Canadian leaders debate economy in the first three way election race in country’s history
Toronto: Canada’s Conservative prime minister acknowledged Thursday that things aren’t great in the Canadian economy, but in a debate ahead of next month’s election he asked Canadians where they would rather live. Polls and analysts say the Oct. 19 vote is the first threeway toss-up in Canada’s history. In a debate focused on the economy, Stephen Harper said Canada has fared better than other countries amid global insecurity. “I have come to work now for 7 years with nothing but economic crises around the world,’’ Harper said. Opposition New Democrat leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau attacked Harper for relying too much on the oil industry to bolster the economy. “Mr. Harper put all his eggs into one basket and he dropped the basket,’’ Mulcair said. Trudeau, the 43-year-old son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, asked Canadians if they were better off than when Harper took power in 2006 and passionately shouted down Harper and Mulcair, whose New Democrat party could form a government for the first time in the country’s history. Mulcair has moved his party to the centre and vowed to balance the budget. Trudeau said he’ll stimulate the economy with deficit spending on infrastructure. “This is the time to invest in the future of our country. Canadians know this. The only two people who don’t know this are the two gentlemen on this stage,’’ Trudeau said. According to the CTV/Globe and Mail/Nanos Nightly Tracking Poll, the Liberals are at 30.9 per cent while the New Democrats are at 30.4 per cent and the Conservatives at 30.1 per cent. The margin of error for the survey of 1,200 respondents is 2.8 per cent.