(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.
ECONOMY - Has vowed to run budget surpluses in each of its first four years in power. Would impose a C$15 ($11.40) minimum hourly wage in federally regulated industries and create or support one million daycare spaces that cost no more than C$15 a day.
SECURITY - Would pull Canada out of the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and would repeal the C-51 security legislation on the grounds that it infringes on civil liberties and is too vague.
PIPELINES AND THE ENVIRONMENT - Opposes oil pipelines to the Pacific coast and the Keystone XL pipeline to the United States. Had advocated the Energy East pipeline to eastern Canada but comments from leader Thomas Mulcair in July raised questions about support. Mulcair has said the NDP will revamp Canada’s environmental review process for approving major resource infrastructure such as pipelines. Favors carbon pricing to combat global warming. In 2011 the party said it would raise C$21.5 billion in carbon cap-and-trade revenues over four years.
TAXES - Plans to raise the corporate tax rate to 17 percent from 15 percent in its first term in office, but would cut small business taxes to 9 percent from 11 percent over two years. Promises not to raise the personal income tax rate but would revoke the Conservatives’ income-splitting for parents and the increase in the tax-free savings allowance.
ECONOMY - Plans to run budget deficits for three years before balancing the books in 2019 in order to a spend on infrastructure to stimulate the economy. Would almost double federal infrastructure investment to nearly C$125 billion over the next 10 years.
SECURITY AND DRUGS - Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said he would withdraw Canada’s CF-18 bombers from the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, while focusing on training local troops and humanitarian aid. Backed the C-51 security bill but pledges to amend it if the Liberals form a government. Favors legalization of marijuana.
PIPELINES AND THE ENVIRONMENT - Opposes the Northern Gateway oil pipeline to the Pacific Coast, has given mixed messages on the Energy East pipeline, but backs the Keystone XL line to the United States. On carbon pricing, says the federal government should set a national standard but has not explained how this would work.
TAXES - Would raise taxes on high-income Canadians and reduce them for the middle class. Would revoke the Conservatives’ income-splitting for parents and the increase in the tax-free savings allowance.
($1 = 1.3163 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Randall Palmer and Leah Schnurr; Editing by Alan Crosby