Factbox: Canadian party leaders to debate economy, security, environment

Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:40pm EDT
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(Reuters) - The leaders of Canada's main political parties will face off in the second leaders' debate on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. The country heads to the polls on Oct 19. Here are the positions taken so far by the main parties.


ECONOMY - Prime Minister Stephen Harper touts his economic record as his strongest suit, pledging to balance the budget this year despite a mild contraction in the economy in the first two quarters, and points to Europe to show the risks of high taxes and debt. Recent figures showed the Conservatives ran a budget surplus in the 2014-15 fiscal year, a year earlier than expected.

SECURITY - Advocates tough action against extremist attacks. The Conservative government has taken part in the war against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria. Passed Bill C-51, which gives law enforcement and spies broader powers to disrupt potential attacks.

PIPELINES AND ENVIRONMENT - Has advocated for pipelines to get oil to market but most major projects have been stalled or blocked. The Conservative government pulled out of Kyoto Protocol on climate change and says a balance must be struck between the economy and the environment.

TAXES - Has pledged no new taxes. Introduced income-splitting for parents of children under 18 to lower their tax burden; increased the annual contribution limit for tax-free savings accounts.


Liberal leader Justin Trudeau (L), Green Party leader Elizabeth May (2nd L) and New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair listen as Conservative Leader Stephen Harper (R) speaks during the first leaders' debate in Toronto August 6, 2015 . REUTERS/Mark Blinch