All three major federal political party leaders came out swinging on Thursday with financial promises designed to appeal to families and their bank accounts.
Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, was in Ontario on Thursday to tout his plan to increase the value of the adoption expense tax credit. If Harper’s party is re-elected following the federal election in October, he is promising that Canadians who adopt can claim up to $20,000 of expenses connected to the completed adoption of a child under the age of 18. The tax break in its current form is 15% of up to $15,000. The Conservatives are also planning on making the tax credit fully refundable.
Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, was in British Columbia and made promises to ease the financial burden on families through changes to compassionate care benefits that are delivered under Employment Insurance (EI).
“Canadians who are caring for a seriously ill adult family member who needs significant care over and above what can be provided during evenings and weekends, or a seriously ill child who cannot attend school for an extended period of time, will no longer be excluded from the benefit,” the Liberals’ announcement states.
If elected, Trudeau is also promising that the current six-month benefit can be claimed in blocks of time over a one-year period and that family members will be able to share the six months.
This promise would cost $190 million a year in tax revenue but would not require an increase to IE premiums, the Liberals’ announcement states.
Thomas Mulcair, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP), was also in B.C. where he reiterated his 2014 promise to create one million child-care spaces that would cost Canadian parents no more than $15 a day per child. This would mean the delivery of more than 110,000 childcare spaces in B.C., according to the NDP’s announcement.
“Vancouver parents pay some of the highest childcare fees in the entire country and across the province, two out of three children don’t have access to regulated child care at all and that’s got to change,” says Mulcair in a statement.