Leaders discuss how to pay off pledges as early voting begins

The fifth and final week of the federal election campaign began Sunday with the Liberals and New Democrats each questioning whether their opponent’s plan to pay off billions of campaign spending promises was based on reality.

The New Democrats promise a far-reaching plan to create social programs like pharmaceutical and dental care through $ 214 billion in new spending over five years.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh agrees to pay a portion of it by raising $ 166 billion in new revenue by taxing the super-rich and ultra-profitable corporations.

The numbers are much higher than those of the Liberal platform, which similarly proposes new taxes such as increasing the corporate rate applied to bank profits above $ 1 billion to help fund programs aimed at boosting recovery from the pandemic. of COVID-19.

Speaking on the south shore of Montreal, Trudeau pointed to the NDP’s plans to raise billions in new revenue, suggesting that there is a limit to the amount of taxes a government can impose on the wealthy.

“We have to make sure that the richest people pay their full and fair share and we have done important things to achieve that,” Trudeau said.

“But the idea that you can go with unlimited zeal against the wealthy and successful in this country to pay for everything else is an idea that hits its limits in a moment, and I don’t think the NDP gets it.”

Singh replied that Trudeau’s vision was limited.

During a campaign stop in Sudbury, Ontario, he argued that Trudeau has given the rich a free ride during the liberal leader’s six years as prime minister by failing to raise billions in potential revenue.

“I’m not surprised he said that, ‘oh, limit your hopes and aspirations to make sure billionaires pay their fair share.’ For a long time I have said that he has been defending the super rich, that he is on the side of the billionaires, and that is just one more proof of that, “Singh said.

The parliamentary budget officer warned that there is plenty of room to add new spending to the federal books before deficits become a problem to control. Only conservative leader Erin O’Toole is committed to balancing the budget, and that’s a decade from now.

Leaders bicker over how to pay off the pledges as voters head to advanced polls. #ItsOurVote #CdnPoli # Elxn44

The Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa highlighted the conservative promise of a balanced budget in its analysis of the party’s spending plans.

The group, led by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, wrote that the Conservatives’ promise to boost health transfers to the provinces could “significantly jeopardize the goal of the balanced budget and long-term fiscal sustainability.”

Speaking in Vancouver, O’Toole called his party’s fiscal plan “disciplined but fair” and pointed to the current budget official’s assessment to support the conservative platform’s estimates.

“The parliamentary budget officer confirmed our plan. We presented 30 different policies for analysis,” O’Toole said.

“We will balance the budget within the decade.”

The comments marked the beginning of the final push, as each party seeks to bolster support on Election Day Sept. 20, but also persuade voters heading to the early polls this weekend.

Elections Canada said early estimates show that more than 1.3 million voters cast their ballots in person on the first day of the snap election on Friday, which is more than was recorded during the 2019 election.

With polls suggesting a close race, leaders have rubbed shoulders for space and increased rhetoric in what has been an emotional campaign that has shown little sign of abating.

Liberal candidate on Regina-Wascana’s Saskatchewan walk, Sean McEachern, had dog feces thrown on his windshield while campaigning Thursday, while Chris Bittle, the liberal candidate on St. Catharines’ Ontario walk, tweeted a photo Sunday of his car that had “FU Liberals” spray painted overnight.

Trudeau expected Sunday to blame the tensions on Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, who polls have seen a steady rise in national support.

Trudeau, like bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and O’Toole, dismissed any concerns that Bernier’s candidates could sway support from their parties.

While Singh said he disagreed with many of Bernier’s views, the NDP leader added that he understands the general feeling of frustration and cynicism some voters have with federal politics after seeing governments fail to deliver on promises to Bell.

This Canadian Press report was first published on September 12, 2021.


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