By Graeme Hamilton for National Post.
1. Tax cut for the middle class
Leader Justin Trudeau said a Liberal government’s first piece of legislation would cut income taxes for Canadians earning between $45,000 and $89,000 a year. The promised reduction in the middle income tax bracket to 20.5 % from 22% would reduce the annual tax burden by up to $670 per person, the party platform says. But in order to cover the projected loss of tax revenue the Liberals are asking “the wealthiest one percent of Canadians to give a little more.” A new federal tax bracket of 33% for people making more than $200,000 a year would push the combined federal-provincial income tax rate above 50% in some provinces for the wealthiest.
2. Syrian refugees
Trudeau accused Stephen Harper of not doing enough to help migrants fleeing Syria. While the Conservatives set a target of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees by next September, the Liberals promised to up that to 25,000, beginning immediately. The platform promises to spend $250 million, including $100 million in the current fiscal year, “to increase refugee processing, as well as sponsorship and settlement services capacity in Canada.”
The Liberals are promising to legalize marijuana, arguing that the current system “does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.” Trudeau has promised to get to work on the changes “right away” if elected, but he could not offer a firm timeline. “We don’t yet know exactly what rate we’re going to be taxing it, how we’re going to control it, or whether it will happen in the first months, within the first year, or whether it’s going to take a year or two to kick in,” he said.