Trudeau, O’Toole make visits to key Winnipeg battleground ridings

WINNIPEG — Justin Trudeau and Erin O’Toole landed in Winnipeg Friday morning, making campaign pledges an hour apart.

First up, the Liberal leader spoke at a grocery store in the Charleswood-St James-Assiniboia-Headingley riding. It’s a seat the Liberals are hoping to take back from the Conservatives.

Trudeau said if re-elected, his government would provide 10 sick days for federally regulated employees and work with provinces to do the same in provincially regulated sectors.

“As a government and as this country’s largest employer, it’s up to us the set the example,” Trudeau said.

He’s also promising money to improve ventilation systems, including a 25 per cent tax credit for small businesses and tens of millions of dollars for schools.

“Because our kids have to be safe in our classrooms,” Trudeau said.

On the edge of the riding, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole was talking job creation at a truck transport firm.

“We will not leave Canadian workers behind,” O’Toole said.

To get unemployed people back on the job, O’Toole is pledging a wage subsidy of up to 50 per cent for net new hires over six months.

“Canada’s Conservatives will stand with those who suffered during the downturn,” he said.

Before leaving Manitoba, the two leaders tossed some verbal barbs. Trudeau was critical of O’Toole’s plan not to mandate vaccines for air and rail passengers.

“That’s not just irresponsible, that’s dangerous,” Trudeau said.

As the Taliban takes over in Afghanistan, O’Toole accused Trudeau of moving too slow to get interpreters and contractors out.

“This is a crisis that Mr. Trudeau allowed to happen. He’s abandoned people,” said O’Toole.

The two leaders left for Saskatchewan later that day, with O’Toole heading to Saskatoon and Trudeau to Regina.

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