OTTAWA: All was quiet in the election campaign on Thursday when party leaders buckled up before the campaign’s first English debate – the last chance for the five leaders to go head-to-head and make their presentations to Canadians before the voting day. .

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau spent some time Thursday morning at Ottawa General Hospital; Along with his 13-year-old son Xavier, Trudeau greeted and thanked healthcare workers for their role in supporting Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We all owe them deep gratitude,” Trudeau said, adding that Canadians must now do their part to help end the pandemic.

“So … we have been unequivocal about vaccines,” said the liberal leader.

Trudeau reiterated that vaccination was key to easing the strain on a health care system facing delayed surgeries and other medical procedures due to the current public health crisis.

Meanwhile, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh stopped by an Ottawa children’s store with his pregnant wife Gurkiran Kaur Sidhu to pick up some items.

Reflecting on Wednesday night’s French jousting match, Singh told reporters that he was “happy” with his performance.

The NDP leader said his goal was to tell Canadians “they cannot afford another four years of Mr. Trudeau, who continues to say a lot of wonderful things in the campaign and unfulfilled.”

But both the Liberals and the NDP, along with the Greens, were criticized on Thursday by Quebec Prime Minister François Legault, who suggested that the platforms proposed by those parties would be “dangerous” for his province.

Legault, the prime minister of a province where all the major parties hope to make a profit, pointed to issues such as healthcare, immigration and Bill 21, the province’s secularism law, as evidence that all three parties they could take away the autonomy of Quebec.

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Although he did not express it openly, Legault’s comments implied that electing the Conservatives or the Québec bloc would result in a more favorable outcome for the province.

However, the prime minister did not stop criticizing the conservatives and took aim at the conservative leader Erin O’Toole for the promise of his party’s platform to cut back on the promise of the liberals to create a national daycare program, given that the Liberals have already signed a $ 6 billion children’s contract. -Careful dealing with Quebec.

Legault said he would not tell Quebecers how to vote, but said that since no federal party is giving the province everything it wants, a minority government would be best.

“It is up to Quebecers to choose, but I will tell you this, I am a nationalist, I want Quebec to have more autonomy and power,” he said.

Conservatives on Thursday also pledged to review supply chain legislation to “significantly enforce” Canada’s commitment not to import products made through “forced or enslaved” labor.

In Toronto, several local NDP candidates shared their party’s intention to establish a guaranteed livable income program, beginning with supports to lift seniors and people living with disabilities out of poverty.

With files from The Canadian Press

RP

Raisa Patel is an Ottawa reporter covering federal politics for The Star. Follow her on Twitter: @R_SPatel

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