on the housing crisis, re-announcing a set of measures to cool the fiery local market and put home ownership within the reach of more Canadians. The plan, which becomes a thread of affordability that has been weaving throughout the campaign, includes the construction of one million homes in three years and the raising of barriers for foreign investors.

Similarly, the Liberals have promised to build 1.4 million homes over four years and prevent foreigners from buying them for two, as well as vowing to curb the practice of “selling” properties.

“Too many people, especially the young, are excluded from the housing market,” O’Toole said.

Click to play video: 'Canadian Elections: O'Toole Says Question From Quebec Racism Debate Is A Little Unfair' '

Canadian Elections: O’Toole Calls Quebec Racism Debate Question ‘A Little Unfair’

Canadian Elections: O’Toole Calls Quebec Racism Debate Question ‘A Little Unfair’

“And many are already struggling with mortgage and car payments, buying gas and groceries, while Justin Trudeau drives up the cost of everything with his out-of-control spending, loans and debt,” he said.

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Home prices have continued to climb this year, including in suburban corners of the GTA, as remote work persists and business closures during the COVID-19 pandemic helped people save cash for large purchases.

The median home price in the area rose to $ 1.07 million in August from around $ 951,000 at the same time last year, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.

O’Toole tried to emphasize his roots in the area, noting that he grew up in Bowmanville, Ontario, when his father worked at a GM plant in nearby Oshawa before becoming a Conservative lawmaker in the provincial legislature for 19 years.

“I had a 905 phone number when I was a kid. And I still do, ”he said, adding that he knows the commute to the suburbs well from his days as a Bay Street attorney.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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