Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and his wife Jill (right) chat with two-year-old Max Pahlke and his mom and dad Angela and Clint during an election campaign stop in Beasley Park in Lake Country Monday morning. (Alistair Waters-Capital News)

Conservative leader stops in Lake Country

Andrew Scheer says he would bring back two child-focused tax credits cut by the Liberals

The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Andrew Scheer, stopped in Lake Country Monday morning to announce a Conservative government would bring back two tax credits cut by the Liberals that were aimed at helping children participate in sports, the arts and learning programs.

Scheer spoke at Beasley Park in Lake Country during a quick stop in the Okanagan on his way to Calgary later in the day.

He called the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and the Children’s Arts and Learning Tax Credit very popular amongst Canadians before they were cut when the Liberal took power in 2015.

The Liberal government replaced them, along with other tax credits, with its Canada Child Benefit.

Scheer said the new Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, would:

  • Allow parents to claim up to $1,000 per child for expenses related to fitness or sports-related activities
  • Make the credit refundable so low-income Canadians benefit most; and
  • Allow parents of children with disabilities to claim an additional $500 per child, per year

The Children’s Arts and Learning Tax Credit, he said, would:

  • Allow parents to claim up to $500 per child for expenses related to arts and educational activities
  • Make the credit refundable so low-income Canadians benefit most
  • Make it flexible, so children can get extra help studying a language or learning science, math or coding; and
  • Allow parents of children with disabilities to claim double the amount, up to $1,000 per child, per year.

While in Lake Country, Scheer also took a shot at incumbent Liberal Stephen Fuhr, saying he has heard voters in the Kelowna-Lake Country riding are unhappy with Fuhr because he voted for Liberal programs that will raise taxes on Canadians.

“They feel the local liberal MP (Fuhr) let so many people down,” said Scheer.

But when asked about her party’s leaders comments, Conservative candidate Tracy Gray, would not echo them, saying all she could talk about is what she would do if elected.

She said she has knocked in thousands of doors since winning the nomination in the spring and has heard repeatedly from people of all ages and social demographics that affordable housing remains a big issue, as does taxation.

As for Fuhr, all she would say is the amount of money he has brought to the riding as MP is similar to the amount his predecessor, Conservative Ron Cannan, brought to the riding during his time in office.

On the weekend, Scheer stopped in Surrey, pitching to voters a promise of new tax cut for the lowest income bracket earners, downing the rate from 15 per cent to 13.75 per cent.

He estimates the cut could save an average earning two-income couple, roughly $850 per year. He also said there are tax cuts aimed to be phased out starting in the year 2021 and fully implemented by 2023 if he is indeed elected prime minister on Oct. 21.

READ MORE: Federal leaders scatter across country as campaign ramps up in earnest

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