Trudeau has long liked to portray himself as being for the middle class and Tories for the rich. With the Tories cutting lowest bracket (while not as he hoped lowering higher ones, they should for other reasons, but best to do as part of a larger tax reform, not run on it), Trudeau had to one up them. So the government is raising minimum exemption to 15K while BPA is phased out for those in fourth bracket and eliminated in top bracket. On balance this is a good idea as people with lowest incomes have highest marginal propensity to consume, still cost is large, which is my concern. I would prefer we just offer a tax credit that says anyone below poverty line won’t have to pay taxes, but basic personal exemption would stay the same until we have healthy surplus at which point we should raise it. This way just as many people are eliminated from tax rolls without costing the treasury nearly as much. Still it seems that on affordability and helping middle class, party feels they are losing their edge to Tories thus this plan. In fact I am almost positive if Tories hadn’t proposed an income tax cut for lowest bracket, Liberals would have not done this. Trying to respond to your opponent never looks good even if the right thing. Also in future maybe Tories should roll out their most popular plans closer to e-day so Liberals cannot steal them as Liberals have a long history of stealing popular ideas from other parties and claiming it their own.
On cell phones, this looks like they are trying to copy the NDP. I am all for lower cell phone bills but realize due to our low population density we will always be higher than most G7 countries due to high cost of infrastructure relative to population. But no reason we cannot bring our bills down to the levels they have in Australia who has a very similar population density to us. I do think one key thing missing here is greater foreign competition. I support limiting foreign takeovers of Canadian owned telecommunications to ensure our infrastructure remains primarily Canadian owned, but I think shutting out foreign competition or limiting it to 10% limits choice and thus less competition, higher prices. As such I think we should eliminate foreign ownership rules for entrants so companies like Verizon, T-Mobile, Vodafone and others can enter the Canadian market to offer greater choice and lower prices. Marc Garneau proposed this in Liberal leadership race and I think with our foreign ownership restrictions on telecommunications being the most or 2nd most restrictive in OECD (It’s between us and South Korea), allowing more competition would give consumers more choice and lower prices.