‘That’s false’: a fact check on the two key denials of the Justin Trudeau debate

On Thursday night, Canada’s federal leaders clashed in the first and last debate in English, fighting on issues such as climate change, indigenous reconciliation and economic recovery.

There were highlights: Tomatoes were mentioned a few times, as was Jody Wilson-Raybould, and Green leader Annamie Paul invited bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet to “learn about systemic discrimination,” but the sparse debate format and Fast moving meant the leaders made very few specific claims that I could verify. Instead, they spent most of their time voicing opinions, appealing to Canadians’ emotions, and, well, arguing.

On a couple of occasions, however, party leaders clashed with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau over something he insisted was not true. And these are statements that I may factual review.

The first, from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, dealt with the issue of compensation for First Nations children, and the second, from conservative Erin O’Toole on a housing tax proposal.

Here’s what we know about disagreements and who’s telling the truth.

Is Trudeau “taking indigenous children to court?”

The short answer: Yes.

The long answer: While answering a question about indigenous reconciliation, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said: “How can trust be restored when a prime minister kneels one day and the next day takes indigenous children to court?”

Singh repeated the claim a few minutes later in a discussion about violence against indigenous women and girls, to which Trudeau responded: “Mr. Singh, you love that line. Actually, it is not true. We are committed to compensating the children who went through that. “

The fact is, The government is currently fighting a Canadian Human Rights Court decision requiring Ottawa to pay First Nations children taken from their homes and communities on the reservation.

The First Nations Child and Family Care Society and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) filed a complaint under Canada’s Human Rights Act in 2007, alleging that the government did not consistently fund health services for indigenous children, resulting in a disproportionate number of children being placed in foster care. They also claimed that the government was challenging the Jordan Principle, a rule that prioritizes First Nations children getting the help they need over jurisdictional disputes over who is responsible for providing it.

The AFN and Caring Society said these failures amounted to discrimination based on “race and national ethnic origin.” In 2016, the court ruled in his favor, ordering the government to stop discrimination. In 2019, the court awarded $ 40,000 to each child who was taken out of their home, as well as to their families.

In 2020, the government presented a application asking a federal judge to review the decision to make sure it is legal. That case is ongoing.

The government is challenging two aspects of the court’s ruling:

The government’s arguments were heard in June and we are now awaiting a decision. Liberals have said they agree that First Nations children deserve to be paid, but that the “one-size-fits-all” court award of $ 40,000 is inappropriate and “stands in the way of fair compensation.”

Given all this, was it a fair description of the events for Singh to say that Trudeau is “taking indigenous children to court?” Considering that the government is, in fact, seeking judicial review in federal court on compensation awarded to indigenous children, yes.

Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Care Society, said she was “stunned” to hear Trudeau say that it is not true that he is “taking indigenous children to court” in Thursday’s debate.

“I couldn’t believe (liberals) kept saying this when all someone had to do was go to the federal court website and prove them wrong,” Blackstock said.

Liberals Proposing a Major Home Sales Tax?

The short answer: No.

The long answer: In the third quarter of the debate, during a discussion on housing and affordability, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said “Mr. Trudeau, Canadians are concerned that their major home sales will be dire. Your advisers have said it and your candidates have said it, and it’s in Page 14 of your policy book. He’s introducing a new home sales tax. “

Trudeau interrupted his statement, repeating “that is false.”

O’Toole’s campaign clarified that he was referring to the anti-rollover tax proposed by the Liberals, which requires Canadians to pay a tax on the gains of residential properties that are sold within 12 months.

It’s misleading for conservatives to characterize that as a tax on “primary home sales,” said John Pasalis, president of Realosophy Realty. “They make it look like the Liberals have a great plan to tax home equity, which the Liberals have made clear they don’t plan to do.”

The tax, which is intended to moderate home price inflation, has exemptions for Canadians who could sell their homes abruptly due to life changes such as pregnancy, death, new jobs, divorce or disability.

The new housing tax is intended for people who consistently make big profits by swapping out houses they never intended to live in, Pasalis said. “That is a small segment of the market. It probably won’t even have a material impact on the market. “

So: although this tax would do applies to a primary residence, it only does so in the rare circumstance that a home is bought and sold within a year, and none of these exceptions apply, making O’Toole’s framing bogus.

Every week during the 2021 federal election, I will be Fact check from one of Canada’s top party leaders., starting with the one with the fewest seats and ending this week with current liberal Justin Trudeau. Email [email protected] or tweet me @lexharvs with advice on claims or statements that you think you should check.

Lex Harvey is a Toronto-based newsletter producer for The Star and author of the First Up newsletter. Follow her on Twitter: @lexharvs


The conversations are the opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of conduct. The Star does not endorse these views.


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