Michelle Zilio (CTV News):
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is brushing aside premiers’ concerns about some his key election promises, including Senate abolishment, the party’s child-care plan and his commitment to balance the books.
Speaking to CTV’s Question Period, Mulcair dismissed criticism from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who recently mocked his suggestion that a federal deficit could be eliminated by getting rid of the Senate.
“Well I’m looking forward to working with Premier Wynne, of course, after the election,” said Mulcair.
The NDP leader has long promised to abolish the Red Chamber if elected. His plan, however, can’t be executed without the support of the provinces.
And some provinces are already resisting the idea of abolition. Wynne has said the plan is unrealistic, while Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has said abolition would not be in his province’s interest.
The Ontario government has also been critical of Mulcair’s claim that the province supports his plan to create one million $15-a-day child-care spaces. The plan would require the provinces to pay for 40 per cent of the massive program.
So far, only Manitoba has expressed support for the NDP’s daycare plan. But Mulcair is hopeful that he will convince the other provinces once he meets with them. For example, he pointed to potential negotiations with Ontario.
“We haven’t sat down with them yet,” said Mulcair. “And I’ve always used the Ontario example … We would take into account the fact that Ontario has two full years of paid kindergarten. That would be part of our analysis when we sit down with them.”
Mulcair will reveal the full costing of his platform on Wednesday, one day before the second federal leaders’ debate. He also said on Question Period that he will focus on his party’s health-care promises next week, including seniors care, the cost of drugs and mental health.
“There are things that are being left by the wayside and there are demographic changes that are going to call upon us to look at things differently.”