Scheer, Singh talk transit, cellphone fees in GTA battlegrounds

Andrew Scheer and Jagmeet Singh are pitching pocketbook issues today, with the Conservatives promising to give money back to public transit users and the New Democrats pledging to make cell phone and internet bills cheaper.

Scheer — campaigning in Mississauga, a key federal election battleground in the Greater Toronto Area — is vowing to bring back the Public Transit Tax Credit that was scrapped by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals if he is elected prime minister.

The credit, which allowed riders to claim up to 15 per cent of what they spent on transit passes, was introduced by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in 2006. The Liberals cut the credit in the 2017 federal budget, arguing it was ineffective in encouraging the use of public transit and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Scheer will continue campaigning in Toronto-area ridings throughout the day, after participating in his first televised debate as Conservative leader last night.

The NDP’s Singh also spent his morning in the GTA, trying to appeal to Canadians worried about their pocketbooks.

Surrounded by supporters holding prop signs with dollar figures and sad emojis, Jagmeet Singh talked about the NDP’s plan to put a price cap on cellphone and internet services.

“We are paying some of the highest bills in the world when we talk about cellphone or internet services,” Singh said during a campaign stop in the urban riding of Toronto–Danforth once represented by the late Jack Layton. “There’s got to be a better way.”

Singh went after Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, accusing it of kowtowing to telecommunications corporations.